They call them porch pirates.
Opportunists that spot a delivery package on someone’s front porch and then take it, long before the intended recipient ever even sees it.
In this day and age of Amazon — and, especially in the age of COVID-19 — it’s becoming more and more of an issue.
But now a China Township start-up is doing something about it.
Meet DB Delivery Solutions, the brain-child of Missie Nordrum and Mike Janas.
The company installs its Receptor, a secure box for receiving packages, into the side of a home, garage, or business. Each Receptor is customized for fit and placement, with Janas personally visiting customers to determine the ideal place for installation.
The Receptor is accessible to delivery drivers from the outside and customers from the inside.
"I saw different attempts at solutions but they were giving delivery companies access inside people’s garages, and even their homes. The wheels started turning and I thought that there’s gotta be a better way than this," Janas says.
"This gives delivery companies access to the home without giving them access to your personal space."
Janas and Nordrum first met while Janas, a carpenter by trade, was working a house remodeling job for Nordrum. The pair soon began a second house remodeling job as business partners. And then conversations unfurled that would lead to their partnering on DB Delivery Solutions.
After about a year of prototyping, the design for the Receptor was finalized.
The DB Delivery Solutions story is a very St. Clair County story.
After becoming virtual clients of The Underground small business incubator in Port Huron, the business partners were then introduced to Bruce Seymore, director of business and community services for the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County. Seymore would then introduce them to Corson Fabricating in St. Clair, who now manufactures the Receptor.
"For our first run, we had 12 units built and installed in southeastern Michigan and north-central Ohio. It’s important that we stay local at first because we need to oversee the installations," Nordrum says.
"Next we’re looking at building relationships with builders of new houses, looking how to go national and international."
Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.