Not all start-ups are created equal and what sets Loop apart is that the dynamic, energetic, never-take-no-for-an-answer tone is set from the top and has been since day one, when Kimberley Taylor – while still in varsity – saw a problem and set to work solving it.
After high school, Kim wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted to do or be when she ‘grew up’ but she knew that she wanted to study something that wouldn’t limit her. Knowing that none of the traditional medical feels floated her boat and taking her love of math and problem-solving problems into account, she decided to qualify as a Chemical (Process) Engineer which would give her options – “I’d heard that a BSC in Chemical Engineering could open doors in the fields of business, banking, engineering and consulting as a result of how I’d learn to think in the process of qualifying, which excited me.”
To close a loop, you have to start one.
It was during her time at varsity, that Kim found herself intrigued by a common thread that emerged during conversations with both businesses and consumers – the frustrating topic of deliveries. It became clear to her that there was a problem but no one seemed to be figuring out how to solve it, innovatively. So, in a quest to satisfy her inner problem-solver, she went in search of more and more of these conversations. “I spoke to many, many companies, asking to see their real-time operations so that I could see the inefficiencies, problems and stumbling blocks first-hand,” she says, adding that, “I was brave and perhaps naïve enough to believe I could help them by coming up with a solution. I had no pre-conceived ideas about how to build tech or a business so everything was done from a completely fresh perspective and first principles.”
At the end of 2015, mid-way through her studies, Kim completed a project that involved her writing a route optimisation algorithm. It was the first time she’d considered how or if logistics companies were using route optimisation algorithms and her ‘a-ha!’ moment.
So, what came after the ‘A-ha!’ moment?
Excuse the pun, but it was a bit of a loop – “I would plot out a theoretical plan for a platform that I thought would solve the issues these businesses were facing, pitch this plan to businesses and, based on their feedback and insights, circle back to refine the plan. It was a “loop” of pitching and refining, pitching and refining some more.”
Being only 23, Kim wasn’t afraid to try and fail which made her approach one that could be described as fearless. In her gut she knew that she could figure out a way to provide drivers with the best route (so that they could be more efficient) while giving businesses the real-time route visibility to optimise all-important communication.
Her dedication to the ‘loop’ paid off when, in June 2017, Lightstone invested in her vision, enabling Kim to build the tech and put her theories into practice.
But going from idea to implementation wasn’t without its challenges…
As many an entrepreneur will know, few things test your character quite like building a business from scratch, let alone pioneering a new business idea, but Kim is quick to point out that the challenges – along with external mentorship from those around her and internal radical honesty with herself – enabled her to grow into the person Loop needs her to be – always a few steps ahead.
“As the industry’s needs change so do the problems that need solving and the tech that needs to be built,” she explains. “I am always thinking beyond the problems the industry is facing in the present to identify the problems the industry will face in the future. I feel like when we started, we were playing checkers, but now we’re playing chess, always anticipating the industry’s next move.”
The thing about the problem we solve, is that it’s never really solved.
The industry of on-demand deliveries has ongoing challenges – it’s a moving target, which definitely keeps things interesting for Kim and her team. At the heart of Loop is a firm belief that Loop truly understands the industry’s businesses, customers and drivers, and has the world-class tech coupled with on-the-ground, local insight to respond rapidly to new challenges as they arise, measurably moving the on-demand delivery space forward.
Asked what Loop ‘does’, Kim has this to say…
“At Loop we do more than help companies manage and grow their delivery business, we consider every part of the industry’s supply chain. We’re continually refining our understanding of a business, its controllers, ops managers, drivers and the end consumers, so that we can help them to make better decisions, have better visibility, communicate more effectively and better utilise an important resource – time.”
Making people happy is a full-time job – and Kim’s dream job.
What keeps Kim motivated to keep building what she’s impressively built at such a young age and in a relatively short space of time, is her genuine love for how Loop’s system helps people achieve greater job satisfaction. It’s no wonder that, when asked what her passion is she keeps it short and sweet but impactful: “My passion sits around happiness, people and solving problems. These values are at the heart of Loop and always will be.”