Interview: Cynthia Aïssy, General Manager of KeyOpsTech

«KeyOpsTech offers digital and secure parcel tracking between sub-Saharan cities via smartphone»

KeyOpsTech, is a computer solution that allows to send a package or folds between different cities in sub-Saharan Africa with digital and secure tracking for the sender and the recipient.

Financial Afrik: Cynthia Aïssy, you are the General Manager of KeyOpsTech, so what is KeyOpsTech?

Cynthia Aïssy: KeyOpsTech is an IT solution that allows the digital tracking of packages and folds between different cities in sub-Saharan Africa. We have been present in Ivory Coast and Senegal since 2018 and for a few months in Mali and Burkina Faso. Since the beginning of our activity in February 2018, we have already delivered nearly 200,000 parcels.

We offer carriers, specifically bus companies serving the interior of the country, this computer solution that digitizes the flow of parcels and folds and allows them to time to follow their activities. Identify and trace all packages from creation to delivery via a mobile application that is set up at each link in the chain, so each person who will touch the parcel station. An online platform allows the management to monitor its activities and have a better visibility on the performance of each agency.

When you know that in sub-Saharan Africa the land transport sector is mostly run by people with little or no literacy how will you succeed in making them integrate this technology into their daily lives?

Transportation is one of the sectors that still operates in a very traditional way with a lot of paper tools. It is a background work that we do every day to accompany our users. We mainly equip the teller machines that are now responsible for creating packages via paper slips. They are often young and accustomed to using new technologies, so they learn quickly. The teams are very afraid initially because it is a change of habits, but thanks to our trainers on site, we are close to them to accompany them in the transition. By being constantly in the field, it allows us to identify the innovations but also the constraints to take into account to improve our product and improve the user experience. I have a 24-hour operational team in the field to do training reminders, accompany and interview clients.

And what feedback do you have at this stage?

There are two types of customers: the bus companies and the end customer who sends and receives parcels. The bus companies are delighted because they can increase their turnover. As for the end customer, SMS notifications are highly appreciated. Indeed, before, they had to spend credit to contact the station or the recipient to ensure delivery of the package. It’s spending and less time lost and more peace. Customers are very satisfied.

What is the profile of your customers?

We sell the IT solution to carriers. My clients therefore have very different profiles: managers of bus companies, small, medium and large companies. Some who have 5 other destinations several dozens. We ship parcels and folds of varying volume.

Since you cross borders and have lines between different countries, do you take into account the customs taxes in your fees?

The carrier is the one who decides and sets the price he wants. KeyOpsTech only markets the solution to the bus companies. Whether between Abidjan and Korhogo, that is to say in the same country, or internationally, the carrier is responsible for fixing the amounts and integrating this cost.

I ask the question because with your platform you speak of a secure accompaniment and traced so traceability takes into account the risks of the road?

Absolutely. There are all sorts of risks today traceability allows the carrier whether it is land, air or sea to know exactly who does what when. We do not offer pure geolocation that is to say that the package is two kilometers from Bouake but we go further with a real transfer of responsibility. For example, Mohamed is a driver and he is responsible for my package. At 18h he will be in Bouaké and it is now the ticket office that will pick up the package. This allows the carrier to know who is responsible for the package at a specific time.

Do you focus on the interior of the country and the big cities?

KeyOpsTech aims to be present tomorrow everywhere in sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted several market studies and identified cities with high potential. These are capitals, secondary cities or small towns. We are present in 4 countries today but soon we will expand our offer in the sub-region.

How much does the benefit cost?

It is difficult for me to give you a price because it is defined according to the volume. The price is decreasing according to the volume.

Many companies offer digital shipments what is the difference between KeyOpsTech and others?

The difference is that we offer digital tracking of packages from the creation of the package until delivery with a transfer of responsibility. Today there is a lot of deliveries tracked or traced in urban areas and much like geolocation. Our system is designed to eventually connect cities to each other across the region.

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