Delivery Folk solves the problem of transporting odd items and helps people earn cash from making their usual journeys.
How did it all begin?
Nicholas Bailey, a collector of old agricultural equipment, found that transporting his awkward items through traditional couriers was slow, difficult and costly. After
discussing the idea with his wife Georgina Bailey, Delivery Folk was born.
The crowdsourced service matches those with items that may be too large or awkward to send conventionally, with people who can deliver them as part of their usual journey. Both parties negotiate a fair price in a friendly way, so senders save money and carriers make some.
So where do Cookies fit in?
Cookies were recommended to Nich and George by Bristol-based agency Modular Digital, who had already spent some time working on the user experience and design of the website. Delivery Folk were now in need of a technical team for the main build of the app, and Cookies were more than happy to help another friendly startup to realise their ambitions.
Cookies provided the technical planning, recommendations and build, as well as integrating the design provided by Modular.
The complexity of the site lies within its main features:
Matching senders and carriers
The ultimate aim of the website is to match senders with those who are willing to carry items on their current journey path. This functionality was integral to the build. For this, we used PostGIS, an extension to PostgresSQL. To match users, we created geospatial areas around journey routes to determine which item locations intersect them on a map. More information can be found on Rob’s helpful blog post
Third party payment integration
PayPal was an obvious first choice, but after an initial investigation, there were limitations to be found. For example, we would ultimately be locked into their system as all users would need to have a PayPal account to transfer money.
Therefore, our recommendation was to use Stripe (a set of simple and complete APIs and tools built for developers), as the payment processing platform. They offer a perfectly scaled solution and provide security and compliance.
Stripe allows for a degree of flexibility where we could easily change payment platforms in the future if needed. It is also a purely “backend” system and all the forms displayed to the user would be Delivery Folk-branded and could be styled as necessary.
Email & SMS service, setup & management
In order to maintain contact with customers, it was necessary to implement email and SMS services as communication tools. Cookies used Postmark as the third-party supplier to manage the emails and Twilio for the SMS notifications. We had already used both services in the past and were confident that they were appropriate choices for Delivery Folk.
Extensive admin system
The CMS is an important part of the Delivery Folk system. Here, admins have visibility over all users, jobs, journeys and payments and assists with the smooth running of day-to-day actions. We found that Active Admin was the best solution for Delivery Folk’s needs. The Ruby on Rails plugin is user-friendly, customizable and simple for developers to implement professional, administrative interfaces.
How did we do it?
As with all of our work, Delivery Folk was developed using agile methodologies. Our team worked in fortnightly sprints, at the end of which we all went over the results and planned targets for the next week. This enabled the Baileys to make adjustments to the app’s features, incrementally improving their software. Through a collaborative, iterative approach, we were able to balance all these inputs and deliver the right final product.
We have been so impressed by all of you at Cookies. Your technical knowledge is immense but you have been very patient when dealing with customers with less technical knowledge than you (i.e. me!) taking time to explain what you are doing in a way that can be understood by the layman. You have communicated with us regularly to keep us updated with changes and progress and always responded quickly to any queries we had.
Your team has been consistently conscientious and committed to the project from start to finish, often going the extra mile for our project. Most of all working with you has been so enjoyable and we feel that we have you on our side.
Many thanks for making Delivery Folk possible!
It was a great project to get stuck into and is one of the reasons why we enjoy working with startups so much. What started as an idea has quickly turned itself into a very accomplished system, . There’s plenty of new and exciting features in the pipeline and we can’t wait to see where this new venture is headed. One thing is for certain, Delivery Folk is here to turn conventional package delivery on its head.