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A smart solution for online ordering and delivery

A web-based e-commerce application for time-starved customers who now can order meals from local services in less than 15 seconds.

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Executive Summary

Customer T’s founders set out to develop a business that would help solve the problem of "lack of time." This goal has been achieved with the new bussiness. Customers are now able to get a lot more done, in a lot less time. Currently, Customer T’s only service is meal ordering and delivery. But it plans to expand to other services in the near future, such as laundry or grocery shopping. LARION's web-based solution enables Customer T to provide its customers with swift services as promised. It now takes less than 15 seconds to place and repeat meal order online.

About Customer T

Customer T is a US-based company founded by "time-starved" parents, who never seemed to have enough "time" in the day. It saves customers’ time by offering one-stop shopping for local services through their convenient website and mobile app. They can easily have lunch and dinner orders delivered to their work location, place lunch and dinner orders for take-out, track their to-do's, and more. Customer T is an easy-to-use online tool that people can use every day to save time, simplify life and improve their health.

Challenges

Business context

Modern city dwellers, especially those who are parents, always have to face the problem of lacking time. Preparing meals, waiting in long drive-through lines after work, or going to the dry cleaners on your lunch hour, or worse yet, on a Saturday, are some of the daily time-consuming activities. Customer T plans to take on all those problems, but started with the problem of meal ordering first.

Normally, people have 3 choices for having lunch at work and dinner. They can go directly to restaurants, order meals to be delivered to their place or order a take out, i.e. they pick up meals at restaurants. All of them take time and can be costly. If you have your meals at restaurants, traveling there will take time and cost some money for transportation.

Ordering delivery or take-out meals could take some time because restaurants can offer many items in their menus. In addition, each customer may have other specific demand, such as extra cheese or sauces. Therefore, the ordering and selection process could be quite confusing and time-consuming, especially if customers order by phone calls.

Sometimes, customers can hardly know which restaurants in their area are available for services. For instance, they may not be open at night for dinner. Or they just offer delivery service for a particular time slot. So contacting a restaurant that is not available is also a waste of time. In addition, the delivery process takes time and customers can hardly know exactly when their orders arrive. And restaurants often charge additional fee for delivery of take-out, not to mention tips for delivery staff.

Customer T’s challenges

In order to take on such problems, Customer T needs to overcome its own challenges.

As a start-up, Customer T must convince investors. It has to become potential and promising financially. In other words, it has to prove itself a good business idea.

One of the ways to prove itself a potential business is that Customer T must attract many users. To do so, Customer T must create real added value for users and make a difference by saving time and money for them.

To compete with other online ordering delivery service providers, Customer T must:

  • Be quick and straightforward for customers to place and receive order.
  • Be certain that customers get what they order on time.

The Solution

LARION developed an e-commerce platform for third-party sellers and buyers to complete transactions for local restaurant ordering services. Our web-based application provides an effective and easy-to-use solution for both Restaurants and Customers thanks to quick ordering and delivery processes.
  • This is an effective and easy-to-use e-commerce platform with centralized data management for partners, suppliers and customers.
  • It also features automation capabilities by matching data on locations, menus, orders, etc.
  • Transactions are facilitated by flexible, smart and quick ordering, process simplification and cost optimization, and bidding functions for loyalty programs.
  • The design is simple and minimalist with responsive web interface for cross-device access.
  • Built-in mobile device management (MDM) and Geo-location capabilities allow it to track the delivery staff in real time. As a result, customers are provided with highly accurate information regarding delivery time.

Restaurants which are partners of Customer T can create and manage their online menus, choose the areas where they can deliver meals, and set the working hours when they are available for delivery and take-out.

  • The menus are highly customizable, with toppings, side dishes, drinks, desserts, etc.
  • A bidding function enables partner restaurants to bid for daily specials menus.

A simple and straightforward process flow for customers is the key factor to achieve Customer T’s goal of saving time and money.

  • Upon registration, customers will specify their area and choose from a list of available delivery locations. Using per-designated spots for delivery, usually office buildings or campuses, instead of home delivery, helps Customer T simplify the process and optimize cost, which can be passed on to customers for cheaper prices.
  • After logging in, customers are presented with options of ordering meals for Lunch or Dinner. In addition, there are other side options such as favorite and recent orders.
  • Customers then can choose either delivery or take-out meals. If all restaurants available in a particular area are closed for delivery or take-out, customers in that area will be notified immediately at this step, and those options will also be disabled.
  • In the third step, customers will be choosing from a list of available restaurants in their area. Similar to previous step, customers will be notified if any restaurant is closed at the moment.
  • After choosing the restaurant, customers proceed to the menu selection step. They can customize their choices. For instance, they can remove bacon from a carnivore pizza.
  • The ability of the system to automatically disable options, either services or restaurants, if they are unavailable, helps save customers a great deal of time. They do not have to proceed to further steps only to realize that their chosen service or restaurant is closed at the moment.
  • The final step is to check out. Customers only need for pay once, there will not be tips or additional fees required.
  • Customers are also able to suggest new restaurants that should be included in the platform.

Core technologies used in the project: Ruby on Rails, Html/CSS, HAML, Bootstrap, Jquery, Postgres, MongoDB.

Results

  • Thanks to smooth, easy-to-use process flow for both restaurants and customers, Customer T now allows its customers to order meals in less than 15 seconds.
  • Attracting a significant number of users.
  • Winning a significant number of partners.
  • Market coverage starts from New York and then to many states in the USA.
  • Raising a lot of money from investors so far.
  • Other US competitors required significant venture capital and resources to be able to achieve functionalities similar to Customer T’s platform.

Quotes

“I'm absolutely impressed by your excellent technical skills and exceptionally high level of commitment to the overall quality of the project.”
Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Customer T