Dude I Need A Truck
DUDE is an innovation logistics and technology company.
When I first engaged DUDE, it had an on-demand app where customers could order a DUDE with a pick-up truck to help them move items that were too big to fit in their car.
There were three primary supply and demand problems the company faced with this model:
- The cost to acquire users was prohibitive.
Customers generally only used the service 1.5 times per year on average and the per-user price was low, so the company ROI on a per-user basis was negative.
- The cost to onboard drivers was prohibitive.
DUDE’s service was being offered as an on-demand service. This required DUDE to have a large fleet of drivers with pick-up trucks accessible. Often, demand was not consistent – resulting in a significant turnover, burning valuable company resources to constantly onboard new drivers.
- The model was not scalable.
This was due to customer acquisition and driver onboarding costs.
DUDE tasked me with finding a viable model that: 1) reduced customer acquisition costs, 2) reduced driver turnover, and 3) allowed the business to cost-effectively scale into multiple territories.
Through interviews/discussions with DUDE’s heavy users on their app, we discovered that several of the heavy users were home-stagers and these home-stagers were using their service multiple times each week.
Per our interviews, the home-stagers preferred their service over hiring moving companies and felt our DUDE’s drivers were reliable, presentable, attentive to details, followed directions, and liked that the company had no minimums and no penalties for cancellation or changes.
Through our discussions, we learned that home-stagers’ biggest pain-point was working with home-moving companies. Home movers often had large minimums, were often late to jobs, smelled of pot or cigarette smoke and charged large fees for cancellations or schedule changes. The alternative to home movers was to invest in a truck and a team of workers which were cost-prohibitive for most home-stagers.
During our discussions with our customer home-stagers, we found that they believed strongly that the home-staging industry could benefit from a service provider like DUDE that specialized in helping home stagers and could customize their services to specifically address the home-staging marketplace.
I reached out to the President of the Home-Staging Association and explained our proposed home-staging services and how we might be able to help the home-staging Industry. The President confirmed that the logistics of home-staging was a significant pain-point for home-stagers and invited us to their upcoming national convention in Las Vegas which happened to be 30 days away.
We used the convention as a low-cost market test to see if we could secure interest and actual customers willing to pilot this solution. We prepared some initial marketing material specific to home-stagers, purchased a low -cost booth, and leveraged the venue to introduce our services.
The show was a success and our booth was, by far, the most active over the three-day event. We spoke with over 300 home-stagers throughout the country and they loved the concept. We launched our service in Los Angeles and Orange County with 15 home-stagers immediately that provided a steady and consistent stream of business each week and also helped train our DUDE teams. The number of home-stager partners grew to over 50 in California alone and we launched in San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego as well as Austin, Texas, within five months of implementation.
How the new service solved key problems
Reduced acquisition costs.
New home-stager clients often came through referrals with minimal acquisition costs. Once we onboarded a new home-stager, they generated 5-50 jobs a month with the average being over four hours.
Reduced DUDE driver onboarding costs.
The home-staging jobs provided consistent work for our DUDE drivers and all jobs were scheduled at least 48 hours in advance so their drivers did not have to be on-call and could plan their schedules with other jobs they might have. DUDE was able to better manage the supply of DUDE drivers which helped to reduce turnover.
Allowed DUDE to scale quickly.
To set up a new city, we only needed a commitment from 3-4 home-stager businesses that could generate 20 jobs a month. To implement in a new location, we just needed one trained community manager who could onboard and train 3-4 DUDEs.
We grew from a concept to over 250 jobs a month in seven cities within five months of launching.