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Sunday, Apr 21, 2024

Software Is Taking the Pain Out of Those Delivery Windows

It’s the four-hour window that consumers know all too well. When will the plumber show up? When will the furniture people deliver the couch? Sometime between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. or in some similar stretch of time better spent doing something else.

Yukon Palmer knows consumers and business people are frustrated with the four-hour window, and he sees opportunity in getting rid of it.

After all, this is the era of Uber. Customers are used to getting status updates and estimated times of arrival on their smartphones, said Palmer, who is chief executive and owner of Kearny Mesa-based FieldLogix.

The company’s new software for logistics, Goose, optimizes a delivery person’s route, letting a dispatcher compose schedules and send the best route out to the driver.

The software also gives customers a better window into when that delivery person will arrive. The end customer can get updates via smartphone, text message or email.

Customers using a smartphone get a photograph of the driver who will be coming to their door. What’s more, the app gives recipients a way to text or call the driver with the push of a single button.

FieldLogix rolled out Goose in October. In December, the tool was a finalist in the Most Innovative New Products Awards contest organized by

CONNECT, the San Diego organization that provides a variety of services to emerging tech companies.

FieldLogix is adding Goose to its existing line of GPS fleet tracking, driver monitoring, fuel monitoring and asset tracking solutions, which are used by customers such as Coca-Cola and ServiceMaster.

Starting Small

FieldLogix started out as a software reseller in 2002. Palmer said he originally spent $3,500 to get into business. The money went toward marketing materials and a computer.

In 2006, he started developing his own software, using company money. So far, FieldLogix has been a completely bootstrapped company.

In 2008, the economy fell into recession, but 2009 turned out to be FieldLogix’s first profitable year. “Funny thing,” Palmer said.

Before the recession, Palmer focused his business on the construction industry, which fell on hard times. So FieldLogix pivoted to sell to service companies. People call the service technician when the toilet overflows, no matter what the economy is doing, Palmer said.

By now, FieldLogix has put somewhere in the range of $500,000 to $1 million into software projects.

Beta Testers

Beta testers for Goose have been a Los Angeles-based furniture store and an electrical equipment distributor in Ventura County. FieldLogix is talking to what might be its first channel reseller for Goose. It’s a company in the Rocky Mountains.

There could be other applications, Palmer said.

Large quick-service restaurants experimenting with food delivery might be interested, he said. Pet walkers might want to use it.

There are also people with business models best described as “Uber for fill-in-the-blank.” Players in that delivery space generally have two things: adequate manpower to complete work and the skill to write the software to organize all of that work. Palmer said entrepreneurs can leave the software-writing to FieldLogix and just worry about one half of the puzzle: getting the labor.

Palmer said the new software’s name was inspired by the movies. “Goose” was the nickname given to the main character’s companion in “Top Gun.” The phrase “Talk to me, Goose” gets more important as the film goes on.

Of course, Goose is also a generic term that implies travel or flight, and calls to mind V-formations of birds in the sky.

FieldLogix has 10 employees in Kearny Mesa. As for sole ownership, those days might be coming to an end.

Palmer said he is working on a Series A funding round, talking to potential investors locally and in Silicon Valley.


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