Make Things Easy For Your Developers
by Jillian Voege
September 15, 2016
I remember watching a movie where one of the characters said to a plucky young upstart: the art of good business is being a good middleman.
For us, being a good middleman is the spine of our business. If we don't have a good solution that connects customers with carriers, we don't have a business at all. In order to continue providing value for our customers, we need to continue facilitating stable, flexible, and scalable integrations between brands and carriers.
The word "integration" is misleading. It sounds easy to do, like plugging something into an outlet. But ask any developer and they'll tell you two things: not all integrations are created equal, and some integrations can be extraordinarily difficult and complex.
This is especially true in shipping. Carrier integrations are notorious for being monolothic and frustrating endeavours. Most carriers don't have ready made APIs to connect to, and when they do, they use outdated XML language with minimal documentation around other languages. Ask your developers to jerry-rig an integration with a carrier, and they will tell you that it can take months of work to do it right.
In the past, this was simply a necessary evil. Brands needed to connect with carriers in order to get their shipping labels, tracking information, and rates. There simply was no alternative to building the integration in-house, even if the integration was filled with errors and problems that could halt the entire business.
But with shipping APIs like EasyPost, brands now have the option to build better integrations in a fraction of the time. It's not magic or trickery, it's just a matter of core competency. We can connect with carriers because we know them inside-out, and integrating with carriers is our core competency. And for our API, we have a RESTful API interface with documentation across eight different coding languages, which makes it much easier for any developer to integrate with us.
On one end, we handle the carrier integration, on the other, we make it simple to integrate with. With EasyPost, brand can quickly access everything they need from their carrier: labels, rates, address verification, order tracking, and shipping insurance. Our entire job - being a good middleman between you and the carrier - is about taking the burden off of you. Your job is to build a great business off of a great product. Our job is to resolve the difficulty of dealing with carriers with technical solutions.