While global logistics companies like FedEx probably have the resources to develop their own in-house data processing systems, this option might not be available to less monolithic rivals.
Cofounded by Ibrahim Naouri’s son, Kareem, LogistaaS aims to provide simple-to-use and affordable software solutions to small and medium-sized freight forwarding companies based in Jordan and other emerging markets. It was only launched late last year, but Naouri said he’s already seeing real demand for his company’s solutions, which are designed to manage everything from invoices to customer relations.
Why is your software unique?
What’s unique about it is that it implements all the latest technologies and best practices. It’s a really good software—you could say it offers very similar features to the best global software, but it’s more targeted to the bottom 90 percent of the logistics companies. It’s an overlooked, but big, market. There is no decent solution that is dominant so I thought there was a gap, there was a pain that could be solved, for a large number of people.
Is software and technology playing a bigger part in logistics now, and what about the future?
It has to, of course. If you look at many industries, technology has impacted them much more than the logistics industry. Research shows that logistics companies need to step up the level of technology they use. Logistics is always part of a bigger supply chain, and the chain is as fast, or as efficient as its weakest link. So there is always a lot of pressure, and there are many ways that supply chains could be leaner, or more cost effective. To do this, the logistics [sector] needs to keep up with other members of the supply chain and this has not been happening as fast as it should be.
Would you describe the system as localized?
Our targets are more local and regional companies because there isn’t any dominant solution for them at the moment. But the good thing is that the software can fit anywhere, actually. Of course, some markets have localized requirements, but generally speaking, it can fit in many places. We have customers using the system in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Nigeria, India, Lebanon, and of course Jordan. This is only in three or four months since we started. The smaller firms are our main targets because multinational firms can afford to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for the systems that are more known and existed for a long time.
Who are your clients?
At the moment we have around 30 companies using it, but every day we are receiving new interest. The thing is that switching to use the software is a big step, because it’s the main system you will use as a company. So choosing to use LogistaaS is a process over months of training, integrating, and moving existing data. It’s not an easy decision to make, so we may find people who are interested now, making the change in a few months or next year. With a product like this it can be difficult to get people to make the switch, but we are doing well for a small startup company so far.