WORKING CAPITAL

When I was leading Algoorit.me we worked for a food delivery company called Aloha24 that runs a business model similar to JustEat or Deliveroo. They charge a commission to the hotelier for a distributed order.

They hired us to develop a predictive model of their demand that would allow them to adjust their delivery staff to the demand of the day. During the project the client confessed to me that he had a treasury problem, the clients were paying them later. While the contract specified that the payment was 1 month the average delay in payment was in 2’5 months and rising. Aloha 24 paid its employees and suppliers monthly and the situation was bleeding the company financially.

I proposed him to run a tiny experiment to find a “lean” solution and reduce the payment period from 2.5 to 1 month.

So I put to work and designed a structured research, bounded in time and resources with the following phases:

  1. Investigation of the problem (7 days)
  2. Definition of a multidisciplinary team to face the problem
  •  1 Users of the Aloha24 logistic app
  •  1 A restaurant owner
  •  2 Engineers
  •  Myself
  1. Double Diamond day 1 Discover & Define (1 day)
  2. I valued technical solutions and wireframes (1 day)
  3. Implement solutions (1 day)
  4.  Measure the solution (1 week)

The investigation revealed that the problem was that the person using the service (logistics operator or store manager) was not the person who paid for the service. With which the administrative authorizing the payment systematically delayed.

I gathered the team to look for solutions with a double diamond dynamic and we collect more than 30 ideas. During this first part of the process, my role was to ensure that the solutions were as simple as possible and that the proposals of all the stakeholders were taken into account with the same value.

On the second part we eliminated those that were not viable and we were left with 5, they were technically viable but had different costs. So I asked the technical team to evaluate the implementation effort and I ordered the ideas by effort. The most expensive idea in terms of resources was to implement an automatic payment gateway that, apart from technical implications, obliged to reformulate the business model and to re-sign contracts.

The cheapest idea, the one we finally implemented was to show a banner to the user who said “due to lack of payment we were going to cut the service”. After this message the user contacted the one who pays the bills and asks him to pay ASAP.

We solve the problem with a banner that cost us 2 hours of development. Aloha24 took 2 months to recover the rhythm of monthly payment of its services and therefore to balance its treasury. 2 weeks of investigation, 2 hours of programming implementations and testing for solving a critical financial problem.

This generates 3 layers

  1. Business Layer (deal design user and company WIN/WIN)
  2. UX layer
  3. Techlayer
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