My very first job was as a newspaper delivery boy for one of the largest newspaper companies in Korea. Although I was getting paid only $3 per hour, I really wanted the new Nintendo and this was the only job I could find as a middle school student.
It was an extremely demanding job. I had to get up at 3:30AM, check into the local distribution center, pick up a heavy stack of freshly printed newspapers, and deliver them to about 400 subscribers all over the town. This process would normally take about 3 hours to complete. Once I was done, I headed directly to school.
The distribution center had about 20 middle & high school students that delivered newspapers, but about 3 of them would quit the job or not even show up at all on a daily basis.
When they did not show up, the rest of us had to pick up additional subscribers, adding to our workload. This then resulted in some becoming disgruntled and quitting the following day. In the meantime, the branch manager would spend his precious time looking for more delivery boys (we were all boys at the time), sometimes spending the entire day doing so.
Now, think about this. Every newspaper company was fiercely fighting to be the first to get the top news to their subscribers. Yet, even if they had the best story, if the newspaper was not delivered, it just did not matter. This last mile problem cost these companies a lot of money.
Surprisingly, even after 20 years, companies are still struggling to solve this last mile problem in a cost effective way. For example,
- I was traveling last week and when I arrived at the hotel, I could not check into my room because they were having a shortage of housekeepers and could not get the rooms cleaned fast enough. I told myself I would never come back to this hotel.
- I went to buy a box of cereal at a grocery store on Saturday evening, but there was only one cashier’s line open and there were about 8 shoppers waiting in line. I left without buying the cereal.
So, what if we could solve this last mile problem of staffing workers appropriately based on real time needs? What if we can instantly tap into a large pool of qualified workforce (whether our own existing, but underutilized workers or workers outside of our organizations) waiting at our fingertips whenever and wherever we need them?
A surge in the number of shoppers at the grocery store? A sudden increase in online orders to fulfill? A large number of hotel rooms that need to be cleaned? Well – what if we can push the button on our app and qualified, pre-vetted workers show up, get the job done and save the day, all in a frictionless, seamless way? Imagine the world where the problem of unpredictable staffing needs can be solved with a push of a button.
At Wonolo, we have already started to solve this problem with a revolutionary App so that managers can focus on higher-value added tasks, companies can save (and make) a lot of money all the while providing jobs to youth, students, stay-at-home-parents, part-time workers, retirees, veterans, etc…
Please join us on this journey and see the revolution.
– Yong Kim, Co-Founder, Wonolo