How DucieClub Helps People Find “Hidden Deals” in the Supply Chain
DucieClub, multi-year CodeLaunch Semifinalist, is making waves in the supply chain with a concept never seen before. With hundreds of days on the road and thousands of stores visited, DucieClub has perfected the way for consumers to find “hidden deals” that will save them money as well as keep excess products out of landfills.
This blog highlights DucieClub: who they are, what they do, and their CodeLaunch experience.
Who is DucieClub?
DucieClub focuses on keeping excess products out of landfills while saving people money. DucieClub is a family business founded by Ron and Jetje Williams. When asked what DucieClub does, Ron said, “We like to stress it’s not about what we do but why we do it. We want to help people save money, make money, and save the planet.”
Ron is a professional bowler, and in 2009 he had knee surgery. His friend recommended buying a treadmill to help his recovery from Sears because they were on sale. As he walked around Sears, he noticed an $800 camcorder marked down to $200. When he bought it, he found it was priced for even less. When he asked the sales associate why it was so cheap, she said it happens all the time. Little did he know, the idea for DucieClub would happen that day.
When consumers see items ringing up for less than they were marked, it is often thought of as a coincidence. Ron, however, saw it as an opportunity to create a business that would help customers find hidden deals.
Ron has a B2C background spanning since he worked with his father when he was 4. He’s always been fascinated with the supply chain inventory to the point he’s been called the “LeBron James of supply chain”. After the camcorder incident at Sears, Ron started to stop by every Sears store in whatever city he was bowling in to look for these marked down items. This snowballed, and for the past 10 years, Ron has visited around 10,000 different stores building a complex algorithm for finding these hidden deals.
Ron said, “In 2009 with our last $2,000, we built a million-dollar business. For ten years, we’ve gathered data by driving millions of miles. What appears to be a fluke occurrence happens at a scale that nobody could previously measure. If people just knew how much stuff was out there like this, it would make such a difference saving them money.”
When COVID shut the United States down, people could not find life-saving products. DucieClub put their data to the test to find stores that sold hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and even flour. They were able to be proactive rather than reactive to the pandemic.
Ron says, “Imagine the days of the Renaissance when people learned the earth was round and not the center of the universe. We had this idea of what the supply chain was, but COVID made us realize that it’s not what it is cracked up to be.”
With their COVID initiative, Ron realized they can do a lot of good with DucieClub. He said, “We can help so many people, like with the COVID products. We’re not here to profit off a tragedy. We drew a line where people come before profits.”
From COVID items to electronics and Keurigs—and everything in between—DucieClub helps people find the hidden deals they didn’t know were out there.
The CodeLaunch Experience
DucieClub’s first experience at CodeLaunch was as an attendee at CodeLaunch 6 with winners KidStrong and CountertopSmart. Ron said, “It was motivating and energetic. I felt that we were in the right spot and in the right arena that we needed to be in.”
Ron said he liked CodeLaunch’s focus was on startups with no punches held back. He said, “As a startup, you’re going to get knocked down. We all have great ideas and passion. CodeLaunch helps you not get discouraged.”
As for his CodeLaunch 7 experience, Ron said the curation process can help any business. “It really helps you dial in on what you’re working on and helps you get from point A to point B to point G—whatever company at whatever stage. It’s also a great networking experience,” he said.
The startups life can get lonely at times, but CodeLaunch helped him not feel alone. Ron said he gained a community and a family of startups. “We met a lot of neat people through networking with the same drive and ambition. We were competitors that also wanted what was best for everyone.”
CodeLaunch 8 was also a positive experience for Ron. He said, “We received homework in CodeLaunch 8 that really made you stop and think: ‘Am I in this for the right reason?’ and ‘Am I motivated enough?’ We know that, yes, we are passionate about DucieClub and in it for the long game.”
Since CodeLaunch, DucieClub is partnering with the University of North Texas to build their MVP. Ron said, “There have been happy tears since CodeLaunch 8 and working with UNT. Things I’ve been waiting to see for over 20 years are coming to life.”
Ron’s experience with UNT has been eye opening. As of now, they have seen what the final version of their web app looks like. “Throughout this process, we have built our own community. We want to build our current family of beta users and become the GPS system of hidden deals,” Ron said.
CodeLaunch has been beneficial to DucieClub in many ways. Ron said, “Without the three years of CodeLaunch, I don’t think we would be where we’re at today.”
Learn More About DucieClub!
DucieClub’s mission is to empower people with informed decisions, and they’re on the right path to do just that. Learn more about DucieClub on their website!