Don’t resist change – CEO of LIVE FR8™, Christiaan Mauritz Rautenbach, on Cloud adaptation for increased efficiency

Don’t resist change - CEO of LIVE FR8™, Christiaan Mauritz Rautenbach, on Cloud adaptation for increased efficiency

Written by Staff Writer

26/05/2021

By Charndré Emma Kippie

 

Christiaan Mauritz Rautenbach, CEO, entrepreneur and Founder of LIVE FR8™, has experience in a variety of fields such as programming, cost and management accountancy, financial management, sales and marketing. He has previously managed 4 milling complexes (FMN Nigeria, Bolux Milling Botswana, Mpongwe Milling Zambia, Olympic Milling Zambia) and a hatchery (ASTRAL Foods Swaziland). These complexes were located in 5 African countries. In addition, he has also managed transport in-house and third parties to transport various consumer raw materials and agricultural goods – in 8 African countries.

Today, Rautenbach’s LIVE FR8™ transport software is taking South Africa to all new heights. LIVE FR8 is a platform where Cargo Suppliers and Road Transporters execute and monitor Cargo Loads with ease at the tip of their fingers. The company’s vision is to enable both Cargo Suppliers and Transporters to utilise Cloud-Based and Machine Learning Technology to move cargo and monitor loads in-transit in real-time – resulting in increased vehicle capacity, efficacy, utilisation and delivery time.

 

Briefly tell us about your company – Why did you start LIVE FR8™?

During (30) years’ hard work and experience in transportation of goods by road, sourcing return loads, making deliveries on time, determining whereabouts of Cargo in transit in 5 African countries, I came up with this idea. With my experience in cost accounting, as a marketing manager, financial manager and general manager, I have identified problems in the transport industry. I have spent a lot of time thinking of and finding a solution. I developed an App that addresses the various problems and challenges in the Transport industry: improved communication; finding Cargo geographically in real-time; monitoring and managing dispatch staff, controllers, drivers and Cargo in transit. Reducing communication costs; no expensive programs; no costly servers; no monthly fees; no broker fees; no bidding platform but a closed quotation system. Reducing empty trip costs that results in expensive transport rates, reducing transport pollution and a rating system indicating the performance of Cargo Suppliers and Transporters.

 

Please could you tell us a bit about your background.

After finishing school, I started my career as a programmer. I soon discovered that programming is not my passion. I moved on to business, where I first worked as a financial manager. My career was mainly in the Maize and Wheat Milling Industry. Through the years I worked as a Marketing Manager, Financial Manager and then moved on to become a General Manager. The peak of my career came when I was offered the occupation as General Manager for a large maize and wheat plant in Nigeria for Flour Mills of Nigeria. I have experience as General Manager of maize and wheat plants in five African countries.

 

What difficulties did you experience launching your app?

We have learnt that our product, as a world first ‘Cloud and Machine Learning Technology’’ App for Logistics, is more difficult than expected to market in an existing resistant market. Education Marketing and Training is an essential part of our marketing. We offer a free online LIVE FR8™ course on Udemy. With a limited budget from my own finances and angel investors, marketing the product to consumers has also been a challenge.

 

How are you navigating utilising fourth industrial revolution technology which is cloud-native?

The platform utilises disruptive fourth industrial revolution technology which is Cloud-native and functional. It can be accessed from any Smart Device. Due to the technology LIVE FR8™ App utilises, no offices or expensive servers are required for logistics processes. The technology has immense scalability. The App was active in 57 countries within seven months. Cargo Suppliers and Transporters connect using the Cloud. The Cargo Supplier lists the loads by weight, category, source address and destination, on the database. The algorithm helps Transporters to search for specific loads in the specified area, thereby turning empty loads into full loads. Tested by Google Partners, the App can perform 80 000 and more transactions per second.

 

What 3 tips do you have when it comes to implementing tech solutions in the cargo and logistic field?

  • The biggest challenge is resistance to change. People are set in their ways and have established relationships in business. It is vital to identify and weigh up advantages against disadvantages. Once you have adequate knowledge regarding the advantages, cost-savings and leaner structures of Cloud technology, it will be easier to adapt it in your business. Business partners can adapt this technology whilst still maintaining their working relationship. 

 

  • Secondly, privacy of information is also important. New technology has a vast database full of information. With proper privacy policies in place, there is no need to be afraid to use the technology offered to enhance and grow your business. 

 

  • Lastly, an important factor is trust, which is formed through security. Cloud technology has proven to be more secure than older technologies. Large Cloud providers protect availability through virtualisation. With servers virtualised in the Cloud, providers can effortlessly migrate the servers from one datacenter to another if a failure occurs. Most on-premises systems may just have two physical servers that fail over to one another.

 

 

In your opinion, how will cargo suppliers and transporters be forced to pivot in coming years due to digital innovation?

Technology is the future and using disruptive fourth industrial revolution technology which is Cloud-native and functional is exciting and will lead to transformation of the transport industry. The transport industry is fast-paced, and becoming saturated with competition. It is not viable to stay in established business relationships if you wish to keep making a profit. It is vital to have a better understanding of current transport rates in the market in order to give more competitive rates, or to find transport at better rates, and consequently survive in a highly competitive industry. Efficiency is also vital to keep business costs low. 

Cloud technology drastically lowers overhead costs and improves efficiency. With less empty return trips, you reduce transport costs, vehicle spare part costs and carbon emissions. With an increased focus on environmental conservation, businesses are also forced to lower their carbon footprint. By using this application, you can reduce carbon emissions by up to 30%.

 

Have you read any books or listened to any podcasts that have inspired you and your career thus far? 

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey
  • Screw it Let’s Do It – Richard Branson
  • The Road Less Travelled – M. Scott Peck
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig

 

What is your ‘why’ i.e., Bottom line? And how do you stay motivated?

I enjoy introducing the LIVE FR8™ App to potential customers. The App saves so much time through automation. It replaces phone calls, emails, it saves time and keeps a lot of valuable data for the users. We enable individuals to work remotely, from any location with internet access. LIVE FR8™ empowers entrepreneurs in Africa and levels the playing field for smaller Transporters anywhere in Africa. It lowers operational costs for established businesses and empowers them to compete on equal footing. 

LIVE FR8™ transforms anyone with access to an electronic device, into a logistics manager. The App brings a huge competitive advantage to everyone who uses it. LIVE FR8™ also empowers isolated communities in Africa to put food on the table by coordinating their logistics on their mobile phones. Although there have been many challenges, I believe we will soon make a breakthrough in the market and more people will grasp the benefits of using this App to improve logistics processes, reduce costs, increase vehicle utilisation and drastically reduce pollution from carbon emissions. Technology is the future and being part of the disruptive fourth industrial revolution is exciting and will lead to transformation of the transport industry.

 

Outside of work, are you involved in any extracurricular activities and/or community outreach projects? 

In Botswana,I supported the Light and Courage Centre for Aids destitutes. In Zambia I was a ZAWA honorary game ranger and managed the Chembe Bird sanctuary for 3 years. In Kitwe Zambia I supplied bread for homeless children feeding schemes over 2 years. In Ndola Zambia I supported and sponsored the Ndola skateboarders with skateboards and motivation.

 

What advice do you have for future generations who aspire to work in your industry?

I believe you should never be afraid of change. It is vital to adapt to stay in the highly competitive game. Be innovative in your endeavours, as it is crucial to reach success in your business. Adapt leaner, more efficient processes to save time and money, as both these are vital in a fast-paced industry. 

Adapting new technologies also lowers the barriers for businesses and individuals to create wealth. Always weigh up all the options in front of you and think critically in your decision-making. Always be honest, as this shows pride in your work and faith in your business. 

Most importantly, never give up on your dream of being a successful entrepreneur. Persistence and focus are also vital, especially in a competitive field. It motivates you to give more effort to reach your goals. It leads to personal development and improvement, and consequently, success.

 

 

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Telephone: 086 000 9590 |  Mobile: 072 126 3962 |  e-Mail: [email protected]

 

 

 

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