Island company delivers new app

New technology created to meet customer needs during pandemic.

The Port Supply Co. is a new mobile app and online platform that allows Islanders to order food and other goods for contactless pickup and delivery. This practice has become essential during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to avoid spreading the virus. The software was created by Patrick and Ted Courtney and Sarah and Josh Mangerson as a “local, small-business-friendly alternative” to popular third-party delivery apps.

According to Josh Mangerson, technology lead and co-founder of Port Supply Co., the company started when Patrick and Ted Courtney began considering a third-party delivery app for their own businesses. They quickly discovered how expensive it can be to partner with companies like Grubhub and DoorDash. “It takes a lot away from the small businesses,” Josh Mangerson said. “My background’s technology, and Sarah’s is design, so we all put our heads together and said, ‘What if we built a platform that had similar functionality to the traditional third-party delivery apps, but was business-friendly?’”

According to a press release, traditional third-party apps often charge businesses high monthly fees, and take commissions of up to 20 percent on each delivery. The Port Supply Co. instead charges customers a “6.5 percent service fee, which covers credit card processing (3.5 percent) and a minimal service charge (3 percent).”

“We’re charging the customer,” Mangerson said, “but what you get for that is the confidence that everyone is considering what we need to do to serve and get products out into the marketplace safely.” With designated pickup times and online purchasing, Port Supply Co. offers a socially-distant alternative to waiting in line or exchanging cash.

Island residents and visitors can access the Port Supply Co. marketplace online, or download the app on the Apple App Store and Google Play. After setting up an account and entering credit card information, customers can place pickup orders online with a variety of local businesses.

MV Mycological, the Larder, the FV Martha Rose, and soon, Island Wampum, are a few of the Island businesses already partnered with Port Supply Co., as well as two Edgartown restaurants owned by Patrick and Ted Courtney — the Port Hunter and the Covington. The four co-founders have been in touch with additional Island businesses and, according to Mangerson, interest is building. “We’re booked for adding anyone this week,” Mangerson said. “Next week we’ll be fielding more inquiries, I’m sure.”

The Port Supply Co. doesn’t offer delivery yet, but the co-founders hope to introduce the option in the coming weeks. “Because of the uncertainty, and what the state is saying and the health departments on Island are saying, we’re not allowing the deliveries to go out yet,” Mangerson said. “When they do go out, they’ll have to be through merchant delivery drivers — they won’t be third-party outsource drivers, like other third-party delivery apps.”
While the Port Supply Co. does hope to see expansion long-term, its current sights are set on the present. “Our focus right now is the Island. How do we help everybody have a really good summer, and get the most out of the seasonal economy that they can, at the lowest cost and in the safest way?” Mangerson said.

Port Supply Co. will also use a portion of its revenue to help those who have had to turn to food pantries because they’re out of work. “We know that not everybody is going to have access to buy things on this platform,” Mangerson said. “So if you make a purchase on Port Supply Co., a portion of the service fee we charge will be donated to the Island Food Pantry.”
Businesses who are interested in working with Port Supply Co. can email info@theportsupply.com , as listed on the website. Businesses who reach out will receive a link to create a merchant dashboard, and a user manual with instructions for setup, free of charge.

After initial communication, businesses are free to proceed as usual. “We’re not managing anything, we’re providing a digital platform that a store can build on for free,” Mangerson said. “So we’ll give you the user guide and help you get set up, but then it just becomes managing any other business.”

Mangerson acknowledged that businesses may have questions or run into issues when familiarizing themselves with the Port Supply Co. platform. “We’re here to work through that with anybody who is interested in working with us,” he said. “You’ll have our support and our help.”

“It just goes back to what everybody is saying right now: We’re all in this together,” Mangerson said. “We want to come up with solutions that help everybody, and hopefully that’s what we’ve built here.”

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. If you’re going to pick up what you’ve ordered through this app, why not call the business yourself to place the order and save yourself the cost of the middleman?

  2. jackie, thank you. i was thinking, “is it me? do i just not understand this?” i don’t wish to be negative towards people trying to start a business and be helpful. but i am thinking that when i order take out and pick it up myself, i just do that and charge it to my credit card. there is no fee involved.

  3. Yes agreed, what value does this add for Island businesses? They say it helps local businesses reduce the fees of services such as GrubHub, but who the heck uses GrubHub on the island? This is not a delivery service either, it’s just an alternative way of ordering with additional costs. I prefer to simply pick up my phone and dial in for take-out which almost all businesses here support. Seems like people trying to profit off of this pandemic. Not a fan.

  4. I don’t know…..I got two dozen Oysters delivered to my door. Oyster Farmer got $24. The App got $1.56. Seems like a good thing for the Oyster Farmer…

    • I didn’t realize the app did delivery from reading the article, if that’s the case then there’s definitely value to it.

  5. It can go both ways , it’s good to have a one stop shop option , then the company gets the order automatically , probably gets a notification and the order is ready to pick up . This is good for the business and the customer , many island businesses are short staffed making picking up phone orders difficult , unable to manage pick and orders efficiently this will give both customers and businesses a more streamlined approach to managing the flow especially for the influx of tourists and vacationers and summer residents . There is not enough staffing to keep up right now and the less contact the better.
    Trying to get through to a store with a line and or who is managing curbside is not easy or efficient for employees or owners. It’s a great idea and essential service and a means to an end for many. There are some places it’s easy to order and pick up but let’s say for , landscaping or gardening , this is a great option for that.
    I like it ! And I like the name too! Reminds me of ships delivering goods.

  6. This is a great idea. I see this app as a generous offer to both businesses and consumers. As a consumer, I want to support those businesses that I love on Island. If it means that I pay a little more to make sure that we all stay safe then I am all in. If it means that I don’t have to call two dozen times or more to get through to place an order for takeout then that is more efficient. If this helps restaurants to time pickups so that we have fewer people congregating for their takeout, that’s safer. If it provides restaurants with revenue so that they don’t have to push to open their doors before its safe, then that too is better. If it means that the our fisheries have another platform to sell their catch when major markets are not buying, then this is essential and all at no cost to the business. Good!

    Even though this will not be forever, this pandemic is not going away anytime soon. I want to be back to normal as much as anyone but we can’t just say that we’re sick of it and go out and assume things are going to be the same as they were, because the virus will be there when we slip up. We thrive on tourism yet the more people who come over to spend a part of their summer with us the more risk we all face to have an outbreak. Any business that wants to survive this pandemic is going to have to think about how each employee’s role will evolve to accommodate this different pace of life and the risks that come along with a hasty re-opening. The new definition of customer service is as much rooted in safety as it ever was rooted in a smiling face at the door where they serve your favorite Lobster roll. We all have to be more patient and flexible.

    I’ll use this app for anything that I need right now just to help to keep myself and everyone around me safe until we get a vaccine.

    Lets all give it chance.

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