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Next generation of Carrier Open SaaS for boosting e-Commerce economy

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CANGOPAL (Next generation of Carrier Open SaaS for boosting e-Commerce economy)

Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2017-04-30

CANGOPAL is a technology solution that addresses the many inefficient processes that e-commerce owners deal with while selling online and handling orders: from the moment one customer order is received in the online shop, until the moment it is fulfilled, shipped and later delivered.
Current solutions and systems perform well in different very specific tasks, but most of the e-commerce owners have to deal with manual processes and inefficient information management solutions:
- When new orders arrive into the online shop, there’s no unified fulfilment processes and these processes are strongly tied on the carrier used.
- Ecommerce owners must export orders into files (csv and Excel) that should be loaded into each carrier’s proprietary solutions. Automation is poor and proprietary and many times there’s no other option for them to start shipping.
- Tracking is generated manually so the end customer does not get the shipping information in real time and each carrier uses a different tracking solution.
- Order statuses in the back office are not automatically changed, so there’s another manual process to be done on each independent order shipped (example: “new” order to “shipped” to “delivered” have to be changed manually).
- Those are just examples of common inefficient situations that ecommerce owners suffer each day.
CANGOPAL provides technology and processes to optimize the order management, fulfilment and shipment processes for e-commerce, by providing tools, automations and solutions to avoiding human errors, manual processes and inefficient workload by automating the information exchanges between online sellers, the carriers and the end customers.
The benefits for the society are that we:
- Provide tools to optimize workload for ecommerce operators, helping to deploy efficient processes that contribute to the quality of work and personal life balance for employees.
- Provide solutions for carriers to reach out more ecommerce sellers with no integration efforts by opening to new customers across borders with less integration and support efforts.
- Open the ecommerce owners to choose and use the fairest carrier and engage local services and operators into their processes with a unified process that is carrier-agnostic.
- Improve the quality of service provided to end customers when buying online, by giving them the tools that give them an easy process to follow deliveries in an effective way and handle changes and returns.
Because of this processes optimization, we have measured back-office time reductions of average 50% compared to the previous manual methods, which have an impact in the quality of work and help to professionalize the jobs.
For the customer support, we have received good feedback on how it will improve the customer experience by keeping the end customer informed of the status of their online orders since the very beginning of the fulfilment process.
With CANGOPAL, companies of any size will benefit of order management, fulfilment and shipping solutions that were only available for big multinational corporations.
The overall objectives of the CANGOPAL project is to prove the technological and business feasibility of the project by defining different scenarios of deployment in customer pilots during the SME Instrument Phase 1 with the objective to start production and internationalization during the second phase. E-commerce sellers using standard solutions like PrestaShop, Magento, WooCommerce or Shopify now have a straightforward way to integrate their fulfilment processes to ship with any local or international carrier. We also engaged prospects that use Enterprise-class solutions and proprietary solutions into discussions on how to integrate CANGOPAL into their current solution and processes and improve and optimize their back-office workload to handle massive shipments.
We validated the market by piloting and showing demos of our solution and proved the practical implementation of our solution in a future sales phase. We also discussed pricing with our leads and prospects, which validated the economic aspects of the proposal. The market research showed there’s a big opportunity in the European Union, and also in the rest of the world.
We successfully engaged two additional carriers to be part of the CANGOPAL platform and started discussing about pilots to end customers to demonstrate the features of the solution to new customers. The carriers involved into this phase are Halcourrier (Spanish Domestic Carrier) and SEUR (Part of DPD Group with Domestic and International capabilities), which we have managed to integrate answering the requirements defined by our current customers.
We introduced the concept to potential customers with 2 main ideas:
1- Unique process to handle orders from any e-commerce solution, with no plugins.
2- The ability to use any domestic or international carrier with the same process (for parcel pickup, label & manifest creation, tracking…)
The customer feedback has been critical to define and implement changes in our product that cover the needs of online sellers while improve their current fulfilment processes. The idea to have a single solution to avoid using complex and/or manual processes to fulfil orders and prepare shipments makes sense for all of the prospects we interviewed.
We have committed pilots for year 2017 to validate our technology, automation and product-market fit into production scenarios that will prove the benefits of our platform for online order management and shipping solution.
After the work performed during the 1st phase, and as conclusion of it, the main idea of our proposal and motivation of this project stays completely valid and active. We’ve seen traction and support within all the interviewed e-commerce owners and some of them engaged pilots to be deployed in the following months.
The strategic vision to provide a software solution to solve the many inefficient processes in online sales is still valid and the SMEs we contacted are open to a “pay per use” approach on the generated labels or orders handled. This validates our concept to monetize our solution as SaaS (Software as a Service). We will continue to work in our initial idea and add some more specific features based on our customer’s feedback.
Business development and growth will need us to partner with local carriers, distributors and logistics operators and also with e-commerce technology providers such as PrestaShop, Magento, WooCommerce or Shopify, to define joint go-to-market strategies and implement our solution as part of the end-to-end value proposition chain for online sales. Local carriers can benefit of access to new customers by using our solution because they don’t need to provide technical support to the e-commerce owners and they can ship their services into CANGOPAL’s solution.
The impact of our initial approach has led into hiring a new person for our team and we will hire two additional resources in the short term to help us into the product development and sales processes.
The team building and expertise hiring will require us to access to funding to build the base of the future team across Europe to start commercialization of the product in the different regions.