Article submitted by Clara Luk of boni.com.hk
Hong Kong’s land price is notoriously high and the cramming living environment certainly does not make laundry an easy chore, plus the humidity and week-long showers, many Hongkongers turn to laundry stores as a solution. However, laundry stores’ delivery service time usually coincide with white collars’ working hours but sadly cannot afford extension. While the market demand exists, the traditional laundry industry struggles.
Elaine Leung is one of the founders of BONI, this team spent six months to actually work in laundry factory and logistics centre to understand the operations thoroughly. Their idea came from a daily struggle that there is “no laundry services with delivery all over Hong Kong with reasonable price after working hours”. As it became clear that traditional laundry industry requires additional aid to boost business and service, BONI team strives the best to create an online platform to link local laundry stores with customers.
Giving up the job as product designer, Elaine worked in several laundry factories and different stores, she found that the service standard is highly varied in the market according to price. She does not approve the strategy of sacrificing quality to cut price. However, she observed the pattern that laundry stores often has their ups and downs during the year, being caught in the peak season, they cannot spare a breathe but sometimes they barely have any customer. Many laundry stores are family business suffering from high rental price and scrambling for more customers. These laundry stores have limited resources to increase competitiveness for survival.
The team believes that with a user-friendly online platform, the traditional laundry stores can continue to focus on providing professional services while BONI provides convenient delivery service and attracts more customers with campaigns. BONI also monitors the quality of laundry services to gradually enhance the industry and improve the livelihood of traditional local businesses. By cooperating with laundry stores all over Hong Kong, they can provide same quality services to all Hong Kong citizens.
Another founder Kelvin Lee spent his 6-month “internship” in logistics, he realised that most delivery services set their estimated arrival time for a two to three hours long period. It is impossible for most white collars to sit tight and wait. Understanding the needs of Hongkongers, their BONI daringly pledges that clients can pick any one-hour time frame from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day for delivery. While free time is a luxury for Hongkongers, BONI is a useful tool to save time and live lives to the full.
BONI is one fine example to show the potential of O2O model to change a city’s service industry and living style. City dwellers certainly need more young entrepreneurs to spot our daily needs or problems and come up with creative solutions.
Written by Clara Luk