I always wondered why FedEx and UPS don't offer evening package delivery services. Doorman founder Zander Adell wondered the same thing and he did something about it, he created an evening package delivery service of his own. Zandell is a smart guy: he's a Wharton MBA and he was the Technical Director at Pixar Studios for nearly five years. Once leaving Pixar, he became a kind of serial tech entrepreneur before founding Doorman.
Doorman uses tech to solve a very low tech service: package delivery. Whenever you order something online, it needs to get shipped. Since Amazon isn't rolling out their fleet of delivery drones any time soon, we still need to rely on a person in a truck bringing packages to your door. The problem is, there isn't always someone there when the package gets delivered.
With the increase in online shopping, package delivery trucks are ubiquitous in most US communities. There's also a growing problem with package theft. That's where Doorman comes in; it's kind of like a package concierge service. Packages are delivered to a local Doorman facility and held until you can accept delivery at your home – usually in the evening after work. This eliminates the risk of theft and the inconvenience of having to schlep off to a local FedEx or UPS office to retrieve your package. Pricing is on a delivery by delivery basis or through two monthly subscription options for folks who get a lot of packages.
What Doorman does is “perfect the final moment of e-commerce – the moment when you actually get your stuff.” By offering to deliver packages until midnight, seven days a week, they've eliminated any inconveniences with online shopping. The service is only available in San Francisco, but they plan to expand to New York and Chicago in 2015.
My Take on Doorman's Package Delivery
I think this is a great concept. I hate having to go three towns over to the FedEx facility when I miss a delivery; it eliminates all the reasons why I bought online in the first place: to save travel time. Doorman knows I am not the only one who feels this way.
They've rolled out the service intelligently. Doorman is focusing on urban areas where there's often no good place to leave packages if someone isn't home. If I didn't work at home (even though I do I still miss package delivery sometimes), I would be a customer. We average 2-3 packages a week, so knowing they are secure has value.
I think the shipping companies should integrate Doorman into their model, and that might be what Mr. Adell has in mind. If he can demonstrate the viability and profitability of evening package delivery, he could be a candidate for a buy out from one of the FedEx's of the world. Until Amazon starts sending out their drones, Doorman is the best evening package delivery option out there.
Do Sharks Deliver an Investment?
Doorman is a great concept, but it's ultimately a service business. Mr. Adell must, to borrow from Marcus Lemonis, demonstrate that he has people, process, and product functioning at maximum efficiency and profitability. If the San Francisco operation is profitable, he'll have an interested Shark or two.
Mr. Wonderful will likely say he can open “Mr. Wonderful's Package Delivery Service” while lambasting Mr. Adell that the business isn't proprietary, but when you think about it, most service businesses aren't. A good service business needs more than a good concept – it needs to deliver good service on a consistent basis.
All the Sharks are involved in businesses that ship products, so they should see the value of the convenience involved. The most intriguing aspect of this pitch is whether or not Mr. Adell is building the business to run it or sell it. If he can show he has a handle on customer acquisition and retention costs and that he has a clear growth and exit strategy, he should leave with a deal.