How I got into logistics
Brian Omondi, 26, is the chief executive officer and founder of Boxleo Courier, which provides courier services. He reveals what made him venture into the industry and what he has learnt along the way.
Mwangi Alberto @Alberto_Mwas
What informed your decision to venture into this field?
Firstly, I am an entrepreneurial and result-oriented young guy. I hold a Degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Maseno University.
Over the years, I have gained immerse knowledge on the fulfilment, warehousing and delivery industry, and I am setting the trend in this field.
I have a passion for youth empowerment and thus, saw the need to venture into this industry since there are unlimited opportunities and majority of the youth who are unemployed are educated and well-skilled in various sectors.
Boxleo Courier takes up this vision and works towards creation of job opportunities and as such, most of our employees are young people.
Who is your target market?
Our target markets are the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and corporate bodies, and due to the Covid-19, we are also focusing on the e-commerce platforms.
We are looking to support any online seller who may not wish to incur the costs of setting up a physical shop from where they may store their items through provision of storage space, pick and pack services as well as last mile delivery to their customers.
We come in as a third party logistics provider to allow your business focus on its growth.
We become the link between businesses and their customers ensuring timely and professional deliveries while maintaining relationships.
Among our partners are Sky Garden, Mums Village, Heri Online and African Agency for Arid Resources Ltd among others.
Were there any gaps in this field that drove you to this venture?
Yes. Having been in the industry for a while, I identified many gaps in the logistics industry, mainly on warehousing or storage and last mile delivery services.
There were also high shipping and delivery costs, a lot of time consumed in the pick and pack process, poor inventory management, incorrectly filled and packed orders, poor communication with suppliers and end users and the inability to replace lost or damaged products.
So, Boxleo Courier aims at streamlining the supply chain from inception (order placement) to delivery to end user. We are fully insured in the event of damage or loss to goods under our custody.
What do you aim to achieve?
We aim at building a courier and fulfilment service company that will have an active presence across the continent and the globe.
This will be realised through creation and maintenance of relationships with our clients and exceeding their expectations with regards to our service offering. We will also expedite the significance of Value Chain Mining.
How has been business thus far?
Generally speaking, most of our local clientele were adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and ended up closing their shops.
However, we have seen an increase in the number of e-commerce businesses, who wish to partner with us in their warehousing, fulfilment and last-mile delivery needs.
How has Boxleo managed to stay afloat through the pandemic?
Thanks to our cordial relationship with our existing clients, we saw it fit to revise our price rates to accommodate those whose businesses were extremely affected.
With this regard, we were able to strategies on how best to keep both businesses afloat without either having to lay off staff or in extreme cases, close operations.
What has been your greatest strength in navigating the challenges within the industry?
Boxleo Courier has always been championing great customer service through rendering precise and excellent logistics, storage and order fulfilment services.
The significance of teamwork cannot be overemphasised. We value and empower our employees who we believe are our greatest asset.
They in turn are well equipped to be great team players in offering the best services to both merchants and end users.
Is the working environment in the country conducive for your operations?
Yes, we feel the government has been supportive of this industry. For instance our licence renewal was swift since most processes have been automated.
However, the government ought to tighten the grip, more so with companies that are not licensed to regulate the market.
As a company, how are you leveraging on the digital space?
We have an integrated system we use to manage all orders. The system is able to integrate with all e-commerce platforms from where we get notifications immediately a customer places an order from our partners’ websites.
It also allows us to track orders and payments in real-time as the status changes from dispatch to delivery.
We have also capitalised on our social media marketing, and especially due to the increased automation of most businesses.
What measures have you put in place to guarantee customer confidence?
Due to the openness of the Kenyan market, we have had businesses sprouting up offering similar services to ours.
Most of them fail to honour their clients by delaying deliveries, untimely remittances, poor customer services and unexplained stock shrinkages and stock keeping units.
Having noted these weaknesses, we come in to offer timely and speedy order delivery, swift cash transfer around the globe, 24-hour professional customer service team and an automatic update of inventory records ensuring accurate weekly reports.
What are your aspirations as a company going forward?
Relationships mean everything to us and we are, therefore keen to build and maintain relationships for future business continuity.
We are looking to expand the local market through on-boarding business that have online presence and are looking to focus their sales through e-commerce platforms due to the minimisation of physical contact.
We also intend to expand into other countries within the continent based on our market research.
The medical and healthcare sector has unique needs that we look to tap into.
In this regard, we aim to equip our staff on regulations, time constraints, transport needs and much more with the help of our partners.