Fleet Efficiency Through Centralized SoftwareBy Andrea Villar | Tue, 11/17/2020 - 05:00
Q: What added value does Pulpomatic offer to the market?
A: Four years ago, we wanted to create a business model for on-demand valet parking. The idea was to create an application where users could ask for a valet parking guy who would arrive on a scooter, take the car and park it. Later, the user would use the app to have the car returned. However, when drafting the business plan, the numbers did not add up. It was a very expensive service to run. Instead, we decided to offer companies a completely digital parking service for their employees. As we talked to all these companies, many of them told us that they had large fleets of vehicles but were not sure how much they spent on fuel or how many vehicles were in maintenance or even if some had been stolen. They did not even know if they had too many or too few vehicles.
When we saw this lack of control, we thought that the sector was asking us for a solution to a common problem. It was necessary to provide transparency and visibility regarding their fleets so that they could make valuable decisions and save time and money on management. That led us to create Pulpomatic, a software that can be integrated into any data source, whether that is GPS, sensors or toll payment systems. In addition, we provide our clients with operational tools within the platform itself. Pulpomatic can manage vehicles, drivers, maintenance, fuel, expenses, maps and routes. By having everything centralized on a single platform, our customers receive savings and an impact on the time of use and efficiency of the fleet. Their business performs better with fewer vehicles. Another positive side effect is that Pulpomatic helps reduce CO2 emissions because we improve fuel efficiency and are able to take many vehicles off the road by making the fleet more efficient.
Our platform allows planning of demand, distribution and consumption of the vehicle fleet. A whole operation can be planned based on the vehicles and drivers the company has available at any given time. If you are a logistics company, Pulpomatic can also manage and optimize routes. We provide efficient maintenance, vehicle availability, operational flows and route planning. All this translates to significant savings.
Q: What impact does Pulpomatic's AI software have on its customers' operations?
A: What our clients want most is to be able to predict maintenance for the vehicles and to know what factors influence their performance. Having a car in Mexico City is not the same as having one in Cancun because of the different climate, roads, use and wear of the vehicle. Furthermore, if we know a person’s driving style, the routes they take and their type of vehicle, among other factors, we can predict and warn companies when they need to act before a major problem arises. In this way, we extend the life of the vehicle and we save companies a great deal of money.
Q: What opportunities did Pulpomatic detect during the pandemic to strengthen its business?
A: The pandemic has had two effects on Pulpomatic. The sad and unfortunate part is that we have seen customers go bankrupt or stop their operations for a long time. We have tried to be flexible with them and help them, even by offering free consultancy. We believe that is our moral duty to our clients.
From a more positive perspective, many sectors like delivery, logistics, pharma or food have grown a great deal. Likewise, many companies with fleets that had not previously considered using an efficiency tool like Pulpomatic are suddenly looking to us. Our potential client pipeline is the biggest we have had in our history. Companies are much more aware of the lack of control they have over their fleets. Today, we have companies from all sectors among our clients, from funeral services and ambulances to industrial and agricultural machinery. However, our most numerous customers are last-mile companies. Our solution is now much better prepared thanks to all those clients who have been challenging us and with whom we love to work.
We also recognized that there were missing functionalities in the platform that we had not properly solved. One example is our collaborative tools. In March, when people started going into lockdown, we realized that Pulpomatic had to be a collaboration tool, as well. This has been critical because we have hundreds of customers that in turn have thousands of employees working with the fleets and overnight they had to change their traditional way of working.
Q: What features did Pulpomatic enhance to meet the demands of last-mile clients?
A: We worked on three main aspects. First, we had to improve our entire maintenance operation. Because vehicles are on the road a lot and cannot fail, being able to provide timely maintenance was a big challenge. In the end, we developed a powerful solution that is completely new in the market. Then we had to improve the communication tools between the teams to coordinate all projects and operations. Third and most important, the main challenge that our clients presented us was to provide the best market insights to help them be more efficient. That forced us to improve our reporting and alerting systems.
Q: What values will enable the company to achieve its long-term goals?
A: There are several values that we transmit to the whole team but I can summarize them in a single one: listening. Not only do you have to listen to your peers to understand their ideas and learn, but you also have to listen to customers and to the market. If you are not listening, you are going to miss out on a lot. In the end, it is as easy as letting your customers talk, let them tell you their problems, listen to them, understand them and then translate their concerns into a business solution.
At the same time, being a startup in a changing market with a competitive environment requires flexibility and adaptability. You will not be happy working in a startup if you are not able to adapt to all the situations that arise, such as a sudden pandemic that forces you to change your strategy or a new competitor arriving in the market.
Q: What makes Mexico such an attractive region for startups and for Pulpomatic in particular?
A: First of all, the market is enormous. Mexico is almost the size of Europe. It has many entrepreneurs who are willing to try new things, who are not afraid and do not let themselves be sunk by anything. This means that the country always has a dynamic vibe. You always see new trends and that makes the region ideal for launching new projects. Likewise, there is tremendous talent here. In addition, the proximity to the US and being a Spanish-speaking country makes it very attractive.
For Pulpomatic in particular, it is attractive because it is a big country with no rail distribution other than FERROMEX to move goods or people around the country, so you need vehicles.
Pulpomatic is a tech company specialized in fleet management through machine learning and artificial intelligence. It was founded in 2016 in Spain and to date, manages more than 200,000 vehicles