Why did you found the company?
The MPD Group is a result of my frustration with the lack of choice available to retailers when it comes to technology and delivery services.
In the past the technology to support retailers with delivery just hasn’t been good enough – it’s either too clunky or hard to integrate for larger retailers, or completely out of reach for smaller ecommerce companies.
The MPD Group currently houses two solutions – Electio is a brand new Delivery Management Platform that allows retailers to meet their customers’ ever-growing delivery expectations. My Parcel Delivery gives SMEs more control over how they send their parcels, gives them a wealth of options when it comes to delivery services and helps them to save money.
What problems are you solving for ecommerce professionals?
Up until now it’s been really difficult for retailers to improve the delivery options that they offer to customers. We wanted to find ways to give retailers that freedom of choice and to help them become more efficient and flexible.
For larger retailers the pressure is on to continually improve the customer experience. But the technology to support them in that either hasn’t been up to scratch or retailers have been plagued by complex integration and below par client service.
The Electio Delivery Management Platform has turned that reputation on its head. The software offers retailers access to over 100 services from the world’s leading carriers. Its dynamic allocation engine always chooses the best delivery service for each consignment, based on set criteria such as price or dimensions. And crucially, the API integration can take as little as three weeks.
For SMEs, I wanted to help them overcome the challenges I faced when I first started out in business – stuck with one or two delivery partners and no bargaining power. Convenience didn’t even factor into the equation. I knew that, by harnessing the bulk buying power of thousands of smaller companies, we could get better rates and service for everyone.
My Parcel Delivery is a comparison website that gives customers a convenient and simple way to access discounted prices. It levels the playing field for smaller retailers looking to book a range of delivery services for either UK or international destinations, with options such as home/office collection, click and collect, pick-up and drop-off services, as well as next day, same day, economy and weekend delivery.
What aspect of the company keeps you most motivated?
New technology and what it enables us to do. This is a hugely exciting time for the online retail industry. The more we deliver to customers, the more they demand. Having a technical team that can make sure our software is as flexible and cutting edge as it can be keeps me motivated.
Ultimately, we want to keep making things better and easier for retailers and consumers, and we can only do this by being at the forefront of changes in the industry as they happen.
What opportunities are arising and how are you preparing for them?
Having My Parcel Delivery and Electio under one roof helps us move towards our vision of enabling any size of retailer to get parcels from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world by helping them to be quicker, more efficient and more flexible.
But we have to keep working towards this vision by finding new partnership opportunities and potential acquisitions so we can offer our customers even more.
What do your customers say about you?
We listen to what our customers want. Our My Parcel Delivery customers love the tools that we’ve built because they instantly give them the ability to send bigger volumes of parcels – quickly, easily and more cheaply.
Similarly we have people queuing up to use Electio because they've seen the difference it can make to their business.
We’re always out there trying to find new and better ways of doing things. But we’re also accountable and do whatever we can to support our clients in their growth.
What do you think the current big issues are for the sector?
Meeting consumers’ ever increasing demands, without question. Customers want more visibility and control over when and where they receive their goods. But the conundrum for retailers is how they meet these growing expectations in the most convenient way, and again, without it being too costly.
From a carrier perspective, they need to make sure they’re on top of the latest technologies and that their business models are sustainable, so they can keep up with demand while still being profitable. City Link’s demise proves there are lessons to be learnt there.
Retailers need stable carrier relationships before they can contemplate offering a wider range of delivery options.
We shouldn’t rule anything out when it comes to delivery models – one of the more radical solutions, alongside drones, is to get consumers themselves to deliver parcels when they’re travelling around the country. The key is to combine our gut instincts, with the knowledge we have built up over the years, in order to make informed decisions about what is likely to offer genuine convenience at the right price.
If you had to summarise your view in a sentence, what would it be?
Be fanatical about constantly listening to customers, staying one step ahead of the market so we can respond to new trends – and underpinning everything with the best technology.