By Peter Oluka
Lately, I have been seeing some KG Express “KGExpress.ng” bikes in parts of Lagos. In fact, my observation is that they have been conducting pilot operations since the COVID-19 lockdown.
While I was hunting for news relating to the COVID-19, I saw some of their riders along Allen, Ikeja GRA, Mushin and Victoria Island showing that they cover the whole of Lagos already!
It is not like they are the only new pick-up and delivery startups I noticed on the road, but there is something different about their mode of operations. Just click on the website before you continue with the article:
Did you notice something? The website is simplified, not long stories and I think this reflects in their operations in general.
Actually, merchants are capitalising on the sudden boom in e-commerce like grocery to creatively and cautiously engage with logistics marketplaces for last-mile delivery.
Aside from that, the pick-up delivery services were in high demand with respect to the rapid expansion of healthcare COVID-19 home delivery service during the lockdown.
They offered online marketplaces contactless delivery options for residential delivery. In fact, post-Covid-19, this will even become the new normal.
Pick-up and delivery of goods are demand responsive. For this, the request should be available in real-time and must be considered in real-time only.
So, for we that are in Lagos, this is a good option.
Instead of spending man-hour in traffic and most times, you end up not getting to your destination. Why not, from the comfort of your room book for a pick-up service and the gift-item or parcel is delivered hassle-free.
I understand the skepticisms that sometimes greet some of these technology-induced solutions. There are reported cases of pilfering, dumping of letters of parcels, theft, etc.
But, if the idea of pick-up and delivery is working elsewhere, it implies that we need to get two things right: human and technology.
So, back to KGExpress.ng, I strongly believe that this startup is an offshoot of the Kaiglo online marketplace!
So, one of those days I hailed-down one of the bikes for a chit-chat. The young man who identified himself as Ajibola allowed me a few minutes, because to him, “delivery is about speed”. I recorded that down as a good point.
On the cause of our brief interaction he confirmed they actually started operations a week to the first lockdown pronounced by Federal Government which affected FCT, Lagos and Ogun State.
He said they predicted an increase in demand for capacity in response to a surge in orders. I marked that in my book also. In other words, KGExpress.ng understands the pain of the customers – Longer wait times for deliveries can cause depression.
In other words, they have factored in ‘how to deliver faster’. To me, they are probably going to build or rent warehouses that will form hubs for ‘drop-offs and pick-ups’.
I strongly understand that automation and scaling up operations will assist them more. Amazon’s book is there to take a leaf from.
So, I probed further to understand how they are balancing loads across networks and route optimisation, at that point, my impromptu interviewee signaled that I have to let him to – customers are waiting!
So, I believe that KGExpress.ng team will eventually read this piece. I want to urge them to defile odds and remain different. Yes, let have a company that we can actually trust such they become a household name.
I am confident about this.
Also, they should take the matter of communicating with the customer during delivery (interactive delivery management) and the customer experience very seriously. This has caused the downfall of many logistics and delivery companies/startups.
Real-time notifications or tracking of deliveries is paramount while they are preparing for the post-COVID19 world.
Today, fast delivery is the trend while our environment gets ready for even green delivery.
The primary objective in any pick-up and delivery business is to reduce the delivery time to the minimum. The total delivery time includes travel time, loading time, unloading time and waiting time. Today, technology is so advance that the optimization is being done at every step in order to reduce delivery time.
Kaiglo’s investment in reliability will increase its market value.
A toast to the new entrants!
Peter Oluka is the Editor of TechEconomy.ng. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org