If you’ve ever asked, “Who is RunBuggy?”, “What does RunBuggy do?”, hopefully this post answers those questions.
Who is RunBuggy and What Does RunBuggy Do?
RunBuggy is a technology platform that connects cars shippers and haulers through an easy-to-use app. RunBuggy’s open marketplace enables car shippers (ex. Online platforms, dealers, auctions, OEMs, lenders, etc.) to quickly place a transportation order, receive instant, upfront pricing and have their car(s) picked up and delivered anywhere in the contiguous U.S. by verified car transporters.
What problem or opportunity does RunBuggy address?
The logistics industry has long been fragmented and antiquated in adoption of technology. There are some large national or regional asset-based transportation companies that largely rely on regimented schedules, static routes, and full truckloads to operate as efficiently as possible. On the other end of the spectrum, the vast majority of the car hauling industry is comprised of independent owner-operators maintaining fleets of one to a few dozen transport trucks. Both types of transporters have relied on manual processes, physical paperwork, hidden and moving prices, multiple middlemen, and an overall lack of transparency has thrown a blanket over the industry.
Large shippers moving thousands of vehicles were limited to the rigidity of large asset-based companies to ensure adequate coverage for full truckloads traveling over major lanes. Smaller shippers moving smaller volumes were constrained by the relationships they had with the few truckers or brokers they knew. A complicated web of brokers, negotiations, lost paperwork, questionable reliability, and overall lack of transparency stifled innovation. There was no convenient way for large shippers to move single vehicles or anything that was not scheduled well in advance along well-traveled routes, and there was no way a small shipper could navigate through a sea of transporters to find who they needed, when they needed them, where they needed them to go. For both transporter and shipper, this was the status quo for decades.
Along the way, there have been attempts at modernizing automotive logistics. Electronic load boards have served as community bulletin boards to hunt through to match Shippers and Transporters, but connections happen manually, sometimes requiring dozens of phone calls and weeks to settle a single transaction. Some brokers offer slick websites promising transparency, yet rely on emailed quotes with little reassurance that the quote or experience will live up to the initial pitch.
Unfortunately for companies and consumers who have grown accustomed to Amazon-levels of convenience for getting something as trivial as toothpaste delivered to their home, there has been no method for one or thousands of cars to reliably and efficiently be moved between any two points across the continental U.S.
With the introduction of RunBuggy, car transportation became digital. RunBuggy is an infinitely scalable platform where Shippers connect with a coast-to-coast network of vetted Transporters, who use the free-to-use App to coordinate, communicate, and complete all parts of automotive transportation. With a simple smartphone, the driver can claim an order, capture and immediately share pickup and drop-off pictures, provide dynamic ETA updates, and parties can send messages to each other via App notifications or SMS. All paperwork is digitized and payment is facilitated through the system, so the transporter is paid within days instead of weeks.
RunBuggy generates an upfront, transparent and competitive fare for the Shipper and payout for the Transporter, eliminating the need for unnecessary back and forth. This real price, rather than a general range, builds trust and enables companies to integrate transportation costs into the sales process, so that a shopper knows right away how much it will cost to get a car moved from Point A to Point B, down to the penny.
This disruptive modernization of automotive logistics has proven to be a game changer on multiple levels, for many user groups. Not only has it driven exceptional operational efficiencies for Shippers and Transporters involved with traditional re-marketing, but more significantly it has unlocked the full capabilities of digital retailing with proven results at scale; tens of thousands of home deliveries have been facilitated through RunBuggy.
Who does RunBuggy work with?
RunBuggy began relationships with large captive finance companies by taking on traditional re-marketing moves in late 2019; typically off lease vehicles getting picked up from dealers and taken to the auction. With individuals turning in vehicles one at a time, vehicles often stacked up on dealers’ lots until enough for a truckload was gathered. Unfortunately for dealers with limited lot space, this meant that they were often waiting for weeks for the incumbent transportation providers to remove vehicles from their lots.
RunBuggy’s open network of transporters made light work of lease returns for dealers, driving down the average delivery time to a matter of days. Not only did this free up dealer lots much quicker, but moving vehicles to the auction reduced holding and depreciation costs, helping the captives realize millions of dollars in savings.
When Covid struck and dealerships across the country were locked down, RunBuggy sprang into action. In a matter of days, they helped a number of global OEM captives pivot from dealers grounding vehicles, to picking up lease maturities directly from consumers and taking them to auction. RunBuggy’s network of transporters picked up thousands of vehicles safely and securely from customers’ homes, which served as the catalyst for revolutionizing modern retailing.
RunBuggy has since expanded the relationship with these captives, taking on a majority of their lease returns and moving repossessed vehicles from storage lots to the auction, while facilitating all home pickups. RunBuggy’s developers, data scientists, and operations team members help with creative solutions as our clients develop core components of their future dealer and customer facing digital platforms that never would have been possible without RunBuggy’s technology and open marketplace.
What makes RunBuggy a “Game Changer”?
There are numerous companies focused on evolving the automotive retail experience. Many initiatives focus on driving leads, providing details about a vehicle, or promising price or financing transparency. For all the efforts helping to facilitate the digital purchase of a vehicle, one question has remained unanswered; how do the cars actually get moved?
If customers lived close enough to the selling dealership, a salesperson could drop off the vehicle if the customer didn’t come in to take delivery. But what if that customer lived 200 miles away? Or 2,000? That transaction likely never would have occurred, or if it did it required significant investment of time and resources to find someone to move it, or fly and drive it home.
Traditional large asset-based trucking companies are limited by the size and range of their fleet. They don’t have the flexibility to adjust to any route, anywhere in the country, to deliver one vehicle. Smaller companies didn’t have the means to be able to locate cars that needed to be moved. No one had a reliable, transparent, solid price to be able to transact around.
As an open platform for any verified transporter, Shippers have a scalable platform to get any number of vehicles moved by the 15,000+ drivers that have been onboarded onto the system.
RunBuggy’s asset-light nature gives it a strategic advantage over asset-based companies, who are inherently biased towards the utilization of their trucks. They also have decades of legacy processes and systems which are not built to be seamless and secure for external partners.
RunBuggy is cloud-native, with bank-grade cyber-security. Our data science team has developed sophisticated Machine Learning to identify efficient order suggestions to vehicles move faster with fewer carbon emissions.
Exceptions and transportation damage are inevitable in transportation. RunBuggy’s experienced operations and customer service team steps in to resolve escalated issues. We also help to facilitate consumer calls and engagements, including an available White Glove Concierge Services line.
With a nearly 200 person organization dedicated solely to disrupting automotive logistics, RunBuggy has a several year head start, along with an already-established nationwide network of verified transporters.
Many large Shippers are reevaluating the decision to pursue purchasing hundreds of millions of dollars in building out their own fleet of trucks that often operate inefficiently, with less than full loads, unpredictable routes due to customer purchases, and increasing operating costs. Instead they are choosing a capital efficient approach with RunBuggy’s technology, network of transporters, and zero integration fees. RunBuggy is able to integrate with any system in the industry, freeing up large numbers of administrators to focus on other areas that truly need troubleshooting.
How does RunBuggy measure up?
The 15,000+ Drivers on the RunBuggy network have moved hundreds of thousands of cars between tens of thousands of unique addresses. This is highly significant as the legacy transportation companies traditionally focus on moving cars between the fewest amount of locations as possible.
In addition to the capacity for added complexity, many Shippers experience tremendous performance gains in traditional re-marketing moves. For example, RunBuggy helped a globally renown captive finance company decrease the average time to move their vehicles to the auction from 7+days down to 3.2. Considering a modest $15/day in holding costs, this added up to $6.8M in savings on an annualized basis.
They were able to realize these gains with no software subscription or integration fees, just the cost of the transportation which is in line with market costs. Software, integration, and other fee savings per year are in the magnitude of millions of dollars.
RunBuggy also saved large captives from reputation and regulatory risk, providing relief during the early days of Covid to lessees whose lease terms had matured, and there were no other methods to return the vehicle, other than RunBuggy facilitating the pickup from their home.
What are some of the challenges RunBuggy has overcome?
Innovation has not historically flowed through the automotive transportation industry. As a result, the limitations of the status-quo has largely been accepted and many workarounds have been woven over the years. It has been challenging for some organizations to realize that there is a solution to what has been just accepted as a drag on the business, then align multiple stakeholders to develop new and unique solution. RunBuggy has evolved to provide Transportation as a Service, evolving our Professional Services capabilities to help guide organizations through the business transformation of embracing a digitally enabled transportation platform across multiple departments.
We don’t win RFPs by selling a cheaper widget, or by making unfounded promises that are inevitably broken or unable to be proven. This isn’t vaporware; RunBuggy’s technology and the strength of our team members’ diverse expertise across automotive, technology, logistics, finance, operations, and customer services is here to help those looking to invest in the next phase of their company’s growth. Our experience developing real solutions have enabled us to help companies navigate through ambiguity or uncertainty of how to develop a path forward.
Has RunBuggy been recognized for its innovation?
RunBuggy enjoys a significant “head start” advantage given the platform was built using the latest cloud and open source standards – we did not have a legacy application or operation that needed to be adjusted. RunBuggy was “born in the cloud”. As such, we have incorporated many of the technology world’s best practices including multi-layered cybersecurity, machine learning algorithms, and advanced data analytics. These technologies and best practices have been tested and validated across hundreds of thousands of car shipments to tens of thousands of unique addresses for some of the largest and most sophisticated automotive companies on the planet. These facts have afforded RunBuggy a substantial barrier to entry.
Who built RunBuggy?
The RunBuggy platform has been designed, engineered, tested, optimized and deployed entirely “in house”. We maintain a full-time staff of developers, designers and product engineers. When the RunBuggy platform is integrated with our customer’s management systems, there is a great deal of collaboration that occurs. RunBuggy is integrated with a number of OEMs and online retailers and auctions.