By Derek du Preez, Computerworld UK | Feb 23, 2012
Shutl  will use its systems to help deliver goods from 83 Maplin  stores across the country to eager customers who do not want to wait standard delivery times. Shutl claims that it can either make the delivery in under an hour and a half, or within a one hour delivery window chosen by the customer.
When shopping on the Maplin website, a customer is now presented with the option to obtain a quote from Shutl, which will be based upon the customer's distance from a Maplin store and the size of the vehicle required to deliver products.
Steve Romney, chief technology officer at Shutl, explained that the company works by aggregating demand from courier companies. "We are a technology platform that aggregates capacity within the same day courier market, so we work with many delivery companies in the UK," explained Romney.
"Each one that signs up to work with us is provided with an interface, whereby they have to specify their coverage areas, what postcodes they can deliver to and what kind of vehicles they have. When we get a request from a company like Maplin, we then have a number of suitable options for quick delivery," he added.
Romney explained that integrating with Maplin wasn't a lengthy process, approximately one month, because Maplin's website already had a view of what stock was available in-store.
"We provided Maplin with our APIs, and their developer just added some logic within their e-commerce application to make sure that when a web request comes through, we are provided with the information we need to generate a quote," he said.
"The product information is stored within Maplin's database, the customer provides all the delivery details, and we have all the courier data," he added.
"However, it was simple because Maplin had stock information from their physical stores integrated with their e-commerce site. A lot of online retailers don't have this level of visibility".
Shutl has said that it's currently achieving over 90 per cent of its deliveries on time, with an average delivery time of approximately 75 minutes.