Inteluck: Bridging Point A and Point B Closer Than Ever
By: Vladimir C. Santos
Suppose you run a trucking company which transports rice from a province to Manila. As soon as the trucks leave your warehouse with the goods expected by your clients on the far side of Manila, anxiety starts to kick in, and endless thoughts bother you. Will they reach the destination in time? Will the goods be in good condition? Will it be complete? Where exactly are they now? 24 hours later, you receive a call from your customer complaining that the goods were never delivered. They ask you where their shipment is, and your jaws drop open in silence because you have no idea what to say. "The cargo trucks are on their way?" Is it, though? Upon turning on the TV, you see a news coverage of a truck turned over to the side with some bags of rice scattered all over the floor and some missing. The driver is nowhere to be found. As you approach the TV, the image of the truck, goods, and location seem familiar to you. You then realize that it is your truck, your customer's product, and the site is part of the route your driver takes, and the driver is nowhere to be found. You get further phone calls from your clients demanding to speak with you. What a disaster! Fortunately, you pick up the phone to hear a friend on the other end of the line who also works in the transportation industry to tell you of a fantastic software that can solve these problems. How can a simple software solve real problems? Enter Inteluck.
What The Problem Is
Inteluck Corporation is a company that provides IoT and SaaS solutions to solve logistic problems that started in 2014. While it may not be the first SaaS Solutions company, its services started before the logistics industry became prominent in Southeast Asia, or so its founder, Kevin Zhang, says. It aims to help small and medium businesses who have the same logistic problems as bigger companies but cannot afford to purchase logistic services. The idea in transportation is that something is sent from point A to point B. While that may seem simple, a lot can happen in between points A and B. For example, Zhang recalls working with a company that had many vehicles in the warehouse yet was bombarded with logistic problems. For instance, as soon as the trucks left, the owner has no idea where it is between the time it was sent off and the time it reported to its owner upon arriving at the destination; that is, if it gets there at all, and that is because there were also times when the truck was never able to reach its destination because it was hijacked to the point where the driver was shot dead so the products the truck was carrying can be stolen. It was even worse when their own kind would betray them; some truck drivers would steal some of the merchandise and sell it as their own, or they would be given transportation allowance to pay for the toll on the expressway so that they would get to point B from point A faster, only for the driver to use the slower national road and keep the transportation allowance for himself. It becomes even worse when because of that deception, the driver gets involved in an accident. Some logistic companies offered to put GPS trackers on the trucks, but that merely solves one to two problems. Inteluck thinks bigger.
What Inteluck Can Do About It
Inteluck platform allows users to see where their trucks are in real time and can even recall where the truck was via replay. From the data collected, they turn into intelligence report. Users can then monitor how much overtime or overstaying the drivers incurred. They can also monitor their speed and even track their location history. Harsh acceleration and hard brakes can also be determined. They can view the temperature and fuel level consumption. They can see the drivers from a camera. Trucks, which are equipped with standard GPS, are also equipped with SOS systems that the driver may use as a distress signal in case they are under siege. The user can then shut the truck down remotely, rendering it unable transport and thus discourage thieves from getting away with the products and the truck. The only way then to switch the truck back on is for the admin to enter a password. These services contribute greatly to lowering the costs of businesses, and yet Inteluck continues to grow. Speaking of growth, Inteluck helps grow other businesses too. Logistic problems serve as hindrances to other businesses that want to ship their products to far areas but find it too risky to transport their goods unmonitored. The platform of Inteluck allows them to engage in business with peace of mind knowing that they are in control. They currently have over 300 clients operating 2,000 vehicles. Soon, they plan to include school buses in their services. Parents would then be able to see how much time it takes for their kids to get from school to home and where they currently are.
The Genius Behind The Platform
Inteluck was founded by Kevin Zhang, a graduate of Management Information Systems from Nankai University. On his first year in college, he already developed two mobile apps on his own, both of which taught people Mandarin. It reached one million downloads in just six months. On his second year, he published an article for one of the top magazines in his college. After his third year, he began to engage in his family business. By 2014, he went to Philippines to explore. He did not know anyone or anything about the country; he did not even know how to speak Filipino. He did find two things about Filipinos: they are jolly, and they have smartphones. “They make me feel welcome” as he said. He estimates that about forty percent have smartphones and internet coverage, and that is a huge market to cover. He wanted to help people, and he saw that nobody was helping others, so he figured “Why not me?” As a developer, he was equipped with an innovative mind; nevertheless, it was a hard start as a foreigner.
During his first interview, he would type his answers in Chinese and have it translated to English. He would then read all of it, memorize, keep the paper in his pocket, and then speak in front of people. They would then be amazed at his English proficiency, not knowing that he practiced beforehand. Eventually, he adapted English at a much proficient level. Nevertheless, it does show how he does not give up once he sets his mind to it. With this small team, they would travel to visit businesses and knock on their doors hoping to see someone interested in their offer. Some would reject them, claiming that there is no need for their product. Some would accept them hesitantly because they were the first few clients. Eventually, his brand became a trusted one, and it grows to this day. He understands the common discrepancy between the point of view of the client and the programmer. He knows that a client would specify parameters that he needed in the platform, then the programmer would work on it only to show the client something different or below expectations. Zhang does not make this mistake, because during programming, he would visit the business to learn about their system so that he would be able to develop something that would blend with their industry.
Words of Wisdom
Kevin Zhang finds satisfaction in helping others. To him, it is never about the money. As a man close to nature, he realizes how small humans are compared to nature. That taught him humility. There are two things that move people to work: passion and pressure. Passion makes you love what you do. Pressure pushes you to do what you do. He does not engage in conferences where he would have to present his platform under thirty minutes. Rather, he engages himself with clients for months to develop a good working relationship with them. He keeps in touch with his clients and employees. He believes that we should enjoy every moment, and live in the present. The past and the future are things beyond our control. The present, which comprises of sadness, happiness, difficulty, tears, and whatever emotion, is the only truth. Make everything count.