Bertrand Spaeth is a co-founder of Kizy Tracking, a company born in 2014 and based in Switzerland which motto is to provide “end-to-end supply chain visibility with real-time IoT Data.“ Bertrand Spaeth will be speaking at the IoT Tracking Summit organized by Positioning on October 20-21st, 2020.
Bertrand, can you tell me a bit about yourself, how Kizy Tracking got started and what is the core of your business?
We were five co-founders who created the company back then. All of us had previously gained experience in various areas – from marketing to business development to engineering. At that time, we were looking for a tracker on the market that ensured global tracking, long autonomy, a small size and comes at an affordable price. The solutions that were available had one or two of these things, but not all four. So, since there was none, we created one. It took two years of hard work to fund the developments, night shifts in the garage included. The result was the very first Kizy Tracker, the K1.
The core of our business is not only to create trackers, but to value the data that result from using them. Our vision is to connect carrier, shipper and logistics service providers in order to optimize supply chains in the best possible way. Creating the trackers is our first step towards collecting the data you need for that.
Can you describe the technologies you are using and the different products and add-on, and how you differentiate at that level?
Since day one we have valued our four basic principles that distinguish Kizy trackers from others. First of all, we want to ensure that our trackers work globally and allow the best coverage. Therefore, we use mobile phone networks and WiFi. 2G and 3G are the only networks that are truly globally available at the moment – no matter where you are, it works in every country. In contrast to GPS, GSM connectivity ensures signal transmission from the inside of buildings and containers, too. This is crucial, considering that this is where shipments are located most of the time. Another advantage of using GSM is that it consumes much less energy than GPS. That’s why our trackers have an autonomy of up to one year. Furthermore, we want our trackers to be small – so they can fit into parcels and letters easily, and can be returned when arrived at destination – and low in price, to make them affordable for everyone, including niche markets. If customers wish to expand the usage of trackers at any time – no problem. At Kizy, we have created a technology that can easily be scaled to go to large numbers.
What are the key vertical markets you are targeting and their specific needs?
Our target is to address the supply market on a large scale. Millions of shipments make their way around the globe each day. Everything that surrounds us has been delivered in one way or another, even the device you are reading this interview on. The supply chain behind all of this is invisible – still, companies need to know exactly where their shipments are located at all times. Any kind of disruption along the way results in huge losses for the businesses. Therefore, a supply chain needs to be transparent. With Kizy Tracking, we enable end-to-end supply chain visibility in real time.
So far what has been your biggest deployment of tracking devices in the field, and for what purpose?
In total, we have sold approximately 20.000 Kizy trackers so far. The majority of the trackers is used by postal and logistics companies to measure the delivery quality of letters, parcels and goods. For instance, the international postal operator Asendia currently uses trackers to investigate the causes of delays and to ensure high customer satisfaction. We also support other companies in the management of their supply chain visibility, such as PostNL, New Zealand Post and Deutsche Post. Outside of the postal sectors, among our customers are freight forwarder like Geodis, and ProStarlog who use trackers for long-term tracking along the China - Europe routes, and K.Hartwall for asset management.
What are the key business trends you see developing today, and have you seen a significant impact of / traction from COVID-19?
We have noticed that companies tend towards having an increasingly flexible supply chain. However, they want to offer the same level of quality to their customers – regardless of where, what or how much is being shipped. This fact turns out to be even more true in times of COVID-19. Now, supply chains need to shrink or grow much faster and companies must adapt to this. Kizy trackers are the tools that allow businesses to respond to this flexibility in their supply chains.
What is the goal of the company in the next 2-3 years?
Although it may seem ambitious for the next two to three years, our goal is to sell 100.000 trackers in order to increase data collection and thus improve the transparency and connectivity of global supply chains.