Adaptability and responsiveness to the needs of the market are two important elements for a business to stay afloat and thrive. This is true for any type of industry, but more so in the fast-moving world of e-commerce.
It’s also an attitude and mindset that Andrew Koger proved valuable in search of his niche. Koger, who’s an American, used to work at an investment firm back home in New York City. He got the chance to come to Manila a couple of times to invest in the stock market, something he also did in a couple of other countries, until he witnessed the massive growth in e-commerce in the Philippines.
“I moved to Manila about three years ago. I got to work in Lazada and on my first year, I saw the growth of e-commerce is in the Philippines,” he shares in an interview via Zoom. This allowed him to see untapped opportunities in the service economy, so he left Lazada to launch Goodwork.
A ‘super app’ for the home
GoodWork.ph is an app that offers a wide variety of home services—from home and aircon cleaning to laundry delivery, plumbing to carpentry, and even beauty services like manicure and pedicure—such that Koger coined it “the super app for the home.”
“We offer multiple categories where we saw the most demand and where we could also offer the best user experience, so we have a nice balance. But it’s still very focused on the home service categories that can help power your household,” he says, adding that they hope to add more categories in the future.
Koger, like any typical career-oriented bachelor, is not very fond of household chores. He’d rather book someone to do it via a home service app and spend his time doing tasks that he enjoys and loves. “As the middle class grows, as cities grow, as urbanization increases, people would want to focus on their jobs, their life, their family and take advantage of technology and some new tools that could make their life more efficient,” he inputs.
“They want to come home to a condo that’s nice and clean. They don’t want to spend their rest day at the laundry shop getting their laundry done. And so we offer very efficient laundry services to help people save money, enjoy their lives, spend more time with their family, and doing other things they care about,” he says. It’s the same idea that goes with booking Food Panda or Grab.
Koger says he takes advantage of this technology himself. “I use GoodWork personally for condo cleaning, laundry delivery, and aircon cleaning. It’s cool to see how the app helps, because we have a service provider app that helps service providers get around, and we have a customer app to address customer concerns. So it’s a good chance for me to test things and make sure it’s a good experience,” he says.
The GoodWork team put a lot of extra effort to make the app easy to use, and it can also be downloaded, says the company’s head honcho. “You can put a request for whatever service you need. We ask a couple of basic questions like where you live and the details of your unit—for instance, how many bedrooms and bathrooms for a cleaning service,” he says.
Before the lockdown, bookings can be provided on the same day the service was booked. But now, the bookings are for the following day. “So if you book today, you can pick a time you want to avail the service tomorrow,” he says. “For laundry services, we return your clothes within 48 hours. For cleaning and the other categories, you pick the time when you want the service provider to arrive and do the service.”
Adjusting to quarantine guidelines
Like all local businesses, people at GoodWork had to be on their toes when the home quarantine measures were implemented. Although the whole situation was unexpected, they tried their best to adapt by carefully following the regulations from the Department of Health (DOH) and whatever policies that were announced by the government.
“In mid-March, we suspended all our operations in line with the [government] announcements, until the end of April. And rulings eased up in the service categories, we’ve been able to open up small operations also,” he says.
“Home repair categories like plumbing and carpentry, aircon repairs are alive again. The laundry services and cleaning services are back as well. “We’ve been really careful to make sure that all our workers have proper PPEs (personal protective equipment) and they know how to make sure that they and our customers stay safe,” he stresses.
They also added telehealth services for those who would like to consult doctors in pediatrics, dermatology, and elderly care. “Those have been very helpful when people were stuck inside their homes during the quarantine. We plan to keep these for a while because they help the people,” he says.
Plans for expansion
Koger notes that they cater to a mix of customers. “We see young families. We have a lot of moms that use the app and book services for their home or for their apartment. The other customer category are the millennials, both male and female. About 60 to 70% of all our customers are female. They are 25 to 35 years old, they’re busy, they live in a condo around the city, and they like the idea that they get very affordable home services,” he says. It’s only P349 pesos for studio condo cleaning, P199 for up to 4 kilos of laundry service, free pickup, free delivery.
At the moment, they offer their services to Metro Manila residents, but they definitely have big plans of making it available in other cities as well. “We’ve seen really substantial growth on our first year in Metro Manila. We see a lot of room for expansion in the city, and then in Cebu and Davao. Hopefully, we get to do this next year.”
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Only about one and a half years in operation and the GoodWork team has doubled its number of employees—from 12, they are now 25. Koger works with an all-Filipino team, which he says is fantastic.
“We have a very, very talented team. Building something like this is such a big challenge. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to make it successful. My job is to set long-term goals and help us solve different puzzles and challenges that come up. We try to give a lot of freedom and responsibility all across our company so that people would really learn to operate things to help us be successful. And it’s working well so far,” he offers.
Koger says they spend a huge time screening service providers, verifying their background and personality, their health status, and also monitoring their performances. “With this technology, we can see the customer reviews and ratings for all of our service providers. Today, across all our categories, we have over a 4.5 out of 5 rating. Over 90% of customer satisfaction in all the categories,” he proudly says.