VOLO Software Development Outsourcing Company's Blog

Skipti: Streamlining Rental, Repair, and Delivery Management

7 Mar 2024

Software Development for SkiptiAn Interview with Lynn Platow, COO of Skipti

Watch the Interview on Youtube 

Skipti is a SaaS platform that automates the sustainable commerce experience. Skipti's rental platform changes the way consumers access goods, providing a cost-effective alternative to traditional purchasing. By offering a wide range of items for rent, from household appliances to outdoor gear, Skipti empowers individuals to make sustainable choices without compromising on convenience. Customers can simply browse the platform, select the items they need, and have them delivered right to their doorsteps. This not only saves time and energy spent on shopping but also contributes to the reduction of consumer waste by promoting a circular economy model. With Skipti, individuals can embrace a more eco-conscious lifestyle while enjoying the benefits of flexible and affordable access to the products they need.

Can you tell us about Skipti and its mission?

Lynn Platow (LP): "We power circular economy, we power anything that needs to go out and come back.  That's what our sweet spot is. So rentals, demos, repairs, anything that has to go out to a customer and come back. We schedule that  and then deliver that. It's pretty seamless for our customers, they can click it on the phone and  they choose their schedule when they want their item to arrive, and we check in  our inventory to see when it's available. When those match up, our item goes out, gets delivered to them, when they're done using it, it comes back to our retailer. It's  pretty seamless. That way they don't have to own anything. We can live a little bit lighter that way."

What are the key features of your platform?

LP: "I think one of our key features is our inventory management system. Understanding which item went out, understanding when it went out, and tracking that throughout the process helps us maintain the item. So, if there's damage, if there's a problem, we know exactly when it happened, where it  happened, and we're able to take that item out of rotation pretty immediately and get it maintained and then back on the floor."

How did you hear about VOLO?

LP: "We have teams, kind of, all over the world and everybody seems to know somebody else. Our CTO, Michael, heard about VOLO through the grapevine and we decided that it sounded like a very good fit for our team. You are very diverse and it's exactly what we needed, especially during our startup phase when we didn't quite know what we needed exactly. So, we had a recommendation through a mutual colleague, I think, and we started working together on a smaller scale and have grown the team with VOLO as needed, and now we have a pretty full stack of VOLO members."

How did VOLO help you as a startup?

LP: "VOLO was exceptionally helpful in being nimble. When we didn't know what we needed next, having someone stand by to jump into that role and try to fill it, that's where, I think, VOLO became a great match for us. We would say: "Well, we don't know if we have funding yet, and if we have funding, we're going to need to start up and ramp up very fast.” So, VOLO got everybody on deck and prepped and ready, in case we got that funding and when we did, everyone was ready and on board. So, I think just hearing us, understanding our product, and really just being there to listen and get ready for what's next was how VOLO was exceptionally helpful. In the very beginning we had a small team at VOLO, and now, throughout the years, it's kind of grown and gotten smaller and grown and gotten smaller based on the project needs.”

Did you have any preconceptions about outsourcing?

LP: "I know that sometimes people will be a little leery about working remotely. We aren't. Personally, I've worked remotely since 2003. I used to run a design agency back then and when I moved to Europe, I was not able to meet face to face. So, we worked via Skype in 2003 and what I found then that we applied here is that if you don't limit yourself to a geographical area, you get talent that you wouldn't have had otherwise. So, we were excited to work remotely, we were excited  to work with you, guys, because of your background and because of the colors that your experience has brought to us. We get to work with experts from wherever they are and so our entire team is now full of these experts because we're not limited by area."

Were there any challenges during the working process?

LP: "There's always the time zone challenge, that's always to be expected. Our team in the States is across the country so we have that time zone challenge but that was easy to overcome just by managing expectations and working on Slack. Having a very open communication flow made that a non-issue. So, that's been great. As far as other challenges, just startup challenges - our clients come to us and say: "Oh, I know we told you we want this but why doesn't it do this?" and then we have to decide if we're going to provide it for them or tell them: "No, that's not what we agreed on''. VOLO has been very patient with that process and understands that process too. Sometimes you have to give to the customer to get to the next step and VOLO has understood that from the start. So, those challenges have been very easy to overcome. "

What has been your experience working with VOLO?

LP: "I met the VOLO team in person for the first time about an hour ago when I flew into Armenia and I feel like I've known them my whole life. I mean, we hugged and it was like they are family because we have been through thick and thin. We've had projects fail throughout the process, we've had projects start and stop again. We've had to bring on team members, we had to lay off team members and every time that happens, you know, there's a personal ownership that you can tell that the team has when a project that we've worked together so hard on doesn't move forward. Then there's also a real big excitement when it does, when it comes back, and we say: "all right we're ready to do this," and everyone jumps right on board and is excited because this is what they've built with us. So, I don't feel like VOLO is an outside team. VOLO is part of our team. I mean we're all a team together and I have felt that from day one."

What notable achievements or outcomes have resulted from your partnership with VOLO?

LP: "There are clients that would come to us with such problems that we would say: "Oh my gosh, I don't know how we're going to do this," and everyone's like: “No, we could do this, we'll figure this out," and that has brought us to the next level with those clients. So, without a team like that, without a team that's going to actually think about it and say: "No, we're not stopping here, we're going to make this work, we're going to get to the next level," we wouldn’t be where we are with our clients now. And it's always "WE" - this is what we need to do - and they'll tell us too, like - hey you need to do this, so I can do this - and that's leveled us up over and over."

Would you recommend VOLO?

LP: "I don't know why you wouldn't work with a company that works like VOLO does. Someone that actually listens to your problem, understands your problem, comes up with solutions to your problem, understands when you say: "Well, I don't think that's a good solution to the problem," and says: "Okay, maybe not." And there are times where you say: "Oh, I never would have thought of that.” So, absolutely, I would recommend VOLO. I can't imagine working any other way. I think any team would benefit from having a remote team instead of an in-house team in many ways. It's a lot more nimble. It's a lot lighter on the company and I think you can actually get more done, especially during the startup phases when you don't really know what you need yet."

Software Development for Skipti

Parting Thoughts

Skipti's partnership with VOLO has been pivotal in their growth, providing flexibility, diverse talent, and innovative solutions to navigate the challenges of the circular economy.

If you are still in doubt whether or not having a remote software team is what your organization needs, our experts are here to look into your specific business case and offer the most optimal solution. 

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