876GET delivery eyes islandwide service

876GET delivery eyes islandwide service

Observer staff reporter

Friday, October 23, 2020

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Unlike many companies that have experienced a fallout in business due to the onset on the novel coronavirus, online order and delivery service 876GET in Mandeville has grown and now has its vision set on islandwide coverage.

Head of operations Carolyn Fennell told the Jamaica Observer that the company offers customers a variety of choices by electronic commerce (e-commerce).

“We are building an e-commerce ecosystem. We are building communities from the ground up where people can tap into buying food, groceries, technology, you name it; it doesn't matter the product. There are people that deliver from their store to the customer's door without hassle,” she said.

The delivery company is web-based and has a smartphone application which is favourable in reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread.

“It is built with delivery in mind. It is built with convenience in mind, especially for a time like this where persons are trying to limit face-to-face interactions,” Fennell said.

She said the company “has been in development for the better part of two years, but with the onset of COVID-19 it kind of sped things up a little bit. The testing of the software, the applications, and so on, started as early as April. But if we were to pin down an exact start date, we would say July 13”.

Delivery services have come to the rescue of the restaurant sector with businesses such as 876GET increasing staff to meet demand.

“We started off with a very small staff of four people. However, in terms of delivery personnel, what we do is that we connect businesses to delivery persons. In the initial stages, we had two persons who were involved in the delivery side of things; now we have upwards of 30 persons,” Fennell said.

The company's vision of expanding to an islandwide delivery service is expected to be achieved by early 2021.

“Not only is 876Get operational in Mandeville, it is also in Linstead, because the vision for this is to take it islandwide. Jamaica does not have a good delivery network, and there has been slow on-time delivery prior to a platform like this. If you think about it, you purchase something from somebody locally and it would take a day or two days to get to you, because they send it via mail or courier service,” Fennell said. “We have set out to bring that time down from days to minutes and hours.”

She said the company's website and app are what drive the business.

“It is a virtual business, and most of what we do is driven through the website and the app. Our core staff is fairly small,” she went on.

876GET is set to expand its delivery services on the north coast this week.

“We are in Mandeville and Linstead, but this week Ocho Rios is starting and in another few weeks it is going to be Montego Bay,” Fennell said, adding that the company's goal is to help build the economy.

“We are going one community at a time. We believe that if we can get people in these towns buying from each other and getting money circulating in these hours, we are building the economy,” she said. “It is building the little man on the corner and so everybody will feel more comfortable.”

The app indicates to each customer the delivery services available in their area.

“The same 876GET app that you use in Mandeville is the same app you will use in Linstead, but you are not going to necessarily see a Mandeville business when you are in Linstead, unless it is a business set up for islandwide delivery,” Fennell said.

“We have opened the floodgates to any company that is willing to come on-board and basically to build Jamaica, one community at a time,” she added.

“The majority of the businesses that are on the app right now are food establishments. We have people who do make-up, pharmaceuticals, household chemicals, grocery, you name it,” she said.

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