Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Interview with Matt DeWolf, Routesmith
RouteSmith (www.routesmith.com) is an angel-funded, Denver-based startup developing software for the delivery market. We caught up recently with Matt DeWolf, President of Sales and Marketing and co-founder of the company to better understand what their product does and where the company is.
Techrockies: Tell us a bit about RouteSmith--what does your software do, and who uses your product?
Matt DeWolf: RouteSmith is web based software (an ASP model) that provides delivery management and route optimization solutions for small & medium size businesses (SMB). Our typical customers are retailers who sell and deliver appliances, TVs, furniture, sporting goods and consumer electronics to their customers’ homes. Our clients use RouteSmith to increase employee efficiency, reduce fuel costs and accelerate throughput.
For example, Mattress King of Colorado is a RouteSmith customer who was able to reduce their manual route planning time from 6.5 hours per day to less than 1 hour per day. With the help of RouteSmith, Mattress King can also deliver more mattresses per day with the same resources they currently have. This helps them drive top line growth.
Most of our competitors target large enterprises that have complex needs. Those companies have traditionally been cost prohibitive for small and medium size companies to use. Through the use of advanced web services and our own proprietary logistics processes, RouteSmith has been able to create a sophisticated and affordable solution for companies that have been historically priced out of the market.
Amazingly, each day in the U.S. an estimated 21 million trucks make 245 million stops. Yet, 72 percent of route planning operations are still done manually. RouteSmith addresses a specialized segment of the $2B Mobile Resource Management industry, which is expected to growth rapidly during the next five years as fuel costs continue to rise.
Techrockies: Where'd the idea for the company come from, and why did you decide to start the company?
Matt DeWolf: As a side project in 2004, my business partner, Jeff Smith, a software developer at a large financial services firm and with a background in higher mathematics, wrote a software application for the owner of a Dallas-based appliance distributor with a fleet of 10 trucks that performed home delivery and assembly for Sears. Jeff’s application helped them streamline their routes and drastically cut planning time, which was a part-time job in itself.
Jeff and I were co-workers at the time and he asked if I was interested in helping develop the software into a business. I jumped at the opportunity. We landed Denver-based Mattress King as a customer in August 2005 and kept steadily adding new accounts.
Techrockies: How is the company funded?
Matt DeWolf: RouteSmith’s launch was self-financed by Jeff and me. An angel investor was added in early 2006. The company has grown organically without an infusion of outside capital; however, we are currently seeking additional investment.
Techrockies: How far along is RouteSmith in terms of products and customers?
Matt DeWolf: We currently have about 15 customers, most of whom are retailers in the vertical markets I mentioned earlier. Our product is nearly complete for these companies, and we are actively branching into adjacent markets, such as home healthcare services, consumer services and local trucking companies. Our main focus for the time being is on our core market segments of TV, appliance, furniture and sporting goods retailers.
Techrockies: Thanks for the interview!