Editors Note: Easyship has changed a lot since the time this post was written, but we're keeping this here as it helps show where we came from as we continue to solve shipping for merchants globally.
To no surprise, one of the biggest headaches of the rapidly growing E-Commerce industry is managing its logistics. At Easyship, we've been offering a complimentary pick and pack service from day one to take away the hassle of shipping your items. With Hong Kong's relatively small geographical space, many would assume that arranging pick-ups from multiple scattered locations is a somewhat simple task. Unfortunately, its divisions and territories have made this minor operation quite cumbersome at times. However, what merits interest is how we've been managing pick-ups for over 200 clients since mid-2015.
Before our volumes were built up, we knew we had to get ready to be scalable to prepare to be able to tackle growth head-on. We had to set the framework right. Here's what it came down to:
- Segmenting Hong Kong
- Sourcing High-Quality Drivers
First things first, we effectively split the districts of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon & New Territories into further sub-sections. I'll omit the finer details to prevent boredom. With these subsections, we mapped our customer base out around to understand which areas would require the most drivers. For those that were interested, we had more clients in New Territories than Kowloon and Hong Kong Island combined!
Our second task was to find drivers that were reliable and we could trust. Thankfully in Hong Kong, we have amazing platforms such as Gogovan, Easyvan to find drivers. We would first find these drivers on the app and record their details on a spreadsheet. It would contain their vehicle type and areas serviced. We tested each of them for small tasks and wrote down notes every time. Over the span of 3 months from March 2015 to May 2015, we had tested over 60 drivers and narrowed it down to 5 drivers that we could consistently rely on. Each of these drivers would service particular areas for the entire day. When the time came to scale, we used the network of these drivers to expand further (drivers know other drivers best!). Admittedly at times, some of these drivers weren't the best, but at those times, we would mark them off our spreadsheet. By now, we have around 15 drivers that service our entire customer base daily.