Courier network and communication SaaS tool
Communication between freight companies becomes easier! It helps users to find new partners and agents, documents and feedback exchange, rates posting, chatting, etc. It’s a professional network for courier and logistics workers. Implemented as a B2B SaaS tool it connects service providers and customers in the transportation industry closing their communication needs and helping to optimize processes.
This project was a continuation of our other brainchild. Our customers with a huge experience in the transportation domain found a serious gap in the industry - a lack of a communication tool for courier service providers and their customers. A lot of inefficient business communication is happening between professionals and freight customers.
After working in the logistics industry for many years with all the understanding of its specifics, it was easy for us to architect this platform. We created a team of 4 key people with logistics experience: a business analyst, 2 lead senior developers, and a back-end architect. This team grew into 13 people in 5 months and became cross-functional and self-sufficient.
Becoming a SaaS
Originally this tool was planned to be a part of another customer's logistics SaaS system. We focused on designing and architecting the main features of this communication tool to test them on its real customers so we had quite a big list of existing early adopters. After polishing this solution and gaining positive feedback from its clients, we redesigned this tool into a SaaS platform with a subscription model and set up an additional business for our customers.
Supporting this logistics SaaS solution in the long-term phase was a serious challenge because it went through several transformations and pivots. The stabilization phase took around 6-8 months to find the best market fit and polish the monetization model. During that time our technical team varied to always stay cost-effective and provide the development speed according to the business requirements.
Streamline courier communication
We developed an online instant messenger without using any readymade solution to make it super fast and reliable and not share any information with 3d parties.
A NoSQL storage keeps tons of messages and reacts fast to adding new ones.
A combination of VertX, React Hooks, and Web Sockets gave us reactive and low latency web UX that responds and updates immediately when an event happens.
Rates are delivery prices posted by platform users. Users are restricted to see only rates provided by their agents.
Every user can set up his own rates flexibly configured as well as search for other rates provided by his agents.
Proof of delivery (POD)
PODs are documents that are a must-have in any courier process and always generate hassle. A user adds information through the convenient form, uploads additional documents and a POD file is generated and sent to the right agent through the chat.
The POD document is securely stored on the server and is available as proof at any time upon request.
POD history is available as a sortable table with search functionality.
Feedback & Reviews
Upon each delivery, a customer may give a rating and write feedback to a delivery provider. We developed a back-end and UI to add feedback to an agent, rate his job, and leave a comment.
Every feedback can be accompanied by all the details and a set of uploaded documents stored securely.
A search feature helps to find the needed comment or a thread of comments.
And vice versa you can see all feedback left for you as a service provider.
Agent API & integration
Agent API was designed and implemented as the main method of integration between this platform and an external transportation solution. Any courier company personnel, driver, or customer is an Agent here.
Agent API is used to get people's information from an external platform, find, add, remove, put them in each others' contact lists, change status, etc.
Being secured and safe, this REST API is the one and only connector that bind this communication SaaS solution with an external system.
A mobile version
The mobile application was developed with the ReactNative framework for Android and iOS. It replicates all communication features implemented in a web application making them available anywhere for easier and faster communication.
The core feature of this app is instant messaging functionality that streamlines communication between agents. The app was developed as an addition to this SaaS platform.
As the owner of the SaaS product, I was the CEO and development manager in the UK for a long time; I had local development. It was expensive, but I thought it was worth it. I have never believed in the effectiveness of outsourcing or offshore teams.
However, one of my employees persuaded me to try, and we relied on Ardas for all the development that we had in addition to testing and managing the team. After a couple of years of such work, when we were convinced that it worked great, we began to transfer to Ardas all the IT that we had, and in the end, the entire development cycle was in their hands.
Not once in all these years have I regretted it. Offshore development can be effective if the company knows how to work in a large project, has no communication problems, understands how the SaaS business works, and can engage in dialogue. Ardas has it all!
Today, the development of our product is managed by the CTO, CEO, product owners, and others, but they all work well with Ardas. I must say that Ardas has outlived many local employees who have already left for various reasons. Ardas is our most dedicated and long-term employee, and as an owner, I like that they solve all staffing issues themselves, and I don't have to deal with them.
Do you have a similar SaaS product that requires development?
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