When Asif Ali Gohar launched his vegan leather made from rice, he couldn’t have guessed at how large the business would grow and how much the idea would form his future. As his business has been expanding the transportation needs have also changed. When working with only very local suppliers and delivering to the local area, there were simple solutions that where accessible and affordable, but as the delivery radius has grown and the need to gather supplies from farther away has occurred, the company shifted and began to purchase trucks and other transportation needs. Today we talk to him about how that decision has changed his business and affected his budget.
How did you make the decision to take on the cost of transportation?
For me it was more about accessibility and the control of moving items in or out as I needed them, rather than wait for someone else to arrange the shipping and sort it and then wait for it to arrive. I have more control over the schedule when I can send my own truck and my own driver. It is just easier as we grow to have access to those services.
When making that choice what was the most surprising or unexpected expense?
I think it was the sheer number of expenses that was surprising. I knew that I would need the vehicle and a driver, plus insurance. You need so much of everything though. I needed a reliable vehicle to be reliable to my clients, so I had to find a good used one, which took several hours and paying for an inspection on each. Then I had to have insurance and pay the registration, find a licensed driver or pay to have someone trained, and then the loading and unloading that was often done by the delivery drivers where also our responsibility.
I need space to keep the vehicles, and if I have a trailer to use I need to store that as well, luckily there is space here for that, and until we need to expand more this will be fine.
Repairs need to be planned for as well, as they will need repairs, so for use we just use a local mechanic but other companies, and perhaps our own in the future, find it better to employ a full time mechanic.
Is the business running smoother deliveries and finding that it speeds the processes with your own choices and control over transportation needs?
I find that deliveries to clients that are nearby are smoother, because if they call and they need a date changed or a time changed we can approve it or offer an alternative a lot easier. For supplies coming in, it’s often easier to have them deliver so if they fall behind, I do not have a driver sitting around waiting for them to catch up or load the truck. It does offer increased flexibility but also increased responsibility.