Leonardo Law is the young Managing Director of 2 nimble, fast-growing logistics businesses in Auckland - Recur and Freight Plus. His utilisation of new technology and fresh thinking to manage operations has resulted in rapid growth that makes Leonardo's businesses one to watch in the freight industry.
Leonardo Law isn’t your usual freight magnate. A Hong Kong Chinese migrant who came to New Zealand when he was 5, he didn’t excel at school or at work. But when he was presented with an opportunity to work in logistics, Leonardo saw the potential of the industry and with hard work and fresh thinking, he found his niche at last.
Starting in 2014 with just 1 truck, he set to work. It wasn’t all plain sailing and Leonardo confesses that he nearly went under early on, but it was his utilisation of new technology tools that enabled him to turn things around within 1 year to create a multi-million dollar enterprise. Less than 5 years later, he currently has around 80 people in his organisation.
Leonardo says there’s a lot of inefficiency in the transport industry, with most companies heavily paper-based, working from Runsheets, Proof of Delivery forms etc and it's common to use old systems such as Excel spreadsheets.
“We bought a truck as a business, but when we started operating it, we quickly saw how many business processes and systems were old and inefficient.”
So, Leonardo started building his own systems and had some success at that, but then he discovered Zoho products and started using them to integrate business operations to increase accuracy, efficiency and productivity.
“Now we’re using Zoho to quickly build custom apps that used to take us hours. And the analytics they provide enable us to have real time business intelligence about what's going on in our business."
While providing much better customer service, full trucks and more efficient moves result in greater efficiency, reducing Recur and Freight Plus's carbon footprint and improving profitability.
“Zoho enables us to have a more paperless systems - with hundreds of e-mails coming it, the ticketing system enables us to more effectively respond to our clients’ needs. We're now able to work from anywhere and still be able to provide the basic functions and give better customer service"
“And despite operating a 24-hour business, we no longer need to have someone always working at a desk."
Leonardo says that the future of the freight logistics business will see more tech-based disruption of this kind and he’ll need to keep improving to keep his business advantage.
“Roads are getting massively congested and city planners are trying to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, while at the same time freight demands continue to grow…"
“The challenge for any freight operator is to work out how to ensure every trip delivers the maximum volume of freight as quickly as possible with the minimum time on the road."
“That means that most of the operators in the business have a lot of work to do to catch up and are very vulnerable to disruption."
“We plan to be the disruptors - we have great momentum, great systems and plan to be here for the long haul.”