Lab & Projects
New times for
old experienced teams
I arrived at Scharff with the task of creating and leading the Innovation and Transformation area. This area was to develop the first Logistics Innovation laboratory in Peru and be in charge of managing transformation projects for the company.
For a 35-year-old company with a lot of experience in the market, this represented a new kind of challenge.
The laboratory required working with people of all ages, profiles, and areas of the company, but the challenge would be to work on something completely new.
Using methodologies such as Design Thinking, Scrum, and Agile, we manage to work with all types of industries (retail, pharmaceutical, commodity trading, etc.) and develop multiple transformation projects in the company. Read on to see some of these projects.
You want it? You’ve got it
Buying on Amazon or any e-commerce is easy in the United States, but this does not translate to the international market.
In Peru, if you make a purchase through Amazon (or any other American e-commerce) you must pay (a lot) for international shipping, not to mention the time this can take if you work with Serpost (the Peruvian version of USPS).
Upon detecting this need, we developed an online shopping system where we offered the client an American address where we would pick up all purchases and take them to Lima, to leave them at their door.
This project involved searching for business partners, web development, a traceability system, and the recruitment of a team with experience and assertiveness in international trade issues.
This service continues to this day, complies with all customs regulations, and is the fastest-growing (in transactions and sales) in the Scharff Innovation and Transformation area. The most important indicators are monthly transactions, service time, and, of course, customer satisfaction.
Don’t worry, just ask
Scharff’s most important service line is FedEx. An international courier that imports and exports packages for individuals and/or businesses.
The FedEx contact center received more than 500 inquiries a day with the same question «Where is my package?». Although the answer was on FedEx’s tracking website, the customer wanted more, and they didn’t want to wait on the phone for an agent.
So we developed AMANDA, the first logistics virtual assistant in Peru and Bolivia.
Unlike a bot, Amanda relies on IBM’s Watson technology to understand natural language (so no more buttons with questions to chose from), and delivers personalized responses 24 hours a day.
This project required extensive research on basic user needs and an understanding of agents’ daily tasks. This knowledge was then translated to our technology partners at IBM, ultimately working with the communication and design team to give Amanda a fresh and natural personality.
Although Amanda was developed in a few months, indicators control, especially in the first few months, was vital to ensure that it was useful to the end-user and worth the investment.
Drop it on your way
Many Scharff customers, whether they are small businesses owners or individuals, are not at the location where they are going to send or receive a package all day. And not every building has a doorman or someone else who can receive or make a delivery.
This is how Scharff Points was born. Relying on traditional mom-and-pop shops, it offers a middle hub where packages can be safely delivered or received at the user’s convenience.
This project also serves to generate traffic, give visibility, and open a new income stream to traditional stores, for whom it is increasingly difficult to compete with large retailers.
This project required a team dedicated to the recruitment of Scharff Points, training of the business owners in logistics matters, and Incorporation of this new model in the way the door-to-door service was regularly worked.
On a day-to-day basis, the most important indicators are the time a package is left in a store, the number of points available to users, and user return.