June 13, 2019

Who, what, why is Logmore?

Every now and then it's good to talk about simple things, like what one does and why. In my experience it helps clarify and focus one's own thoughts, and well, in a written, public format like this, the way one's audience perceives those things. So, let's see what I think.

What most readers probably already know

I'll start off with an except from the about page: “It all started from chopping firewood for the upcoming winter. Very Finnish. Perhaps because of the name alone, on more than a couple of occasions, our company has been imagined to enhance the handling of logs. Instead of the logs, the innovation was a beginning of a revolution of Internet-of-Things.

That woodchopper was Antti Tapio. When Antti made it back to the office he sat down with Janne Juhala and Niko Polvinen. This team of three did not only came up with superior technology, but also unique business model and leading user experience. Logmore was founded.”

The story is a bit coloured, but surprisingly close to the truth, based on the accounts I've heard from all the founders in separate situations. Like in the case of many start-ups, the father of the idea noticed a clear issue in the industry they were working in, and came up with a potential solution. The vision was so clear from the start that there has been barely any need for revisions or adjustments.

What we want to achieve, our mission

Another excerpt from the about page: “We wish to reduce the loss and waste of pharmaceutical goods, food, chemicals, and other easily spoiled and damaged products in a global scale. After all, no one benefits from goods being simply thrown away instead of being used. Towards these ends, our service aims to help ensure that those goods arrive at their destination securely and usable. We see it as a win-win situation for both the recipient and the sender, when there is no need for reclamations, disputes or even questions on why or how the delivery could or should be improved in the future - for both sides' benefit.”

And what that actually means

Logmore exists for the development and production of Logmore QR tags and the cloud service associated with them. We do what we do, because in our previous experience, data logging tools have been less than ideal for the user. User interfaces have been difficult to use or designed to be "functional", meaning (in this context) that they're anything but pretty. Data has been saved only locally unless saved manually to a database by the user. Data transmission required cables, causing offices to become jungles of cable jumble. And of course, the size of the loggers caused them to be difficult to fit into parcels.

Of course, some companies have managed to solve some or even all of these problems before us, but that has always come with a hefty price tag or some other disadvantage.

Taking a look at the problem, we noticed that there's been very little innovation in the industry in 20 years. No wonder the loggers and using them have been so cumbersome, when the tech used is so old. After gathering a team of proven professionals in the logger industry, we started working on our own solution.

Our solution is based on the individual data logger being so small and cheap that it can be attached to almost any size of a package. The dynamic QR code on the device screen updates itself every time a measurement is made as a method of saving the data, and a simple scan of the QR code uploads all the data to the Logmore cloud service, where it can be read and analyzed. Of course, the unique encryption keys make it impossible to tamper with the data, meaning that even if some stranger scans a tag used by you, the data is simply uploaded and they cannot even access it. In fact, the stranger just did you a favour!

Things I’ve only said on social media and other blog posts before this

I officially joined the Logmore team in March 2018, a year after the company was founded. I had done some minor cooperation with the guys even before this, though. Before this the company had kept something of a low profile, preparing and developing the product and service for the market. After all, product development is a vital part of any company operations, and even more so when the tech is brand-new.

In May 2018, soon after I joined the team, we received a special mention for our potential for growth in the Central Finland Kasvu Open competition as the runner-up for the award. As described on the competition website, the name of the competition combines two words “kasvu”, which means growth in Finnish, and “open”, which summarizes the idea of the competition being open for every type of a company and for any expert willing to share own knowledge on a pro bono basis.

Half a year later, in December, the Logmore service truly saw its launch at Slush 2018 in Helsinki, when we presented our brand new service in the start-up village. While we did not have a major booth to make us stand out of the start-up crowd, the interest shown towards us by a steady stream of visitors drew in even more people, leading to us being the most visited start-up in the event.

In March, a long product development cooperation project with Artekno, a leading Finnish packaging company came to conclusion and we announced the Artekno Smartbox, an integrated solution combining the top-quality thermal boxes of Artekno with Logmore QR tags. Read the related blog post here.

Following the Smartbox, we finished a pilot project with the Association of Finnish Pharmacies. Being satisfied with the Logmore service, the association started recommending the service to all its members as the solution for monitoring temperature sensitive shipments. To support this (and like we always like to do with our customers), we still work on guides, guidelines and customizations to make the service perfect for the customers' use. Read the related blog post here.

The interest in us has been on the rise ever since. During the last half a year, we've been invited to participate in ProPak Asia as a speaker as well as the Arrow IoT Summit and DHL IoT day among other smaller events such as the Pharmaceutical Education Day in Finland.

The road so far culminates in our victory in the start.hub Logistic start-up competition at the world’s leading logistics trade fair, Transport Logistic. First we made it to the second round of the competition as the only non-German company from the jury-chosen initial roster. The news on our victory was published on the foremost industry publication in Germany. Read the related blog post here.

Right after Transport Logistic, we participated in United Fresh 2019 in Chicago, where we were nominated for the Food Safety Innovation award. While we didn't win the award this time, we managed to get into the finals with much larger companies than us.

I summed up the "super month" June 2019 in the blog post Logmore Sum-Up of the Super Month June 2019. As our COO Niko, who was in the middle of all of it, said, "Wow. Now when you get to read it like this, you really understand what a month it was".

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