Hans van Nikkelen Kuijper,
CEO at Sesam Solutions

We needed to find technical partners able to translate a concept into a tangible solution, make use of the newest technology available and get the product to market fast. BusyMachines matched our needs and requirements.

The customer

Parcer is one of those amazing tech companies which enable smart cities to rise. Launched in 2014, Parcer designed a smart internet-enabled mailbox whose mission is to create a seamless customer experience when sending and receiving parcels. The platform integrates with a wide ecosystem of eCommerce and delivery companies and helps people send and receive parcels 24/7, without having to be at home.

Driven by a pain point identified in their day-to-day life, Hans van Nikkelen Kuijper, along with 3 successful entrepreneurs, brought Parcer to life: “As we all know, there’s an increasing number of online orders and that’s a global trend, not only in the Netherlands. Online shopping is really booming and with an increase of goods to be delivered comes the annoyance that you’re not going to be at home when the parcel’s delivered because you’re at work or the other way around. So basically, this is the struggle: you try your best to get the fastest delivery, the parcel gets the next day, but you’re not there to pick it up.” The founders of Parcer analysed the current state of technology, undertook thorough market research and put their minds together to find a solution.

The old situation

By putting together their individual expertise and experience in the field of logistics, technology, eCommerce and design, the founders of Parcer created a smart and innovative technology meant to revolutionise the world of home deliveries. That’s how the first concept of the unique patented smart Parcer technology came to life, making it possible to provide remote access to specific objects to a specific area at a specific time. Once the technology was set, the company had to find the right partners to help integrate it into a state-of-the-art mailbox.

At that time, we managed to identify the need of the market and we translated this need into a technology concept, then we started looking for suppliers, partners to help us build the solution. BusyMachines was able to help us from the start with the requirements, the platform and with building the apps.”

The biggest challenge at that time was also what set the company apart from other companies: the novelty of the technology: “We’re talking about an internet-of-things solution connected to a mailbox. There weren’t any such products on our market before we launched Parcer.” In other words, that meant they had to find skilled partners able to translate a concept into a tangible solution, make use of the newest technology available and be able to get the product to market as fast as possible: “This was the main criteria we used to hand pick our partners and BusyMachines was one of them. You were capable of handling this new technology. You already had, at that time, the ability and competences to work on that. The skillset and work process of BusyMachines matched our needs and our requirements in terms of software and platform-development.”

The solution

The technical challenge for BusyMachines consisted in building a communication platform for locking and unlocking a remote low energy postal box. The platform needed a robust and stable environment, but it also required to allow rapid scale-up. The answer was a software solution that communicates via a low power IoT infrastructure (ie. SigFox) and minimises data transfers using smart access codes. BusyMachines is responsible for the technical architecture of Parcer and the implementation of the complete software solution. The team at BusyMachines also designed and automated the entire cloud production infrastructure.

Asked how he feels about BusyMachines’ nearshoring model, Hans admitted that fears related to having a remote team are natural due to potentially shorter communication lines, but BusyMachines overcame these barriers by having a very steady process in place: “I think that the structure that BusyMachines has implemented – having people close to the customer, a sort-of-a back office capable of programming remotely, that works just fine.”

Benefits of working with BusyMachines

Good system for work processes
Technological expertise
Good collaboration
Communication efficiency
Attractive rates

The lean approach used by BusyMachines is also highly appreciated by the team over at Parcer. Work is organized into sprints, time-boxed delivery cycles that help keep the team focused on the goal: “I like how work is organized into weekly sprints, it makes it digestible. From my experience, in this line of work, it’s easy to get sidetracked and add a lot of functionality to the basic requirements, which adds an extra cost and extra hours to the development without even realizing it. By having weekly sprints, you don’t forget about the scope and you’re able to control things a lot better.”

“What I liked most about the collaboration with the team is that we have a single point of contact – a person responsible with the communication and the project progress. On the backend, everything is organised, so it’s hassle-free, you don’t need any additional communication in order to get things done.”

As far as the future plans are concerned, Parcer will definitely continue working with BusyMachines. Afterall, they’ve just brought a minimum viable product to market in order to collect as much info about their customers as possible

“Now we’re analysing this feedback and turning it into additional requirements. There will be next steps in the development of the platform and this is something we intend to do together with the BusyMachines team.”

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Pavel Katz, CTO of Europeana