A question of logistics
About four years ago, Dennis Ng had set his sights on publishing a newspaper in the Philippines. At the time, he had already achieved success as a publisher of a showbiz-oriented magazine in Hong Kong with franchises in Singapore, Guam, Japan, and the United States. However, it had always been his dream to come out with a free newspaper with high quality content.
While Ng was already versed in the publishing side, he was not prepared for the challenges on the logistics side. He says, “I was looking for someone to deliver my goods, and I could not find anybody.”
Ng realized that if he was encountering issues with logistics, then many other small and medium enterprises must be experiencing the same problems as well. His quick thinking soon gave rise to Mober: “the first-ever tech startup that offers an on-demand platform for same-day delivery service in the Philippines that connects SMEs, shoppers, and starting families with a cost-effective, safe, and fast logistical service.”
More than addressing the issue of moving goods from one point to another, Mober also provides SMEs with a business opportunity. Ng observes that a delivery van is one of the most common purchases of business owners. Through Mober, these business owners would be able to make full use of their delivery vehicles by moving goods for companies and families. Think of it as Uber, but for vans and trucks.
Mober was launched in July 2015, and had its first booking in November 2015, a lipat-bahay gig with a P60 fare. The startup soon caught a break when SM Appliance Center tapped it for their same-day delivery service. Mober has since partnered with other companies including Future Source, SM Our Home, and UBM. Its year on year growth has been 200 percent, with a fleet which increased from zero in 2015 to 400 in 2019.
While Mober could have grown its fleet at a much faster rate, Ng opted to be more rigorous, balancing supply and demand at every turn. For starters, traffic is a challenge, and the continuing profitability of van partners to be viable partners is a reality. He says, “It’s very hard to keep on recruiting operators, and then not giving them any bookings. We treat them as partners. We don’t on-board van partners that we can’t give business to.”
An enterprise connected
Connectivity is important for Mober in many ways. As founder and CEO of Mober as well as other business enterprises, Ng is frequently on the move and relies on connectivity to keep him on top of operations.
“If the connectivity is slow, I won’t be able to see the numbers. I won’t be able to look at the whole operation of Mober. I need to be mobile. Even when I’m not in the office, I need to know how many bookings were received, how many were rejected, how many are on the way, how many will be late. I need a reliable service provider,” he explains.
Being connected provides Ng visibility of business operations while he is out and about.
Choosing Globe MyBusiness as a partner was but logical for Ng.
He says, “I’ve been a Globe user ever since. It wasn’t that hard a decision. The service is a lot better with Globe.”
Globe MyBusiness has contributed in no small measure to the smooth day-to-day operations of Mober.
Apart from its CEO being able to monitor operations effectively and making decisions quickly, Globe MyBusiness connects Mober’s van partners, allowing them to receive and confirm bookings. Mober also uses Globe MyBusiness’ Vehicle Tracker so that they can keep track of fuel consumption. Through the Mober software which may be accessed in real time, its van partners are also able to connect to a route efficiency application.
Ng says, “It’s very important that we have connectivity. If we don’t, then we won’t be able to maximize routes.”
The loop doesn’t stop with the van partners. Mober also provides its merchant partners with cell phones where they can make their bookings. Those phones are likewise enrolled under Globe MyBusiness. In this way, all of Mober’s partners are linked through a reliable network so that nothing is missed.
He says, “Connectivity makes us more efficient.”
It is also a value for money proposition. Having a postpaid line provides uninterrupted service, not needing to keep track of their load validity from time to time.
Building a nation of entrepreneurs
But more than growing his business, Ng is setting his sights on helping build a nation of entrepreneurs. As it is, there is an increasing shortage of professional drivers as online shopping comes to the fore and same-day deliveries become the norm.
It is the hope of Ng to make driverpreneurs of Mober van partners. Through its program, enlisted drivers get to drive Mober-purchased vans with a set daily boundary. After five years, Mober will turn over the van to the driver. It is his.
Ng says, “We treat them not as a driver but as a partner. He’s a one-fleet logistics company. He’s not a driver. He’s an entrepreneur.”
And certainly, a reliable network can help Ng’s dream come true.
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