The sort of logistics management software that made just-in-time inventory possible to create trends like ridesharing and flash fashion is spreading.
A laundry pickup and delivery service that is currently only serving parts of Brooklyn (a portion of Bushwick, and all of Williamsburg and Greenpoint), Salama said he created it out of a sense that walking into a dry cleaners storefront today is like stepping back in time 20 years, from customer service and convenience.
On the technology side, FlyCleaners might remind you of local food delivery startup GoodEggs, in terms of flexible pickup and delivery teams. FlyCleaners drivers don’t know where they are going next until they finish a pickup or dropoff: an algorithm decides that for them.
Traditional laundry services print out a driving route for drivers each morning and it doesn’t change. With FlyCleaners’ system, if a driver happens to be two doors down from someone who just put in a pickup order, the system can send that pickup to the driver (or “Fly Guy”) just as the order goes in.
- Because all parts of the laundry process are tracked, including each delivery vehicle, FlyCleaners users get to-the-minute estimates for when their clothes will be delivered.
- When an order is finished, users get the option of requesting the clothes move immediately into delivery, or scheduling a delivery within a one hour range.
- FlyCleaners is trying to solve what Salama called, “The Cable Company Problem,” where you get a time range for expected arrival that can span half a day.
Up next, Salama told us that the company is looking for ways to get greener. That’s another problem technology may be able to solve: if customers who live near each other ask for pickups at the same time, that will save drivers miles driven.
In Philadelphia, there’s a service that solves that problem by doing pickups by bicycle. Salama said that FlyCleaners launched in Brooklyn because this is a place that welcomes new ways to solve old problems. Plus, Brooklynites are commuters. Traditional business hours don’t work for a lot of people here, which gives the service an advantage. In the next few months, look for it to expand along the western parts of the borough, as well as parts of Manhattan and potentially parts of Queens.