It's become easier for small companies to make and sell physical products in recent years, thanks to innovations such as crowdfunding and 3D printing. But once a product is manufactured, there is still a lot of work to be done -- finding freight services, securing warehouse space, packing and quality assurance. All of this is known as "logistics" in the supply chain world, and finding partners to handle these services can be very difficult and time-intensive for a startup.
Shotput is a company in our current class that makes it easy for companies of any size to find and manage logistics services.
VentureBeat's Ken Yeung wrote about Shotput in a story this week:
"Shotput cofounder James Steinberg describes it as 'Amazon Web Services for fulfillment' in that his service can scale to meet the needs of any company’s products.
Companies that need fulfillment assistance can go to Shotput’s website, enter in their product information–including the weight, size, and amount–and the service will tell you the cost. It’s pay as you go, so there’s no long-term contract. Steinberg claims that his service is better than a typical warehouse as the latter may give you a quote, but once your product arrives, that rate could change and end up costing you more.
Shotput will handle freight to and from the fulfillment center and shipping. Once an order has been placed, the company will pick up your product from the manufacturer and deliver it to the one of its partner warehouses in the U.S. — the closest one to the company’s bulk of customers. The average time for shipping from manufacturer to warehouse and then to customer is approximately 10 days."
Read more about Shotput in VentureBeat here.