France-based technology provider, Zeloce leads digital transformation for last mile delivery and logistics companies across Europe – providing them with a platform to manage their delivery operations from the warehouse to the doorstep. We had the chance to speak with their CTO, Bernard Pratz, about how HyperTrack powers their platform with the visibility that builds trust with their customers. The audio recording and transcript of this conversation is below, go to the video to watch a brief version of the interview.
Can you introduce yourself and your company?
So I'm Bernard CTO of Zeloce, which is a firm building a SaaS with a mission to simplify the last mile transports by bringing together all of the players. The issue we had is that our job is to help our customers manage and organize the transport. And part of that is actually tracking where the drivers are, where the trucks are, and more precisely where the baggage is, the things that our customers want to transport where they are. And before HyperTrack, we were considering building something from scratch to actually get the live location from the phone, etc. But it's not something which is our main job, our main job is to help organize for our customers, it's not to actually track where things are. So, when we discovered HyperTrack, it helped us focus on what our job is unnaturally on, doing something very specific, which would be resource intensive. To do a job, which is part of a job.
How do you use HyperTrack?
We started actually, five years ago, on five years ago, tracking was not something our customers were used to, it was not as general as it is today. So it was kind of important for our customers, to offer to our customers something that others – our competitors didn't have, which is to offer them tracking of what's happening.
And so then it was a really big differentiator for us to provide on the market and to show that we are better than the others. Today, it's a must have: it's something that if we don't have it, then we will lose some market. So, it's fundamental to our business and to what we are doing because our customers need it. And our customers’ customers want it.
When we started with HyperTrack, actually, we were very early stage. So knowing that we had to do that was basically choosing whether I had to spend time implementing it myself, spending time implementing something else on my customers myself. So it was really a situation or build or buy. And the choice was easy. I found HyperTrack and I thought that buying was the best option here. Originally, the team was just myself. That's the main thing. Today, the team has grown, the company has grown, but we're still using HyperTrack because it has the performance – it has what we need. And when we have a great relationship with HyperTrack project managers and developers and [we are] getting what we need to provide the service to our customers.
How did you find HyperTrack?
Then at the time in 2016 – it was in 2017, there was not much choice. There was no real other – I had a few options, which were doing a lot of work [that] we are doing, and somehow they were partly competitors to what we wanted to do.
And also we could not integrate them the way we wanted to. There was not an API there were full featured applications, which would be complicated for our customers – our users. So I chose to keep and to use HyperTrack because we could seamlessly integrate it in our product.
And I kept with this choice, because that's the one thing they kept from the first day to today; it's the fact that they – from the first day they are focused on doing one thing, and doing it well, which is tracking, tracking the data, the people, the devices, tracking what's happening on the road and help us with knowing what the ETA where the people are, what could enable better deliveries, etc.
And even though they are doing more today that they know what the core values of their core business is, which is tracking, and providing it as an API, providing it as a SDK to help us integrate it in our product, is really what sets them up apart.
How would you describe HyperTrack?
HyperTack is a solution to help other companies create products that can integrate tracking, and whether it can be really, really low level like I'm doing, which is using the API and SDK and try to make it as seamless as possible in my product, or have some turnkey solution, you can just show on your website or your application, they really try to be that broad and focused on tracking; while I'm reading the documentation and implementing it.
What is it like to work with HyperTrack?
Well, we’ve been working with HyperTrack for quite a long time, and since we had a few versions of our application, our application has evolved to actually work fine, and be designed with the way the HyperTrack can give us data and use the data the best way possible. So it's kind of co-development we had over the years. And they also evolved with our feedback, there will be they've been really listening and really good listeners to help improve their product.
So today, we just use it and we have designed things together and it's an easy thing to work out.
We were both early stage and we've both grown together in in the relationship and so
I did not discover it yesterday and it's not a new product for me. We've built something together and that's beautiful to see where they are now, having our tracks gone along together for that long time.
What do you like best about HyperTrack?
What we like best about HyperTrack it's the fact that I don't have to do it!
But it's true, basically the fact that managing tracking often tracking your customers having it so that my customers don't have – my users don't have to complain that actually the battery is drawing down.
It's something I don't have to worry about because they are worrying about that and I'm just a customer for that. So I can focus on getting the data and providing that data to my customers so they can have the big answers: Where [are] the big edges? Where are the drivers? when they will be arriving? etc.
So that's what I like most about HyperTrack. And then having it seamless and integrated in my solution is really what makes it hard.
What would the difference be without HyperTrack?
It's hard to say something like that, because we've been working with HyperTrack since the early days since when I was the only coder. So I can say that there's no real thing I mean, the difference would be, I will be implementing it myself, and we would be worst, still working, still spotty. So I mean, it would have been a trade off.
The difference would be that I wouldn't do features for my customers. Because I had to do the thing HyperTrack does. So which is not my main job, my main job is to organize, to help my customers organize their transport, it's not to track where the drivers are.
But tracking where the drivers are is a small part of organizing, there are many features I find great in HyperTrack. And what they're doing right now is really, really fun and really interesting.
But to be fair, my main use of HyperTrack really is the plain tracking of events and what’s happening: tracking the orders, tracking the trips of the drivers, and having that information is really where the most value is for my customers.
Then Hyper track as a system to manage the audits etc. But that's what I'm doing on my site as well, and I've been doing it longer, so it's not something I need from them. So it's great. They're doing nice stuff. But I don't need it, what I really need from HyperTrack is the tracking.
That's also the Nearby thing, I'm thinking about that – sorry, which is the Nearby API, which is great. And I used it at some point. But I don't have any more customers that really need that, and I hope it will come back again, that we will have new customers asking for that. But right now, our customers are really focused on where things are, where people are, that’s all.
Can you share any KPIs?
I cannot really provide KPIs because I'm thinking but that mean, I'm trying to do to see what I can, I could say, but as for every firm that is trying to have truck drivers use a phone application, our main challenge is actually getting them to use an application, then, once we get them to use the application, we are very happy with the tracking and etc. and it works well.
It's a must have on the market today. So it's not a key performance anymore. It's something that if you don't have it you just don't have any key performance to share.
So I don't have any KPIs I can really provide. It's something I need to provide my customers, [it needs] to be there. And it's part of the price. And it's not an option. It's not something you can – people want to pay optionally for – they just want at the price.
Would you recommend HyperTrack? And if so, for what?
I would recommend HyperTrack, because they're – as far as I can tell – the only one to be that focused on the market and to be doing the job as an SDK, and API provider to help you build a product out of that.
All the others who do something similar, are trying to push their product their way of doing things. And basically they're not enablers for novelty for new products and for innovation. And HyperTrack does that, HyperTrack enables innovation and helps us build something amazing and be a break of something else.