Flexible solutions beyond Bucky Box

When we started Bucky Box, we modelled the app around the standard Box Scheme which has found prominence primarily in UK and some parts of the world like NZ and Australia. However, we learned that local food enterprises vary quite markedly, and while Bucky Box worked for businesses that sold food boxes that offered a limited set of customisation options for customers, many enterprises wanted more flexibility.

A lot has changed since Bucky Box started nearly a decade ago. There has been a proliferation of flexible cloud tools that can be glued together to provide solutions that are quite bespoke to each business at a price point we could not have achieved 10 years earlier.

Introducing James Samuel (Ping Insights)

Recently I've been in conversation with my long time friend, James Samuel, who has been instrumental in food forest projects and teaching sustainability at Otago Polytechnic. What's interesting to me is that he now makes a living putting together affordable cloud-based software solutions for small/medium sized businesses... including local food enterprises.

I recommend having a chat to James should you want to explore a flexible solution. Here's example of what he built for Veda Organics, who offer a farm to door delivery of organic produce.

  • Flexible online order form with produce availability changing weekly
  • Google Spreadsheet backend for receiving customer orders
  • Automated creation of harvesting / ordering lists to suppliers
  • Automated creation of packing lists
  • Optimised delivery Routes
  • Integration to accounting software for invoices and billing
Our business, Veda Organics, went from 15 boxes per week to 130 boxes per week. It was utter madness, until James from Ping Insights extended a virtual helping hand. James was very easy to work with, and the communication was done entirely over the phone. His heart is in the growing community and what it represents so he is keen to see growers succeed in their endeavours. We highly recommend his services to anyone out there searching for help! - Veda Organics

The future of Bucky Box

Bucky Box continues to run effectively for those wanting a turn-key solution for box schemes, it's open source and hosted by ourselves without profit. We've also been delighted to see installations in the wild being self hosted. Eventually hosting of Bucky Box by ourselves will be sunsetted, it's likely others will take on this role.

That said, and along the lines of this post, I'm confident we will have many alternative solutions available to current users of Bucky Box. Modern cloud based approaches for local food enterprises promise a more flexible experience to the user, more customisable workflow the enterprise, yet rapid to develop and without the expensive price tag of traditional bespoke development. Watch this space.