During a standard grocery run, consumers probably aren’t thinking about the process by which a grocer gets raw produce, fresh bread, or canned beverages onto shelves.
But for the team behind Gimme, an Atlanta-based startup working to improve the invoicing system for the Direct to Store Delivery (DSD) industry, it is an engineering feat.
GIMME started in vending but found its software and hardware could also be beneficial for drivers delivering and tracking produce. “The data standards used to track inventory in a vending machine is a bit obscure, and a bit esoteric…but it happens to be the same as what they use to track fresh deliveries at grocery stores,” said co-founder Corey Hewett.
By streamlining how smaller stores in the foodservice industry invoice not only ensures that there aren’t payment delays, but also that deliveries are safely brought to grocery stores. The wireless data exchange (DEX) adaptor was designed with long battery life for delivery drivers on the road for many hours.
Co-founders Evan Jarecki and Corey Hewett spoke with Hypepotamus late last year as the team rolled out their newly engineered Key Pro Wireless DEX Adapter.
Jarecki told Hypepotamus that the need to re-engineer the invoicing tool came from talking to drivers who work in all sorts of environments. The main concern: durability.
Not only did drivers need a wireless option to ensure invoicing could be completed on the road and businesses could move away from handwritten paper trails, but they also needed a tool that could survive being left in a hot car or accidentally dropped into liquid.
“Our original device was living inside a vending machine and no consumer was seeing it. But for this [key], it is very visible and it carried around, so even things like building in a carabiner hook…made a difference.”
Admittedly, the team said creating such a tool took a lot of creativity to engineer. But it also lent to some pretty unique marketing opportunities that showcase how the key can withstand fire, ice, and everything in between.
The grocery store part of Gimme’s business no doubt expanded in the wake of the pandemic, as conversations about safe delivery and overall food supply chain took center stage during the pandemic. But their vending product also received accolades, including the 2020 Readers’ Choice Product of the Year in the technology and equipment category by Automatic Merchandiser’s.