TrackEnvoy is basically an African solution – cheap and comprehensive solution for emerging markets that adapts to conditions of the market.
The Co-founder of TrackEnvoy, Adedeji Opoola shared insights into the journey of the young company, playing in the SaaS sector.
The idea for TrackEnvoy was conceived following the logistics-related challenges faced while running Easy Appetite, which other solutions in the market could not fully address. There’s also the part of courier service providers as well as other companies running delivery service that are not left out in the challenges.
There are handheld devices already available, and in use, in the industry but the issue of cost in acquiring them, especially for small players in the eCommerce and logistic sector, calls for deep concern.
Another identified problem is that the current solutions in the market don’t give comprehensive analysis about their dispatches and other business processes. And these available solutions only deal with delivery management while leaving out other processes.
The Approach and Modules
“We talk to companies that are involved in logistics, to find out the best way to solve their problem. It’s more or less a case of relying on the customers for more insight into improving the solution after checking out our MVP.”
As an African solution, TrackEnvoy is designed for courier, logistics and other companies in emerging markets with remote workers that wants to have real time update about activities of their staff offsite.
In the quest to address the logistics problem in emerging markets, TrackEnvoy takes into consideration the common problems like power, internet connectivity, and poor house numbering system, and built a solution that will adapt these conditions.
Its Delivery Management and Analytics give an overview of deliveries – delivery success rate among others details.
TrackEnvoy not only helps business with tracking, it also provides real time updates about activities of remote workers which allows businesses access to real time analysis.
Its unique backup feature ensures that some basic functionalities of the solution is accessible - for example, in a scenario where internet connectivity isn't at its best. There's also the application of the solution as a backup plan for the browser version.
TrackEnvoy has free in-app messaging feature for companies to send messages to their remote staff/dispatch riders at no cost in the case of internet downtime.
“Even when there’s internet down time, some modules on our system ensure that people get the job done.”
Companies in the logistics or courier service can also send messages to their customers taking delivery from within the solution.
TrackEnvoy not only caters to businesses in the eCommerce and logistics sectors, it also helps other sectors, even business in healthcare delivery sector can have the solution customized to suit its own need, and also automate their business processes.
“The solution is more than tracking delivery, any company with remote workers that wants to get the information from the remote workers in real time can also make use of the solution.”
With TrackEnvoy, companies could go paperless for activities that have to do with dispatches, as the solution is fully automated highly customizable for any company.
“We built our software from the customers’ perspectives, and we will continue to improve on it according to their needs.”
For the startup, it’s about optimizing operations for players in the logistics industry in Nigeria and on the continent at large.
Other modules include:
- Customer Relation Management
- Expenses management to have an insight into how much the company’s remote workers are spending.
- Vehicle maintenance reminder to help inculcate maintenance culture.
The mapping feature of TrackEnvoy is more like a community development for house-addressing.
My most favourite part of TrackEnvoy is its mapping feature, as it presents a great potential for logistics in emerging markets.
TrackEnvoy isn’t just solving the current problems associated with the logistics industry but also giving a helping hand to current and future players in the logistics sector with its mapping algorithm.
Whenever a delivery is made by a TrackEnvoy user, the coordinates and addresses are stored. This helps the next dispatch within that area. There's surely a great potential for this feature, looking at the state of house-numbering system in Nigeria or other emerging markets.
The system basically learns the addresses and maps them as the dispatch riders make use of the solution, and as more logistics use the software, the solution would get smarter – making it much more easier for future dispatch riders.
There’s plan for the startup to open up the API of the mapping features for other logistics and courier companies that want to connect directly to the addressing feature, even without using the TrackEnvoy solution.
This is with the belief that some of the logistics problem, especially the ones associated with house addressing system would be a thing of the past.
“In the local market, Delivery Science is a close competitor with an entirely different approach, but for us, it’s basically cheaper ways to make logistics more efficient in our economy, taking into consideration some of the challenges in the market.”
For TrackEnvoy, the tracking feature is an added feature for the software, there are other interesting features that make the solution better than other tracking solutions. These include:
- Locally relevant functionalities
- Downtime management
- There's no need for any device to run TrackEnvoy other than devices running on Android 4.0.
- Affordability for SMEs
After spending about a year in research and development phase, and launching in April 2015 after its beta-testing in March, TrackEnvoy so far has being surviving on funding from its founders. There’s a plan to reach out for investment opportunities as soon as the viability of the product is feasible.
“For us, it’s the product and gaining traction at the beginning first. And verifying that our software is viable before we will actually look for funding.”
Expansion possibility and prospect
“For us, it’s been a good journey and the future is really bright. We get positive feedback from people, this tells us we are definitely on the right path.”
In the near future, there's a possibility of having payment feature which will allow dispatch riders to accept payment where customers choose the payment on delivery option.
Topping the list of TrackEnvoy's short term goals is having a sizeable usage of the solution, of up to 1000 workers by the end of the year 2015 with improved mapping coverage of the nation, and a wider coverage with respect to the address verification algorithm.
Other prospect for the startup include capturing the Nigerian market and expanding to other African countries - having a substantial share of the continent - and eventually being a world player in five to ten years.
In the next half a decade or more TrackEnvoy looks forward to solving problems associated with remote information - like helping people find addresses among others.
TrackEnvoy was co-founded by Adedeji Opoola and Banji Jolaoso.
Taking into consideration the challenges as well as conditions of the market, TrackEnvoy joins the list of African companies with the emerging markets at heart.