Cape Town – It all started with a third-year chemical engineering assignment at Wits University in 2015.
Then 23-year-old Kimberley Taylor was tasked with developing an algorithm that shortened the possible distance between cities for a travelling salesman.
This task, however, would later unwittingly inspire the concept of Loop, an app she later invented that optimises better interaction for everyone involved in the supply chain – the business, the driver and the customer.
Originally born in Edenvale, Kimberley was raised by an “incredible” single mother who built a nursery school at the back of her house.
“She was my first example of an entrepreneur who embodies bravery, hard work, passion, and a strong vision,” she says.
Kimberley could have never foreseen at the time that her invention would create much-needed employment opportunities in the tech industry.
Her enterprise consists of seven team members, which include herself, her Product lead, Business Development lead, Junior tester and Developer, and Client Support; Client Engagement lead, Junior Data Scientist and Front-End and Mobile Developer.
The App functions in four parts:
Management Console: This part of the system is for the business.
“It gives our clients visibility, communication tools, intelligent algorithms to make operations as smooth as possible,” she says.
Driver App: “This part of the system is for the driver. It gives them the best route, and a host of other features based on the requirements of our client. Our system is completely configurable for the business processes and safety measures needed by different businesses to deliver,” Kimberley explains.
Customer Tracking Page: “Some of our clients want their end customers to have visibility of the driver or at least an accurate ETA – this is provided to them through the tracking page we provide.”
Data Analytics: “The most important part is the data and insights that come out of using the technology. As delivery-tech becomes commoditised it is our experience and ability to extract insight from the data to help our clients drive down costs, and scale sustainably that is important,” she concludes.
The functionalities of the app are individually configurable for different business models, setting it apart from any other delivery management app in the market, with its ability to respond in real-time to the evolving needs of its users.
The tech space is often male-driven but that did not deter Kimberley who set out and made it her mission to implement her concept.
Asked about her thoughts on female empowerment in a testosterone-filled industry she says:
“I think women make great leaders and build loyalty through their nurturing nature.
“Women are really intuitive, they listen, have empathy and these qualities are so important in building a successful business.
“We have been successful in business and in tech because we have deeply understood the problem we are solving – that comes from listening to clients, truly empathising with the people who are utilising the system and understanding how to make their lives easier or how to make them happy – woman are great at these things,” she says.
Fast-forward to five years later from that key assignment and Loop has established itself firmly in major retailers who are using the app to simplify their delivery business management.
Big companies like the chicken franchise Nandos, Kauai, Quench, Servest and RTT which is the power logistics company that is using the app to enable the Checkers 60/60 deliveries, are all in on her invention.
Today, Kimberley is the Chief Executive Officer of her own successful enterprise.
“Our story began with a problem that needed solving. So, we solved it, writing our first algorithm.”
A bold statement quoting a genius of a young lady who saw a problem and set out to solve it!
Picture: Kimberley Taylor
Compiled by Odwa Shumi