We talked to Fanny See of Detrack Systems about the first global SaaS real-time electronic proof of delivery solution, and she had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Fanny See: All is well, thanks for asking.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Detrack Systems.
Fanny See: It was Valentines’ Day, and the phones of this florist rang non-stop, with anxious customers wanting to know the delivery status of their orders, the estimated time to delivery and many other questions like, “who received the bouquet? What time was the bouquet received? Who signed for the order etc.?”. The two florist owners were unable to reply to their customers and could only fervently call up the respective delivery drivers who are mostly driving on the roads or have difficulty locating the specific order that was asked.
After hustling through the Valentines’ Day logistics crunch, the co-owners sat down, and one suggested searching for an affordable solution that could provide real-time last-mile delivery tracking to customers. Finding none, the two immediately recognized a market gap for an affordable and efficient (with short time-to-market) delivery tracking solution to support the demand of supply chain logistics.
The duo roped in a third founder, a software engineer with more than 15 years of bleeding-edge technology experience. Together, the team of three went on to build the first global SaaS real-time electronic proof of delivery solution that was launched in 2014.
How does Detrack Systems innovate?
Fanny See: Detrack has stayed at the forefront of the logistics tech industry, trailblazing many ‘Firsts’ from Singapore to now over 50 countries.
We provide transparency and visibility in the delivery network for both business owners and customers, allowing control over the last mile in a safe, secured, and stable manner.
Detrack’s core competency is tech-supported by our core capabilities to utilize state-of-the-art technology to execute a highly versatile, stable, and scalable cloud SaaS. As a tech company at the forefront of our industry, our greatest strength lies in the ability to transform the usual industry standards of long IT wait times into agile programming and fast iterations using our self-configured programming protocols and infusion of automation.
Another key strength of Detrack is the ability to marry tech with real business needs. We have a clear understanding that for a tech to be implemented successfully by businesses, it is essential to bridge the gap between the stumbling blocks caused by the steep learning curve of new software, long implementation time for IT projects, and resistance on the grounds towards tech adoption.
As a SaaS, we are different from traditional IT companies that resell multiple IT solutions or customize a specialized software. We focus all our resources on the creation, maintenance, and improvement of our single product that is geared to support the dynamic global needs of the last mile logistics.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Fanny See: Detrack has always prided itself as a SaaS with a very low touchpoint for our users to start onboarding. Various businesses from all around the world take only a few minutes to get started and have integrated our solution into their current delivery process in under an hour – all without a single interaction from anyone at Detrack.
When COVID-19 forced businesses to operate remotely, the transition at Detrack went very smoothly as employees were already able and prepared to work from home.
The majority of Detrack users, who are 3PLs, experienced a surge in demand for last-mile deliveries during the pandemic. With more companies recognizing the potential for last-mile logistics technology that provides full visibility and automated delivery tracking, Detrack Systems’ new monthly sign-ups have increased by 100 per cent over a period of nine months in 2020.
Detrack also played our part as we tirelessly supported recently onboarded companies that were very new at deliveries. The company also extended the free use period of ElasticRoute – our route planning solution – so delivery companies were able to effectively plan their routes even with the sudden increase in deliveries.
As people got worried about unnecessary contact when receiving deliveries, Detrack swiftly introduced our contactless delivery feature, which included a remote signature. When receiving a parcel, the recipient has the option to provide a signature by signing on his/her own device, i.e. at no point do they touch the driver’s device. This ensures a comprehensive electronic proof of delivery, complete with signature, can still be captured even when the entire delivery process is contactless.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Fanny See: As the different departments at Detrack work very well together as a team, it was a very difficult (but necessary) choice to start working remotely and separate from each other.
We were very used to seeing everyone in the office and being able to bounce ideas off each other, so only being able to communicate with each other virtually was definitely a new dynamic for everyone involved and a process that we needed to get used to.
What specific tools, software and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Fanny See: Internally, we already have our own set of tools and software that can facilitate remote work. Besides the workplace web communication platforms to hold our virtual meetings, we also made use of a VOIP phone system which allowed calls to the office to be directed to the respective department members who are now all working remotely.
For our claims submission process, we implemented HR management software so employees can submit their claims remotely. All they have to do is take a photo of the invoice and complete the submission process through the software.
A VPN service was also implemented company-wide for security enhancement for remote work.
In terms of management, we understand that while we may be “operationally” ready for remote working but for the team to stop coming to the office and not having the human interaction and missing out the office facilities and welfare like the massage chair, the free flow draught beer, chilled beverages, expresso coffee, snack bar, pool table, company lunches, company cohesion time, annual company dinner and hotel staycation and more can be painful. Most importantly, the jokes, fun and laughter when solving the hardest problems are the most difficult to let go.
So the management immediately came up with interesting ways of changing the way we bring the element of cohesion and fun into the company culture to continue to encourage creativity and cohesion. For example, we switched the annual company dinner and staycation (without compromising the budget) into a fun team challenge where each team of 4 to 5 will be given a budget to spend it all on a meal together and doing something creative, safe and fun. They have to live share about it on our Slack channel with photos and videos, and the team that has the most fun will be given a team prize of groceries cash vouchers to share.
The result was unexpected as our usually quieter engineering team took him the prize! We also supplemented the event with a “sure win” lucky draw where every staff gets to vote for the prizes they want to have at this special lucky draw. We ended up having iPads, Apple watches, GoPros, Nintendo Switch and more and everyone got lucky and brought home a prize.
We also sponsored a work from home setup for all our staff with an office chair, table, LCD monitor with monitor stand (they get to keep all these equipment).
Besides that, we also made sure our staff gets well cared for with care packs set to their homes and celebrated birthdays via Zoom together and have the cake delivered to the happy recipient.
All in all, as part of the management, it is important for us to take care of the mental well-being of our staff and to keep the company culture intact through these challenging times.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Fanny See: Detrack serve businesses of all sizes, including small and mid-size enterprises (MNCs) and multinational corporations (MNCs), so competitors would include enterprise software providers as Detrack’s key strengths is able to disrupt with our agility and innovation.
For B2B logistics software, it has always been much of an enterprise play which comes with a lengthy implementation process. However, with the emergence of cloud SaaS, many companies now realize that software like Detrack can offer them so much more benefits and the advantage of speed with something that is proven, affordable with immediate time to market.
Besides this natural move to adopt cloud SaaS, Detrack continues to hold the market-leading position in the niche of last-mile electronic proof of delivery with our innovations and onboarding funnel that can enable a logistics provider with highly complex multiple workflows and many drivers to be able to onboard Detrack almost effortlessly in a matter of just hours.
Your final thoughts?
Fanny See: Detrack is not just a logistics tech provider; there is a touch of humanity behind every feature within the app and business decision. The company is committed to providing affordable and efficient (with short time-to-market) delivery tracking solution to support the ever-changing demands of delivery services and logistics – especially during COVID-19.