‘Uber Eats for Construction Materials’: The Aussie App That Delivers Materials and Tools to Site
If you’re not yet using Getter, or heard of it, you soon might be.
The app allows you to order your construction materials and tools from your phone and get them delivered directly to site.
The Australian company is going from strength to strength after securing $1.4 million in funding from industry investors including Director of GJ Gardner Homes, Darren Wallis.
Ex-tradies and Getter founders, Tom Burton, and Aaron Smith, launched Getter in March 2020. Burton, Getter’s CEO, says the app was born to address construction delays due to tradies having to stop work and grab materials.
“As tradies ourselves, we have seen first-hand the lost productivity that ensues when products or tools need replacing, whether that be on large-scale commercial tower building sites, project home sites or landscaping projects.”
Tradies make unplanned trips to the hardware store on one in every three jobs, costing around $2 billion in labour and vehicle expenses each year, according to research firm AlphaBeta.
“That lost time really adds up across the work week and eats into profits,” he explained.
With a small but experienced remote team across Australia and New Zealand, Getter has big plans. Having raised enough capital to grow from Sydney to Brisbane to Melbourne, the business plans to expand along the east coast.
Sometimes dubbed ‘the Uber Eats for construction materials’, while its key focus is saving time and money in lost productivity by delivering materials on demand, it goes beyond that.
While the business is about on-time, on-demand delivery, the founders value quality over quantity and say it’s about getting the right products for the project; not the number of deliveries per day.
CEO Tom Burton says he deliberately recruits ‘problem solver’ drivers – with extensive product knowledge and understanding of the projects the products will used for.
In doing this, it goes beyond being a delivery service, as the drivers know their stuff and can provide advice should the products ordered not be the right solution.
Or, if there’s a sudden change on site or there could or should be, the drivers can offer alternative solutions.
By employing the right team and building solid foundations with both large wholesalers and smaller local businesses, Getter offers a unique solution.
How it works
Getter connects construction companies and tradies to suppliers by providing a convenient, just-in-time and on-demand delivery of materials to construction sites.
Workers place orders online or via Getter’s app, with flat delivery fees for ‘ASAP’ or ‘scheduled’ delivery services.
Deliveries are charged per kilometre and a quote is provided via the website, with Getter drivers inspecting products before collection to ensure they match the order.
Customised orders or hard-to-find materials
Getter offers two kinds of services – delivery only (in which the tradie/business specifies the product themselves) and source and deliver, in which Getter’s team researches and sources the product, then delivers it.
It offers commonly used building, electrical, plumbing materials, workwear and tools – as well as customised orders and sourcing hard-to-find materials.
It can be used by everyone from tradies, builders, small business owners and weekend project kings and queens to large infrastructure project owners.
Once you’ve registered and downloaded the app, you log on and order your materials. Just like on Uber, you can track your delivery.
Depending on the products, project location and distance, on average, products can be ordered and delivered within 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Risks and challenges: we need better data
Burton says Getter’s biggest challenge continues to be the lack of data around inventory and availability in construction industry. Products listed as“available” online or in store may not be the case in reality, so as the accuracy of wholesalers’ data improves, Getter can source and deliver them even more efficiently.
Agility is key
Acutely aware of the ever-changing industry and market, Getter is an agile business,researching, adapting and evolving and investing in its tech, its team and the business as it grows.
Getter is also all about building relationships with the large wholesalers and the smaller retailers.
“It’s not a threat to their business. They can’t be everywhere at once. They’re still selling the product. It’s about getting those products to the projects that need them,” says Burton.
Getter’s business model is beneficial for both tradies and suppliers.
For tradies, it produces the most efficient way to source trade supplies, and enables them to complete their projects with minimal or no downtime, at reasonable prices.
For suppliers, Getter’s express,on-demand delivery ensures their customers’ needs are satisfied while allowing them to build a strong and loyal customer base.
“We know our clients have built relationships with their suppliers for years, so we’re not here to break those relationships;we’re just closing the gap from shop to site,” says Burton.
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