On-demand shipping technology provider RedRoller is rolling out its One-Stop Shipping tool, a SAAS (software-as-a-service) solution designed to ease the shipping process for small businesses.
RedRoller announced the product June 19 at the eBay Live! 2008 conference in Chicago.
"We bring in address and sales information and provide multiple carriers," said Bill Van Wyck, president and founder of RedRoller. "One-Stop Shipping is an interface for small businesses. Our target is a company with less than 20 employees that ships up to 150 packages a month."
Van Wyck said One-Stop Shipping includes enterprise functionality so large organizations spread across small remote offices can use it and have each office take advantage of the parent company's bulk shipping discounts. He said the solution basically acts as a search engine for shipping.
"You can compare services and rates for various carriers on one screen," he said. "It's not an auction integrator or accounting system. It's designed to make the process of shipping easy."
According to Van Wyck, e-commerce offers both a broadened market and complicated logistical challenge for small retailers.
"They need to take a product, put it in a box, and ship it locally or nationally," he said. "On the same screen, they can see carriers they may or may not be familiar with. Giving them better information allows better decisions. Small businesses know that being able to understand their options will allow them to save money."
RedRoller CIO Jason Ordway said One-Stop Shipping users have a specific account number generated so they can compare their own unique shipping rates based on their particular situation. He said the application's SAAS architecture offers several advantages to users.
"We deliver services to a small business via Web interface, which cuts down on update headaches," Ordway said. "You can print labels, view order history, and perform other activities via browser. It's like what Quickbooks does online. As an on-demand application, you don't have to download any software and it won't affect your operating system or application software. You can also be a mobile business."
Van Wyck said One-Stop Shipping supports shipments from and to multiple locations, and allows users to select addresses and custom-configure packaging without having to re-enter data every time. "It takes a process you might have to do hundreds of times a month and makes it easy," he said. The solution integrates directly into eBay and Microsoft Outlook.
Merle Sandler, an analyst with IDC, said the new RedRoller solution provides value to smaller enterprises by living up to its name and offering true one-stop shipping.
"You can compare rates of different vendors in one place, and do things like print labels," Sandler said. "Before, a small company would have to drive to their local delivery service provider, so you save on gas. It's simple, affordable, and won't break the bank."
For the future, Van Wyck said RedRoller is developing APIs to keep up with functionality for integration of multiple sales channels. He said code for the APIs will be made available free to third-party developers.
Dan Berthiaume covers the retail space for eWEEK. For more industry news, check out eWEEK.com's Retail Site.