Over the past few months, many of us became familiar with PickMe. As businesses shuttered due to islandwide curfews aimed at mitigating the spread of the coronavirus, the ride-hailing service transformed into a vital lifeline. Starting off by delivering gas cylinders, the company swiftly transformed its operations to deliver groceries and other essential items. Now with several restrictions being eased, the company is taking its experience and further developing its logistics arm: PickMe Flash.
What exactly is PickMe Flash?
In case you’re lost, PickMe Flash is an on-demand delivery service by the ride-hailing company that allows you to send and receive goods. With it, you can deliver anything that can fit inside a car, bike, or tuk. The service also offers real-time tracking and customer support. Further, given the pandemic, it supports cashless payments and has introduced contactless deliveries where you can request the driver to collect or leave a package at your doorstep.
During the curfew from March to May, PickMe carried out 8200+ deliveries. With many of us being locked indoors, the service was instrumental in transporting goods. This includes the delivery of groceries, where several businesses came to rely on PickMe Flash. Corporates too relied on the service to have routers and SIM cards delivered to help their employees work from home. Similarly, PickMe Flash was also used to deliver books, cookies, and even pet fish.
Overcome the complexities of logistics with technology
Many companies operating in the logistics industry will tell you that it’s a complicated process. PickMe, having invested heavily in developing its engineering talent and technology, has always said otherwise. As the company’s CTO, Mithila Somasiri once shared, “It’s simply about moving something from Point A to Point B.”
During the curfew, it was evident to everyone that these investments paid off. While other eCommerce providers struggled to meet lofty expectations, PickMe worked seamlessly and raised the bar. However, that’s not to say the ride-hailing company didn’t face its fair share of hurdles. One of the first being that the service had to expand its fleet. Originally PickMe Flash operated with a small fleet of bikes. But as demand grew, this fleet expanded to encompass tuks and cars. Accordingly, the company launched Flash L for deliveries with tuks and Flash XL for cars.
Another was perfecting mechanisms to ensure the safe delivery of goods. Arguably, the greatest test for PickMe Flash was its partnership with Sampath Bank during the curfew. Utilizing the service, the bank offered to have cash withdrawn from ATMs and delivered to your doorstep. At first glance, this could raise several concerns.
Yet, of the 800+ deliveries of cash PickMe completed from ATMs, there wasn’t a single instance of fraud. The company credits this success to its use of technology to offer greater transparency. While a norm in developed nations, locally hardly any logistics provider offers clear updates of your packages in transit. Notably, PickMe Flash allows both the sender and receiver to see in real-time where your package is during transit. The drivers too are aware of this and are incentivized to deliver items safely and quickly.
Moving forward: The future of PickMe Flash
Having gained invaluable experience during the curfew, PickMe is working towards further developing Flash. Currently, the company is focused on making PickMe Flash the delivery solution of choice for eCommerce companies. As such, it’s working on a host of new features. These include proof of delivery, using multiple vehicles simultaneously, allowing corporations to set multiple drop locations, further route optimization and more. In doing so, PickMe has an ambitious goal for Flash to be a service that promises to get packages to you not merely within the day but within the hour.