Customer Story

Lalamove: Building affordable, versatile global on-demand delivery with Google Workspace tools

Lalamove expanded to more than 20 global cities, built a worldwide network of 700,000 drivers, entered three major US cities, and upgraded multi-stop solutions with Google Workspace and Google Maps Platform.

Google Cloud Results

Enables remote onboarding of 1,000+ staff in more than 20 cities

• Supports global expansion strategy by cutting overseas staff training time by 20%
• Frees up resources for platform development with 10% reduction in office IT costs
• Enables team to focus on creative tasks by saving 10 hours per week on setup and maintenance tasks
• Permits safe online collaboration with third-party partners with robust security protocols

"As we grow in different cities, we've needed to collaborate remotely, especially with new COVID-19 challenges. Drive permits seamless real-time teamwork, while Meet and Calendar integration bring the whole global team together." – Alex Fok, Director of Engineering, Lalamove

Lalamove was founded in 2013 on a mission to disrupt the delivery sector in the same way ride-hailing apps transformed taxi services. At the time, small Hong Kong businesses risked missing delivery times due to the complicated process of ordering goods from traditional logistics firms, which often required getting quotes from multiple services days in advance.

That picture changed quickly when Lalamove was introduced. By enabling small businesses to hail delivery vehicles with an app, the Hong Kong startup would offer on-demand, same-day and advance-order delivery through a network of freelance drivers. It aimed to handle everything from courier services to large-haul deliveries.

By addressing a key pain point, the startup expanded at an impressive rate. Today, Lalamove operates in more than 20 global cities across Asia, Latin America and the US, with a network of more than 700,000 partner drivers. It serves everyone from brick-and-mortar stores to restaurants, retail chains and ecommerce businesses.

But alongside this rapid expansion, the company faced new challenges. Among the most significant was coordinating work with a growing global team, in particular onboarding new drivers with uniform training in markets flung across the world. Lalamove's adoption of Google Workspace after being on a rival productivity solution enabled seamless expansion, facilitating secure collaboration with both staff and clients.

"As we grow in different cities, we've needed to collaborate remotely, especially with new COVID-19 challenges," says Alex Fok, Director of Engineering at Lalamove. "Drive permits seamless real-time teamwork, while Meet and Calendar integration bring the whole global team together."

Onboarding partner drivers from Manila to Rio de Janeiro

"With Google Workspace we can handle all onboarding needs, enabling unlimited expansion even in challenging times. On Drive, new staff access all documents, including SOP (standard operating procedure) guidelines, and get trained on Meet."– Alex Fok, Director of Engineering, Lalamove

Lalamove's global success hinges on the ability to build reliable local teams that can provide consistent, quality services across all markets. To make that possible, drivers and support crews in new Lalamove cities need to learn from experienced team members in established markets.

Previously, Lalamove flew a training team to a new service area to carry out the onboarding in person. That became increasingly challenging as the startup extended its geographic range across Asia and into Latin America. It later became impossible in the first half of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to global air travel.

For Alex's team, Google Workspace emphatically demonstrated its growth-enabling power in fall 2020, when Lalamove successfully launched in three US markets (Chicago, Dallas, and Houston). Using Google Workspace collaboration tools, it was able to train staff in its most ambitious expansion to date at the height of the pandemic.

"With Google Workspace we can handle all onboarding needs, enabling unlimited expansion even in challenging times," says Alex. "On Drive, new staff access all documents, including SOP (standard operating procedure) guidelines, and get trained on Meet." As a result, Google Workspace enabled Lalamove to fully onboard more than 1,000 employees across 20 cities, while shortening training time required by 20% through savings on travel time enabled by Meet remote conferencing and Calendar session integration.

Managing global workflows in real-time

"With a combination of Google Workspace and Google Maps Platform, we're confident our potential for global growth is unlimited. Whatever delivery demands come our way, we know we'll meet them with Google productivity and mapping solutions."– Alex Fok, Director of Engineering, Lalamove

Today, Google Workspace enables Lalamove's global expansion through centralized cloud-based management of all workflows in the startup's ecosystem. This means that its Hong Kong headquarters can access, share, and invite collaboration on all documents, without storing any files locally. This was not possible in Lalamove's first two years, when it was using what Alex calls "a legacy productivity solution."

Moving to Google's cloud-based platform also saves Lalamove money. The startup has achieved 10% reduction in office IT costs through elimination of software licenses per laptop. Lalamove has also saved 10 hours per week on setup and maintenance tasks since switching to Google Workspace, because the IT team is freed from the task of configuring settings or handling support tickets in an easy-to-use cloud environment.

One of the most significant advantages of Google Workspace, says Alex, is enabling daily video calls on Meet with local operation teams. By allowing Lalamove's leadership to grasp each market's shifting needs, it can make rapid decisions to maximize delivery performance.

"At the beginning, we were just a local company operating in one city so we didn't need to think about cloud-based productivity solutions," says Alex. "Expanding to multiple global markets, work becomes unmanageable without centralized file management and video conferencing. With Google Workspace, we keep everything under control."

Discovering Google Workspace security tools to enable safe collaboration with clients

Lalamove's core ethos is to be a strategic partner to clients, more than just a service that transports goods from point A to B. For example, it works with clients on solutions to handle larger orders as they grow. In order to work closely with clients on solutions, however, Lalamove needs robust security protocols to make sure sensitive data is not compromised. Alex says that Google Workspace makes third-party collaboration safe with world-class protections in a secure, reliable and compliant environment.

Working with Google Cloud Premier Partner Master Concept, the startup is able to bolster data security beyond the standard access controls and security protocols built into Google Workspace. In particular, the cloud technology adviser guided Lalamove to the Vault tool on Google Workspace that optimizes data retention and eDiscovery (electronic discovery), the process of seeking and finding information in electronic format.

Vault enables Lalamove to safely and seamlessly retain, hold, search, and export Google Workspace data, including Gmail messages, Drive files, and Meet recordings. Alex says this means Lalamove always has "a 360-degree view and control over all critical proprietary data."

Creating advanced multi-stop solutions with a full range of Google Maps Platform APIs

As an on-demand, same-day delivery solution, Having first-class mapping tools is crucial to the business. The platform deploys a host of Google Maps Platform solutions to enable its delivery app's multi-stop and route optimization features, which save clients time and money.

Lalamove uses a combination of Directions API, Geocoding API and Places API to provide the granular location data it needs for proprietary AI algorithms to bundle deliveries in the most timely and efficient way possible.

With Google Maps Platform, Lalamove is developing advanced services such as management of complex client orders, including the optimization of drop-offs from a customer's central distribution center to multiple retail outlets. The company will continue to use this platform to evolve its capabilities worldwide, thanks to a library of APIs that enable granular calculation of routes, distances, ETAs and traffic conditions.

"With a combination of Google Workspace and Google Maps Platform, we're confident our potential for global growth is unlimited," says Alex. "Whatever delivery demands come our way, we know we'll meet them with Google productivity and mapping solutions."

*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.

Deployment Partner (Google Workspace authorized reseller)

Master Concept

Master Concept is a Google Cloud Premier Partner that provides technology services and cloud advisory to improve customer experience for businesses around the Asia Pacific. It offers cloud strategy, implementation and integration support, and training and platform enhancements.