Kabo Fresh Dog Food Decreases Delivery Errors with a Last-mile Solution

August 2, 2022
5 min
Mary Ma
Senior Product Designer

Kabo Fresh Dog Food is the largest direct-to-consumer dog food brand in Canada. Its mission is to lead the future of pet care to a more preventative approach. That’s a mission we can get behind here at Tyltgo. Our canine friends deserve to live happier, healthier and longer lives!

To achieve this mission, Kabo provides fresh, vet-approved dog food tailored to each dog’s unique nutritional needs. The Kabo team sources quality local ingredients, and works with nutrition experts to create nutritious and yummy recipes. Then, the meals are meticulously prepared and portioned. Finally, they deliver the meals to the doors of thousands of dog parents across Canada.

Since the founding of the company, Kabo went on Dragon’s Den in 2020 and received overwhelmingly pawsitive responses from investors and customers alike. Since then, they have expanded their product line from a single recipe to seven, including three dry kibble products. Kabo has now delivered hundreds of thousands of Kabo boxes to over 4,000 dogs across Canada.

Check out what some of Kabo’s happy customers are saying on Instagram and Facebook (and their photos of cute puppers).

When Kabo was first founded, they were only using large national carriers such as Purolator and FedEx for getting products to their customers. But as the brand and customer base grew, Kabo’s need to gain control over the post-purchase customer experience also grew. National carriers just weren’t able to provide that.

Kabo’s CTO, Jon Ristovski, tells us that because national carriers are handling so much volume, they simply cannot give enough care and pay enough attention to each delivery - whether it’s following the customer’s delivery instructions, preventing mishandlings, or even delivering the package in the right orientation. It was very difficult to control the quality of the delivery experience, and that was hurting the Kabo brand.

Alex Choy leads the customer experience and retention team at Kabo. “They’re used to just chucking the box, and getting it delivered however which way possible,” says Alex about one of the national carriers, “And that adds to the experience instantly for the customer.”

On top of that, national carriers do not provide any proof of delivery photos. This makes delivery issues nearly impossible to troubleshoot for Kabo’s support team, and a nightmare to solve.

As Kabo grew and expanded its business, it quickly recognized that if it partnered with a last-mile partner, it could provide a better customer experience, all the while reducing delivery costs.

A cute dog ready to eat Kabo meal

Kabo has customers from coast to coast in Canada, but the majority are based in regions of high density. Roughly half of their customers are either in the greater Toronto or Vancouver areas, so partnering with a last-mile company made a lot of sense.

Throughout 2021, Kabo took the time to trial and partner with a few last-mile companies in high-density regions. They saw significant cost savings, and they can deliver same-day now, but the customer experience was lackluster. Deliveries often stretched way past the promised 8 pm. The delivery error rate was not improving. Worst of all, the communication from the last-mile companies was often slow and vague.

“Especially nowadays with all the subscription businesses, and e-commerce direct to customer, it’s all about that delivery experience," Alex says.

"Because you don’t have that storefront or a physical in-person connection with your customers, so everything comes online, and everything is all about the package they receive, and how they receive it.”

In the subscription business, repeated poor deliveries can lead to customers rethinking their subscriptions. After a frustrating experience, continuing to subscribe means signing up for more frustrations. Some Kabo customers called in or went online to express their disappointment, and others cancelled — neither looks good on Kabo’s brand nor is good for business.

Kabo was at a breaking point, Alex says, and it was mostly because of their last partner’s poor communications. “They don’t have a big team, or they don’t have enough care, maybe. As much as we tried to work with them, the responses just weren’t there, either on time or at all. If the communication is not there, you can’t work on things and make them better.”

As a company that sells premium products and prides itself in service excellence, the quality of deliveries wasn’t on par with the Kabo brand, and that was when Kabo found Tyltgo.

Tyltgo has a fleet of over 1,000 gig economy couriers across Ontario and British Columbia, to service more than 50 Canadian merchants getting their products to the doorsteps of customers. Some of Tyltgo’s other proud customers include General Assembly Pizza, Yumba and Bloomex Cambridge.

Having gone through many poor experiences with other last-mile companies, Kabo was cautiously optimistic during the early engagements. After two pilot runs, Kabo gained confidence in Tyltgo’s services and decided to make a full switch.

"Delivering fresh dog food means that shipping delays can be devastating for our perishability," says Vino Jeyapalan, CEO and co-founder of Kabo. "Tyltgo is a shipping partner that always ships on time and helps us keep our promise to our customers and pup-stomers."

Today, Tyltgo helps Kabo deliver thousands of orders monthly across Vancouver and Toronto.

“The communication is unparalleled,” Alex says. Before partnering with Tyltgo, he used to stay up until 10 pm every Friday, the day they ship out. He needed to be there for Kabo's customers when a multitude of customer issues inevitably came up. After switching to Tyltgo, Alex can rest easy. “There are overall fewer issues and wondering where things are. Even if issues come up, it’s so much easier to resolve.”

The support tickets relating to deliveries have trended downward, and Kabo’s last-mile delivery success rate is at an all-time high of 98%. “Nowadays, most of our issues are coming from FedEx or Purolator.” says Jon, “It’s not even comparable to Tyltgo.”

Alex tells us that he can tell that Tyltgo puts a lot of care and effort into doing deliveries well. “Most of the companies out there only care about logistics,” he says, “but Tyltgo is also about customer experience.”

Tyltgo puts a high level of care into delivering the best possible customer experiences, demonstrated by a meticulous vetting process and rigorous training of its courier fleet, as well as being very flexible to each merchant's unique needs.

For merchants that reach a particular threshold of weekly orders, such as Kabo, Tyltgo also has a well-documented API. Merchants can use the API to integrate with their eCommerce store so that there’s even less manual work required to set up last-mile deliveries. While the Kabo team did not expect to integrate with an API, Kabo’s CTO, Jon, was pleasantly surprised and says that having it let them move a lot faster.

While most eCommerce businesses will first look into a last-mile delivery partner because of the price savings, Vino, CEO and co-founder of Kabo, says that price is secondary in the long-term strategy.

“We quickly learned that the roadmap and long term development plans are crucial for us to offer faster and higher quality delivery services that consumers expect with the changing eCommerce dynamic.”

When asked what’s next on the horizon for Kabo, Vino tells us that Kabo’s vision is to make it easier for all pet pawrents to give the best life for their pets. “We see a clear opportunity to build a pet commerce experience,” he says, “that not only solves for what goes in the pet food bowl but innovates with food-based solutions for a pet parent’s everyday needs — ranging from protein bars for dogs to fun Valentine’s Day treats.”

Tyltgo is launching a next-day delivery service on top of the original same-day service in the next month, so that we can help more companies, including Kabo, reach their customers further and faster.

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