July14 , 2024

Distro Launches Software to Help Small Businesses Make, Pack, and Ship Products From Anywhere


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Distro Launch

Make, pack, and ship products from anywhere with Distro.

Distro (Distro MFG, Inc.) recently launched its software, which enables small businesses to make, pack, and ship products from anywhere by working with skilled makers throughout the U.S. to fulfill their orders, regardless of location. Scaling a business is expensive, so not having to invest in commercial space, inventory or equipment is a game changer for small businesses. Jarek Ostrowski, CEO of Distro, originally developed the software to use for his own business, Lone Birch.

“Commercial space is expensive and a landlord wanted me to commit to five years. Outsourcing also was out of the question — I make handmade products and I’d lose that if they came out of a factory. Regardless, nothing solved my issue of high shipping costs. My products are expensive to ship since they’re on the heavier side.”

Ostrowski, who came from software company GitLab as a designer/developer, looked at his experience working at an all-remote company and knew the same principles could be applied to scale a business that made physical products. “I knew there were people out there with the same equipment who could make my products. I just needed to find them and create software to make it seamless.”

Ostrowski eventually found makers from coast to coast to help make his products from their home shops. Using Distro, he assigns orders based on proximity to the customer, and when they're ready, makers print a label, request pickup, and get paid when orders get sent out. 

“I wanted to completely automate the process. From printing labels to requesting pickup, and even getting paid. I know how heavy the packages are, the size of the boxes. So with that, once the products are made, all they have to do is click a button and have them picked up. After I saw it working on a regular basis, I knew other small businesses could benefit from this, too.”

Using Distro, Lone Birch now saves 60% on shipping to the west coast, sometimes more. “At this point, I can focus on growing sales. If I need to scale production, I can onboard someone in less than a month and find someone in a location where customers are buying. My favorite part is checking the difference in shipping. An order to Washington used to cost $55, but shipping it directly from my maker in Washington, it only costs me $15. It’s the difference between making money and losing it. 

"I love the idea of making a product for someone down the street, even though they’re 1,000 miles away. We’ve had a few orders like that — products made for a customer in the same town as the maker. That really reminds me of what we’re building: something more than just an order management tool. We’re enabling locally made, at scale. Something I didn't think was possible until now.” 

Contact Information:
Jarek Ostrowski
[email protected]

Original Source: Distro Launches Software to Help Small Businesses Make, Pack, and Ship Products From Anywhere