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Cabarrus Magazine

Hit a Button. Get a Truck!

Jul 07, 2020 07:53PM ● By Patrick Brouillette

“People in Charlotte can buy a sofa from a store online and then be able to sit on it in their living room that afternoon.”

Small businesses across the country are looking for ways to increase their revenue streams as well as differentiate themselves from the competition. Digital companies are able to be nimble in this unique time in our history while providing tremendous value to other businesses in need. I had the chance to interview one of the co-founders of Bungii — which is being touted as the “Uber for pickup trucks.” Through our conversation, you learn how this fantastic app-based service can not only help small businesses but also those looking for work. The Charlotte market is on the list of future growth markets by the end of 2020, so you will be able to “Bungii it” very soon! 

 

Patrick: Today I am talking to Harrison Proffitt, and he is one of the co-founders of Bungii. Is that right? Is a bunj-I or bung-I?

Harrison: A couple of good tries, but it's actually pronounced Bun-ji, just like Bungee.


Patrick: Like in bungee cord?

Harrison: The tool is BUNGEE, but you know, we've just translated the spelling into BUNGII. Well, play on words. Play on lettering, I guess.


Patrick: Where did you come up with the name?

Harrison: Well, funny story, well cheesy story is, my cofounder, Ben Jackson, and I were doing these local deliveries. And we were trying to think of a name to call the business. And we were looking everywhere surrounding pickup trucks and deliveries where they can truck bed or pick up now or stuff like that. But really, nothing clicked. Until one day we were doing an actual move and I threw Ben, my cofounder, a bungee cord. Hey, hey, Ben. These bungee cords are flexible and reliable, affordable kinda describes our business model. What if we name the company bungee? And then, sure enough, another big part of starting a company is you have to find the right domain and the URL has to be available.


Patrick: So my interpretation of your business is the Uber for pickup trucks. Why don't you give a little bit of a history of what the business model is and where you see yourself going with it?

Harrison: So we started Bungii with the mindset of everybody needs that friend with a truck, right? Everyone has been in that situation. They've bought that couch off of Craigslist, a mattress from the store, or just need to move some things from one apartment to another. And so it's just always awkward for that person to reach out to their friends or their neighbors or even their peers and say, hey, I know you have a pickup truck. So that's what it became. Ben and I, had a pickup truck in college. And it really came to a boiling point one day when he was asked by four different people and one day to move stuff around town. And so then, well, you know, he's a nice guy, but he obviously he got a little frustrated. He's thought to himself that there's got to be a better way to do this. And then he turned to me in class at Kent State University, to me in class one day, said, hey, Harrison, I had this idea last night, kind of an Uber for pickup trucks and Uber for furniture moving idea. What do you think? And I remember sitting back in my chair listening to this idea — the lightbulb just going off. I said, oh, my gosh, that's amazing. Let's start a business. So we walked out of that class with one thing in mind that was "tap a button, get a truck."

 

Patrick: Going back to the March timeframe with COVID and everything, how has that impacted your business? What was the direct impact to you guys?

Harrison: As I spoke to earlier, we are becoming that solution for retailers. And so some of our biggest partnerships and demand come from these large, big-box retailers. We're selling large items like furniture. And so, obviously, with COVID, fewer people were going and shopping in stores, which means less large item deliveries. But what COVID that allowed us to do and really helped us grow in was identifying new uses outside just that consumer delivery option. So the supply chains that are going to have to continue, no matter what the landscape and environment is going on. It allowed us to learn and change our scope of business opportunities and growth opportunities. And so I think were to come out of it stronger than we've ever been.

 

Patrick: There are a lot of companies that are not only just starting up, but there's a lot that has been around and they're just not able to pivot. What things would you recommend for someone that's trying to build a business right now?

Harrison: Well, that's a great question. And speaking directly into the last mile industry, I think there's a huge opportunity. I think so many retailers, restaurant owners, and businesses across the board are looking at the last mile piece now and how to get. Products and services to customers easier than ever before. With contactless options. There's a huge space for, I think a lot of startups who can be nimble and come into these spaces and change things up. But really, from a COVID standpoint, I think for the startups overall, really it always comes down to data. Passion can get people excited, but data is what's going to bring the money.

 

Patrick: What has been your bread and butter to kind of get the word out on your product? Has it been, social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and paid advertising?

Harrison: Initially, it was all digital. Digital marketing really works. We were identifying consumers and use cases and what you want to do is you want to show up in the highest need state of the consumer. When I say need state, it's when someone needs your service at that moment, if you can show up when they need you. That's when you get the highest return. Most conversion of customers. And that's when you can do the most learning so specifically for Bungii it was where people are searching. When are people needing pickup trucks? When are people needing to move?


Patrick: Yeah, that's a good that's a great point because when I bring on an SEO client, I do my research to ensure we target the right audience and search terms.

So you're looking to expand into other markets. How does Charlotte fit into your business model and what would be the benefit to the community as a whole?

Harrison: We’ve got our eye on Charlotte. It’s definitely going to be before the end of 2020, if not early 2021. And on top of that, we're seeing a lot of consumer requests from Charlotte. So we're excited to bring the service to the market, giving convenience to consumers and businesses across the market. I mean, imagine, People in Charlotte can buy a sofa from a store online and then be able to sit on it in their living room that afternoon. That's the convenience we are bringing to the markets. We're super excited to bring jobs to Charlotte. They can afford to go back to school and finish their degrees. We have other Bungii drivers save up for engagement rings for their loved ones. Some pay for their child's medical bills or their own. We've seen so many amazing examples and admirable examples and reasons for people coming and joining the Bungii driver team. So we're just excited to not only bring the platform but allow opportunities for people to make money and to help other people in the community when we come to Charlotte.

 

Patrick: The sign-up process, are there qualifications? Is that through the website or how do they look into that further?

Harrison: People can reach out via our business page or apply to drive. We take driver and consumer satisfaction ratings extremely seriously. Our operations team is doing an amazing job creating training courses and taking in the feedback that we get from our community.

 

Patrick: I think that's important. Constant feedback.

Harrison: Absolutely and I think every business needs to be constantly looking at the net promoter score. If you're familiar with NPS, for those who don't know, it's basically a tool that measures your customer’s willingness to refer your service to other friends and family. Essentially, it goes from negative 100 being you know, I'm never going to refer you to anybody to 100, I'm an evangelist of your service, so in our space the delivery space. The average NPR score is around 13. So it's not great. People are frustrated with delivery. And so the fact that we have an 87 net promoter score is something out of this world and that we are proud of and we continue to build on that.

 

Patrick: Where can people find you online?

Harrison: We're on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter drop us a line or post on our social network sites to hopefully reach you in your city, whether you're in Charlotte or anywhere across America so we're excited to expand.

 

With Bungii opening up in Charlotte soon, make sure to download their app on the Appstore or Google Play Store. To learn more visit Bungii.com


 

Patrick Brouillette

Patrick is the owner of Nationwide Automation LLC, and digital marketing agency based out of Chicago, IL. He has been building websites since the mid-1990s and enjoys partnering with other business owners.

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