ShuttleControl is a local pickup and delivery management platform for retail businesses that manage their own drivers. We believe that in our now economy, businesses will need to adapt new technology that will allow them to provide the kind of connected digital experience consumers now expect.
Tell us about yourself?
My career in technology started when I was 17 and I joined a communications unit in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve. I spent most of my five years of service working in a specialized IT troop setting up deployable on-site servers with satellite internet links.
Soon after, I landed my first job as a junior web developer for a firm supporting Quebec school boards with a cloud-based content management platform.
They took a huge chance on me at the time because I knew virtually nothing about web development, but, I had programming experience from my making video games as a hobby.
I am forever indebted in them for the tutelage I received there. From there, I jumped from startup to startup, soaking up as much software development experience as I could, and eventually decided that creating my own startup would be something I’d like to try.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Use a process towards problem-solving. I was constantly finding myself frustrated and unhappy towards the outcomes of our mistakes and failures, so much so, that I was ignoring the lessons these mistakes were producing for us. The result of this, is that we were making the same mistakes over and over again.
I was working as a contractor for a startup at the same time as trying to grow my own startup, and the CEO of the startup I was contractor for recommended we read Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio. So I did. Ray teaches us to use a five step process towards problem-solving which completely changed my outlook towards our mistakes and failures.
1. Have clear goals.
2. Identify problems you encounter while working towards your goals.
3. Diagnose root causes of the identified problems.
4. Design a plan around the root causes.
As a software developer I was more or less using this process towards solving technical problems, but I was almost never using this process towards solving the incredibly diverse array of problems we experience while trying to build a startup.
What problem does your business solve?
We simplify the management of local pickups and deliveries for retail businesses. ShuttleControl is for businesses that want to manage their own fleet of drivers with the same kind of technology that Uber and Amazon use, except at a fraction of the cost.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Our firm actually started out as a web and mobile application development firm catering to businesses in the Montreal area.
One of Quebec’s most prominent automotive dealer groups approached us to build a shuttle management platform to replace their clumsy pen-and-paper system; something that would resemble an in-house Uber platform.
We realized that it was possible a lot of dealers were experiencing the same problem, and so we decided to build a solution as a software-as-a-service. Today, ShuttleControl is used by over 100 dealer stores across Canada and the United States.
What is your magic sauce?
ShuttleControl is the only product in our space that allows businesses to customize their Trip Workflow around their specific business process.
With Trip Workflow, a new car dealership can create a workflow for their shuttle service, vehicle valet service, parts delivery, at-home test drive, dealer to dealer trades, and much more.
We designed our system so that it could be used as an all-in-one platform for dealer stores, and so that any retail business can benefit from our product offering as well.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We started out as a shuttle management system for dealers, and now we’re an all-in-one pickup and delivery management platform that simplifies the different kind of mobility services dealers offers.
Our vision is for all local retail SMEs that manage their own drivers to be able to offer the same kind of pickup and delivery experience for their customers as Uber or Amazon currently do for a fraction of the cost.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
During the Covid-19 lockdowns, virtually all shuttle services offered by our dealer customers ceased. To continue growing, our idea was to try to pivot into different verticals like pharmaceutical delivery, or local retail delivery, and become totally agnostic from the automotive sector.
We rebuilt our product to allow businesses to customize their Trip Workflow so that different kinds of businesses can benefit from our solution and not just a business offering a shuttle service.
To our amazement, dealers actually offer different kinds of mobility services to their customers that our solution could be used for, like parts delivery, or vehicle valet.
As lockdowns eased and dealers resumed back to full throttle, we saw an immediate cross pollination into different departments at dealer stores that wanted to use ShuttleControl due to Trip Workflow. Now, our solution can be adapted to the future needs of our customers as businesses continue to stay on top of rapid real-world changes.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
If your business manages its own drivers, do your team a favor and try ShuttleControl. The ROI you will see from the savings you get by using our platform will only be outpaced by the amazing upgraded customer experience you can now offer.
We live in a now economy, don’t wait until tomorrow to try out our platform.