In the driver’s seat with Snapcart director Kobus van der Westhuizen
Posted on 7 June 2016 in General
Kobus van der Westhuizen is the experienced logistics-lover and Director of Snapcart. He’s committed to growing a start-up that’s all about agility, simplicity, and quality. We chatted to Kobus about his experience in the industry and how the dream of Snapcart came to fruition.
When did your love for logistics begin?
My passion for trucks and logistics started at a very young age. At the age of seven, my parents had two hardware stores, one in Villiers and the other in Frankfort. On more than one occasion I travelled with a big 30 Tonner, Ford Louisville, carrying cement from Villiers to Frankfort. As a child, I began imitating the sound of trucks.
After school, I joined the auditing profession for seven years and then I joined the largest logistics group in Africa where I made my contribution as a Financial Manager. This is where my passion was reaffirmed. Often early in the mornings, I would take a stroll from the admin building through the big transport yard down to the workshop to hear the revving engines of all the trucks ready to deliver cargo.
Sounds like a great background to what you’re doing now as a Director for Snapcart?
Yes, I quickly learned the terminology used in this industry e.g. CPC (cent per kilometre), fixed variable rate, GIT (goods in transit), Tautliner, Flatdeck, Tri-Axle and even what a Moffett and Taillight is. The knowledge gained over the next 13 years has set us up to introduce Snapcart to the marketplace.
Any major learnings along the way?
Yes, many! Over time, I have noted the shortcomings of the logistics industry in South Africa and have thought of ways to modernize and improve. With a lot of help, brainstorming and support from not only my business colleague but friend Andre Trollip (a software architect) we have developed solutions to a sometimes archaic industry, and a first for Africa.
Tell us a bit more about Snapcart itself...
Snapcart is owned and operated by We Quote (Pty) Ltd, a member of the Microsoft BizSpark™ Plus program. The Microsoft BizSpark™ Plus program and Azure helped us accelerate our development efforts by removing the burden of acquiring software development tools. Azure also helps us to stay agile in our thinking and enabling us to scale our infrastructure as the business grows.
That’s exciting stuff for the logistics industry at large. What are your next steps?
We’ve launched a TV Commercial, a billboard, been on Ontbytsake on DSTV and travelled around the country spreading the Snapcart good news - and there’s more to come!
Sounds like Snapcart is coming in as a business at the right time and in the right place...
We think so. Over the last couple of years in this industry, I have seen the growth in the ADHOC market, where customers do not want to be tied up in long-term contracts with their logistic service providers, but where reliability and price play a bigger role in their decision making of transporting their goods.
We believe that Snapcart has arrived at the right time with the right intentions. Our Mission, in short, is all about Agility, Simplicity, and Quality.