Founder of newly established delivery service, Quick City Run, Jehmeil Shrouder, is encouraging more businesses to get on the E-commerce National Delivery System (ENDS) in order to reach more customers and provide quality service.
Mr. Shrouder launched Quick City Run in March of this year and registered on the ENDS pilot in April.
“ENDS is worth it and more quick-service companies need to get on,” he tells JIS News.
“Being on the ENDS pilot provides the required documentation to operate during the curfew hours. I think it is a great platform for quick-service businesses to be on. If you’re not on the ENDS, you are doing a disservice to your business and your customers. You create a business to meet customers’ needs so, if you consider them first, then you should and must be on the ENDS,” he continues.
The web-based ENDS system, which involves partnership with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), enables approved service and delivery stakeholders registered on the platform to operate during the curfew hours until midnight.
Customers are able to choose from listed vendors and pay for their orders via a debit/credit card or a top-up voucher.
The system, which was piloted in Portmore during the weekend of March 26 to 28, has since been extended to all parishes, with Kingston and St. Andrew leading the way with close to 60 registered, approved and compliant businesses as at May 22, followed by the Portmore Municipality and St. James, with 30 active companies each.
With Quick City Run a little over two months into operation, Mr. Shrouder reports that “the journey has been a beautiful experience” with valuable lessons being learned.
“This is the part of the business where we have to put in the long hours and engage in continuous research now that we are in operation. We are fresh-faced in the market, so there is much room to learn and grow,” he tells JIS News.
Mr. Shrouder, who is a financial statement auditor, says the idea for Quick City Run emerged as he travelled between Kingston and Montego Bay for work in 2020.
It was during that period, he says, that he noticed that the Second City did not have as many quick-delivery services as Kingston.
He shares, as well, that he used services from both locations and noticed flaws that he wanted to address.
“I wanted to add value to this industry to make it better. I am passionate about good-quality customer service, and that is missing in a few of the services I have used. So, instead of attacking the non-performers in the industry, I started a business that changes the game. Quick City Run is now part of a solution where we provide top-class customer service, and we intend to keep it that way,” he says.
Quick City Run presently delivers meals from restaurants to customers in communities within the Montego Bay area. The business is currently manned by two people, but there are plans to grow the team by the end of May. Plans are also in place to extend the services to carrying out everyday errands at a reasonable cost.
“One of the great things to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is that an entire country was forced to recognise that we can go digital with many services, and the ENDS is one of those innovations to facilitate that process,” Mr. Shrouder notes.
“We, as a people, have also come to fully understand that folks will pay for the convenience of having everyday errands done for them. As such, entrepreneurs in the [delivery business] should take advantage of that and take steps to facilitate these people through moves such as accepting digital payments. The conversation has begun and we need to continue to buy in. It gives hope that more innovations similar to this will come on stream,” he adds.
Mr. Shrouder has already incorporated a number of digital payment methods for Quick City Run, including the use of a debit card machine, bank transfers and WiPay.
“These methods,” he tells JIS News, “help to put the business on par with international counterparts, and ENDS facilitates that process as well”.
Mr. Shrouder, in hailing the ENDS platform, says it enables local businesses to deliver service that is comparable to international companies such as Uber Eats or Door Dash.
“I believe that local businesses can definitely be on the level of their international counterparts. In fact, most of them are already there. Quick service is the way to go; no one wants to stand in a line anymore,” he contends.
Mr. Shrouder says he feels blessed to be able to launch a business at a time when many have had to close their doors, while others are using the current situation to create new opportunities.
“Some people are finding ways of making an additional buck while still getting their nine-to-five jobs done. We see what has happened to some folks who have been laid off, and so we try to prepare ourselves for that eventuality while adding to the productivity of the nation. I am one of many people doing both. It gets a bit tiring, but I try to find a balance,” Mr. Shrouder says.