With Australia and New Zealand implementing some of the strongest business restrictions in the world, Trans-Tasman companies are using empathy, creative thinking, and an Irish advantage to transform their businesses and facilitate stronger customer ties, particularly amongst some of the hardest hit sectors such as hospitality, logistics and leisure.
Focusing on convenience, efficiency and safety, these Enterprise Ireland backed companies got creative with their digital capabilities which look set to flourish in the post-COVID-19 ‘new normal’.
Delivering on demand for the Restaurant Industry
Restaurant dispatch delivery software company VROMO, whose R&D centre is located in Perth, has stepped up its local expansion in response to huge demand.
The company equips restaurants of all sizes with the software to sell food and manage orders online, take payment and hire delivery drivers on demand. Crucially these benefits provide a vital lifeline to restaurants, allowing them to adhere to the government social distancing measures in Australia and New Zealand.
Alan Hickey, VROMO CEO, explains “We have restaurants that had never considered delivery, contacting us now asking ‘how can I turn this around asap?’ It is the only way they can sustain their business right now. The last three weeks have been crazy for us.”
Hickey’s confidence is well placed, as VROMO has already raised €3.85 million from existing investors, including Enterprise Ireland. Investor confidence has been fuelled by the company’s impressive client list including Burger King in New Zealand. “They came to us and asked to use our app to do their own deliveries,” Hickey said. “We thought: if they believe our product can work for them, we don’t have a huge amount of work to do to make it really polished and bring it to the market on a scalable basis.”
With online food delivery revenue in Australia set to grow at an estimated annual growth rate of 7.1%, coupled with the millions of consumers turning to delivery during the COVID-19 crisis, there is every chance VROMO can deliver on its potential.
Relocating the Gym to the Living Room
Glofox, a gym management software company, has pivoted successfully to launch a new platform that enables gyms and fitness studios in A/NZ to deliver live streaming and premium on-demand content to customers outside the traditional gym setting. To accelerate the urgent roll out in 48 countries, and to support companies to thrive in a fitness industry which is sure to have a stronger digital element in the future, Glofox have announced additional funding of $10M.
The driving force behind the new platform and funding was the decision of governments to close gyms in March. Glofox now enables fitness businesses to keep operating remotely and fulfilling their customers fitness needs online during COVID-19.
Glofox CEO, Conor O’Loughlin, said: “COVID-19 has transformed the fitness industry. Many gyms have made the leap to delivering virtual experiences overnight. Consumers have learned how to consume fitness content digitally and are beginning to feel comfortable with that. Businesses are adapting fast, and those that adopt new tools will survive now and be able to add new revenue streams coming out of this pandemic.”
The company celebrated the opening the of their Australian office in 2019, using Sydney as a base and launchpad to deliver industry leading customer experience to their customers in Asia-Pacific. Director of CX Operations, Stephen Mannion feels that the Australian market will be key to Glofox’s swift roll out as “Australian fitness operators such as F45 Training, Z Fit Studios and Cadence Pilates have been the earliest adopters of the new platform, bringing their workouts online, retaining members, building communities, and managing all aspects of their businesses with Glofox”.
Digitising the Waste and Recycling Sector
AMCS Group is the world’s largest provider of integrated, end-to-end software and hardware solutions for the waste, recycling, logistics and resource management industry. The company helps more than 2450 customers reduce their operating costs, increase asset utilisation, optimise margins and improve customer service by digitalising the end-to-end waste management process.
Because of the challenges posed to the waste and recycling industry by COVID-19, AMCS has announced the roll out a new cloud-based customer support portal, greatly improving end-customer service levels that also enables office staff to use the system whilst working from home. Household and commercial customers can schedule pick-ups online or through an app, track the vehicles arrival and departure, and ensure social distancing is maintained for essential waste collection workers.
The impressive new features have helped AMCS win new customers in Australia during the crisis, including Melbourne based Urban Waste. Co-Founder and General Manager Leonardo Scalia has already realised benefits in his business: “We love the product, we have seen immediate efficiency increases from customer service through to operations, accounts and sales database perspectives,” he explains. “This software suits our business to a tee, before AMCS, no software had the ability to collate data that was waste purpose built. Its next level. The tech, info, data is far superior to anything else in the market”.
There are now over 100 waste companies and councils using AMCS across Australia and New Zealand and AMCS A/NZ Director Michael Bates sees COVID-19 as the perfect storm for digital acceleration, “Companies in the waste and recycling industry that have already invested in digital operating systems have fared much better than those still functioning through more traditional methods, Urban Waste are an excellent example of this”.
Stephen Mullan, Market Executive – Digital Technologies, Enterprise Ireland A/NZ