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Bike Lady and Local Store Refillable Consumer Products Centers

Refillable consumer products at local store or door to door delivery by a lady with her bike.

Photo of Kumala Susanto
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Indonesia has more 27.77 million of under poverty population from around 270 million population in 2017 (https://www.bps.go.id/website/images/Kemiskinan-Maret-2017-ind.jpg). Family living at poverty can not afford to buy their daily needs in bulk, including detergent. Instead, they will buy single-use sachet everyday at the local grocery shop. Their average use of detergent (based on early random personal survey in two village at East Java and Banten Province) is 1 sachets per day. This consumption leads to 5.5 million single-use sachet waste per day or about 2 billion per year (with the assumption of 5 person per family). This huge amount of waste have not included the waste from the slightly above poverty and middle income families which also always buy their detergent in single-use sachet because they want to limit their usage (for middle income family: their helpers usually use a high amount of detergent if they give them in bulk).

This consumption leads to 5.5 million single-use sachet waste per day or about 2 billion per year.

We have to tackle this issue before our landfill and ocean (yes, you'll find many sachet garbage in the coastline near the populous area) are seriously hard to be cleaned and way more expensive. The saddest impact would be that we are one of the reason of many killed ocean beings just for having our clothes cleaned everyday. That's very shame of us.

I have the idea to lessen the usage of single-use sachet detergent (powder and liquid) by redesigning the delivery system. If until now, poor families buy single-use sachet detergent everyday at the local grocery store, then in the future the local grocery store will sell refillable (single-use) detergent to these families. The refill will be delivered by our "Lady Bike Cleaning Specialist". The Lady will also sell the detergent door to door with the same price as sold at local grocery store. So everyone who missed the Lady Bike schedule will buy the refill at the local grocery store.

The refill will be delivered by our "Lady Bike Cleaning Specialist". 

Lady Bike system is a modification of Lady Yakult in Indonesia or Lady Grameen-Danone in Bangladesh who sell ready to drink Yakult/yogurt door to door. Another example in Indonesia, we've seen so many door to door refill businesses in villages and urban slums such as for crackers, traditional cakes, bread, etc. There is also door to door services such as fixing clothes and shoes. So this door to door delivery system has been implemented in food and services small industries. Nevertheless, we'll have to see if there's same chance for consumer products such as detergent (maybe later: shampoo, soaps, etc).

we'll have to see if there's same chance for consumer products such as detergent (maybe later: shampoo, soaps, etc)

Beside its impact to the environment, Lady Bike will help unemployed lady in village and urban slum areas to have added revenue. They needn't have to work full time, only around 3-6 hours a day to deliver the detergent, then the rest of the day they can take care of their children and household as usual.

Lady Bike will help unemployed lady in village and urban slum areas to have added revenue.

In the first phase of my idea, I will start to prototyping and piloting at Sambikerep District, Surabaya City, East Java Province. After some refinement of the program, I will leverage the reach of the business to Surabaya City, Gresik City, and Sidoarjo City. And if the model has been validated in those three cities, I'll move to make nationwide impact while do research to replicate the system in another country by their own local resources.


Idea Title

Bike Lady and Refill Centers

Company / Organization Name

N/A

Website

N/A

Where are you / your team located?

Sambikerep District, Surabaya City, East Java Province, Indonesia

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

The consumers will buy the refill of detergent using their own container of buy one time only reusable container from our door to door Bike Lady or participating local store. Following on the program, we'll conduct some marketing campaigns to encourage them to use the reusable bottle. We will also partner with Family Welfare movement (PKK)/housewives community at local level.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Single-use sachet for consumer products.

In what geographical context or area does your Idea plan to operate / solve?

Prototype: 3 District at East Java Province, Indonesia Pilot: Surabaya City, Gresik City, and Sidoarjo City, East Java Province Upscale: Nationwide and global replication.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

My idea early adopters are the Bike Lady, local stores, and the Villagers. The challenges would be that they are not adapt on the new habit we want them to have that is bringing their own container to buy detergent. There will also be challenged by local grocery store who will give the customers option of using single-use plastic if they forget to bring the container.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring an idea, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users.
  • Prototyping: You have conducted some small tests or experiments with prospective users and will continue developing idea through these tests.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.

New Plastics Economy Accelerator Program will support us with networks of people who have interest in circular design and human centered approach, and other resources needed during the iteration process to reach the value fit services and the scaling up process of the system. I think the support that the program has given during refinement phase is the evidence of the program seriousness to support ideas. I am eager to work further with the program to reduce a massive amount of plastic waste.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

Lady Yakult gave me the inspiration and I also saw some "rombeng" (a term for woman in my neighbourhood who collect recyclable goods such as broken plastic gallons for a life using their bike) earning a very small amount of money for living. My idea also arose from having conversation with my mother (she owns local grocery store), some other local grocery store's owners, and some people who usually use single-use sachet detergents in my living village (considered as urban slum also).

Tell us about your work experience

Customer servicing, selling door to door EDC machine (and also lead 24 sales person) to B2B financial system, business development, and now as social entrepreneurship coordinator at university.

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

N/A

Please describe, in detail, your business model and how you intend to test and iterate this model.

There are 5 key stakeholders that we found would play a big role in this challenge. They are the customers (we focus on villagers), local stores, bike ladies, Housewives at Family Welfare Movement (PKK), and detergent manufacturers. What we are trying to do with this design is to exchange values that the our main customers (villagers, bike ladies, and local stores) curently experience with the new value that the refillable system would deliver. I attach a user experience (villagers) map

Please explain how your innovation will work within, potentially improve, and provide benefit to the plastics system.

We will significantly reduce plastic waste that arise from single use plastic consumer products, specifically detergent. Both upstream and downstream delivery system require no disposable plastic at all. We also release a very small carbon footprint by using traditional vehicles in our downstream distribution system.

Please describe, in depth, how your solution will reduce the overall environmental footprint of packaging.

Please outline how your design, material, and delivery choices will influence price, and how you intend to address the price increase that may result from this solution.

Our cost for delivering products is very effective because we use non sophisticated but effective design to deliver our products. Compared to competitors, we are more cost efficient.

Please explain how your solution will impact user behavior, and what design considerations you've included to ensure easy and intuitive interactions with your Idea. 

We actually lessened their experience flow on detergent. Current flow: go to local stores > ask for detergent >seller cut the sachets and put it in plastic bag > carry it home > tear the sachet (sometimes they use teeth)> clean laundry > throw waste in plastic waste bag > carry the waste bag to the burn place > burn waste. Our proposed flow: take reusable box >go to store>ask for detergent>seller measure detergent and put in the box>bring it home>open the container lid>clean laundry>store

Please describe how you intend to use the prize funding, if selected as a Top Idea. Be specific.

We will use it to iterate the design so we can give value fit to all of our key stakeholders. Ater that, we will use it to Pilot the system. After succeeding with our pilot, we will use the remaining prize funding to establish a startup.

27 comments

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Spam
Photo of Landry Mulinganya
Team

Congratulations !!!

Spam
Photo of Irina Ankudinova
Team

Congratulations! Well Deserved! Lots of the luck for the future!

Spam
Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Hi Kumala Susanto 

We have received your Refinement Phase Submission Questions! Just a friendly reminder that the Phase closes tonight, August 31st at 11:30 p.m. PT. so please update your contribution on the platform before the deadline.

Thank you for all your work this Refinement Phase and for being member of the OpenIDEO Community!

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

The cut off time is Aug 31 11:30 pm Pacific time i.e. San Francisco time

Spam
Photo of Kumala Susanto
Team

Thank you Kate. Really appreciate it!

Spam
Photo of Kumala Susanto
Team

Hi Kate @Kate Rushton,

I found question number 17 can not be answered, should we just leave it empty?

Thank you.

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Kumala!

I have just replied to your email.

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Kumala!

There are 7 days left in the refinement phase.

If there is key information in the comments on your idea submission, I recommend that you move them to the main body of your idea submission before the cut-off time.

I just want to remind you that the deadline to complete the Refinement Questions via the online submission form is August 31 at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Spam
Photo of Kumala Susanto
Team

Thank you for the reminder Kate Kate Rushton .

May I ask when is the cut off time of updating the idea submission?

We are working on the progress of the prototype and managing to update the idea submission before the cut off time (if there's still any today) and also managing to submit the refinement questions on time.

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Kumala!

I look forward to seeing how your idea develops.

I look forward to learning more about the employment model. Are the ladies entrepreneurs/employed by the supermarket etc.? Also, how big do you think the potential market size would be for this idea and how would you scale up?

Also, I noticed your answers to my questions below. What are you planning to prototype over the next 2 weeks? What assumption will this test?

There is a finalist idea from a past challenge on food waste that you may want to look at called Replate - it is a delivery system to transport waste food from donors to recipients - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/top-ideas/a-robust-system-for-re-plating-surplus-meals - it has some videos showing the journey of the food waste - https://vimeo.com/184020714

There is also an idea from our past challenge on fall prevention that might interest you called Stair Walker - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/fall-prevention/finalfeedback/stairwalker It has some videos showing the users (older adults) interacting with the prototype and their feedback - https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=41&v=7hP-HtTCpWE

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me or Lauren Ito 
I just want to remind you that the deadline to complete the Refinement Questions via the online submission form is August 31 at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Spam
Photo of Kumala Susanto
Team

Hi Kate,

Thank you for your questions and insights.

We will have the Ladies as our distribution agents to the local grocery stores and end consumers, so they are not employed by other companies. Basically the initial kind of relationship between the Lady and the business that we want to develop is partnership. I still do not have any plan to change this partnership system but there's possibility that this might change based on the business needs.

The potential market size is quite big. If we can take over 1% of the market size nationwide in single sachet detergent product, we will have 20 millions sachets size detergent sold per year. If our products average price is IDR 750 (USD 0.05), the gross sales would be IDR 10 billions (USD 748.952). More importantly, we can reduce a significant amount of single use sachet plastic. If the system is firm enough to be duplicated, we will duplicate the system to a similar area first and also have partnership with other stakeholders such as current detergent manufacturers that still use sachet plastic to use our distribution channel to market their products and governments to create legislation for giving incentives for manufacturers who use our kind of distribution system to reduce plastic waste or additional contributions to manufacturers who still use the plastic sachets. We will also improve the design of the bike so it can also bring liquid shampoo, soap and detergents, we will consider the design with rational load of the bike and develop the new system of delivery for local grocery stores.

We are planning to see what is our costumers' responses to this new system. We want to gather their feedback about how they see themselves buying detergents everyday, what are their main concerns and needs in detergent, detergent packaging and also the delivery system of the detergent. Which concerns and needs are the most important.

So we will have the ladies distributing detergent with different scenarios, take pictures and videos, capture everything that's important (including the expression of villagers when they see the lady). We will also plan to interview the villagers whether they buy or not the detergent from the lady.

I will surely contact you or Lauren if I have any questions. And thank you for the reminder, I will definitely comply to that deadline.

Collaboratively we make our world a better place to live.

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Kumala!

How does the Yakult lady work? Do people pay up-front or via subscription for Yakult or pay when the lady arrives?

Does the Yakult lady come at fixed times per day etc.?

What sort of additional expertise might you need to develop your idea?

What is the next step in developing your idea?

Spam
Photo of Kumala Susanto
Team

Hi Kate,

Thanks for dropping line to my idea.

The Lady Yakult will be paid as they give the package to customers. Yakult doesn't do refill, they give the lady starter pack such as cooler box. At first, this delivery idea acted as CSR, then because the growing number of people buying Yakult from these ladies was incresing, now they manage this delivery system as on of their selling channel and it contribute around 50% of their overall sales. The yakult you buy from the lady is 7-15% cheaper then the package you buy from the refrigerator in the modern market or local grocery store.

Lady Yakult usually come after they finish their household daily work. There is no exact schedule, it depend on the work load of the lady at home, but the subsciber already get used with the arrival time of the lady. (Usually the customers become subscriber after several buy).

I need to create design for the refill pump or powder dispenser. I need a product designer or I can make partnership with product designer who can design a measured pump luquid dispenser and powder dispenser as efficient as possible (the price, durability, easy to use, secure, air tight). For testing and prototyping the MVP of the delivery system design, I still can use regular air tight container, but this would lead to inneficiency of time since this is door to door, I'll have to think about the time the lady spent to be mobile while she will serve the measurement manually. For liquit, there is a lab equipment called dispensette, but it's too expensive, so i have to find alternatives. For regular pump, they don't have feature for exact measument, this will be a challenge that our lady and other refill center will have to measure manually (maybe using cups for measurement). You see, that's highly inefficient. But still enough for the prototyping. Besides, I want this idea serves everywhere, it doesn't matter if we're the operator or not, but it does matter if the system can operate briliantly to reduce the single-use consumer product waste, that'll be worth it. So as soon as this system is validated and with the support of The Program, we'll have the chance to spread the good news, it might like the food stall systek that you can find anywhere with many small business taking benefit of it. Maybe we can move to another challenge regarding this issue such as water pollution that caused by dangerous chemicals in our daily consumer products consumption.

I hope you can join me to start the movement in the nearest area possible. Or someone from other country wants to try this adea in their neighborhood, I have no objection on that. Then maybe we can have another discussion on how we should improve the idea based on the fact found when we have real testing on the market.

Thank you.

Spam
Photo of Aoife
Team

Hi Kumala, I love this idea. How will the bike ladys fund the initial start up costss (e.g. bike, marketing materials, training etc.), would you use microfinance or other sources to support them?

Spam
Photo of Kumala Susanto
Team

Hi Aoife,

Thank you for your encouragement and questions. The initial start up cost for prototyping is not expensive. I already met two ladies who own their own bike, and one of the lady will introduce me to her friend that might want to join the program also, and she has her own bike too.

The other costs such as the detergent, the big detergent container (I will use a 20 liter size container) that must be put at the back of the bike, printings of marketing toolkit (3 sets), the training (I will train them myself. Moreover, one of the lady has experience at selling things door to door like clothes) will be on my personal costs. I counted the initial cost wouldn't cost me more than US$ 100, so I still can handle it. I don't mind to invest a bit more if the business model is validated as long as I have the resource.

Spam
Photo of Kumala Susanto
Team

Hi Vivek,

Thank you for your valuable thought and questions to refine my idea. I am so happy that you like the idea and would like to collaborate the pilot testing in your village in Maharashtra, India. I am preparing the mini booklet material for Bike Lady marketing material. So it will be easier for her to explain to customers about this idea of helping the environment. I will send it to you after I finish it, the deadline is on Sunday. So maybe you can give me your email or if there's any way in this platform I could share it to you, I would like to hear the feature. Honestly, I haven't found anything to support file sharing here. I've talked to one lady this morning and she agree to join as the bike lady, she will also find 2 of her friends to join her. She will notice me on tomorrow morning and I will explain the system (marketing, commission, payment, etc) tomorrow evening.

To answer your first question, I haven't counted the ratio of the household:the lady, I put the ratio based on area, so there will be 1 lady per 6 square kilometer. I schedule the first kickoff test on Monday and we'll see in a week what happen on the ratio, is it possible or we should change. My consideration is the population density of the area, since my first phase of test will be done in quite high density area, I consider 6 square kilometer is a good start since this phase require the lady to introduce the system. So there might be some chit chat between the lady who sell the refills and the housewives who will buy the detergent and we can not force them to service a bigger area since they need to do their own household errands.

We plan the lady as a marketing and delivery agent for both B2C and B2B (they will also selling this detergent to local grocery stores around the area). So if the customer misses the lady schedule, she can buy it at the participating local grocery store. Furthermore, I will pay attention whether the customer buy the detergent for cleaning at the same day she buy the detergent or for the following day during the test days. This metric will give us an insight on customer behavior. And this will also answer your second question.

At first, we should see whether the customers will buy the idea or we should make adjustment, so we are not giving a high loads of detergent to the lady. I consider to mix the B2C (door to door) and B2B (local grocery store) system to lessen the heavy load of the lady if our markets grow bigger. The Lady will still receive the commission for maintaining the local grocery store partner while the supplies is planned to be delivered separately in a bigger size by another delivery man But this consideration might be changed based on the real condition. I hope this answer your third question.

For the fourth question, we might need a supervisor if we want to develop the system in bigger area. But for now, I think we haven't needed yet.

Last and also very important, I saw you design and it looks very convenience. I think may be we can collaborate to deliver the design as a container in my project area, and we have to think about the details to deliver it with as little as pain to my customer.

Look forward to collaborate with you!

Have a nice weekend.

Spam
Photo of Vivek Patil
Team

Hi Kumala,

Thanks for your quick response. I would definitely like to receive the mini-booklet from you regarding the Bike Lady Cleaning Specialist . There isn't any way to share files on this platform, so you can email me instead at vvp0002@auburn.edu. Also, it would be fantastic to combine the idea of durable container as described in Shampoo in a box with the home-delivery system of Bike Lady Cleaning Specialist . These two ideas are specifically for developing countries and have a common goal of reducing the 'sachet' waste by following the traditional system of product/commodity distribution.

The containers described in Shampoo in a box can serve the purpose of
1. Providing an opportunity for brand recognition
2. Personalizing the ownership of 'shampoo container' and hence ensuring its use for a long duration
3. Ensuring a specific quantity of the product delivered for a given price by maintaining the 'standard size' of the container. Hence there will not be any scope of mistrust.

At the same time, the product distribution system combining home delivery as well as an option to buy from a shop, as described in Bike Lady Cleaning Specialist will serve the purpose of
1. Enhancing product dissemination in the community by introducing a home-delivery system. Also, it improves convenience in the newly introduced system, giving an additional incentive to use the product this way.
2. Giving the role of marketing agent to the Bike Lady Cleaning Specialist , as she is more likely to have a good repo with the community.

Looking forward to collaborate with you.

Thanks !

Spam
Photo of Kumala Susanto
Team

Hi Vivek,

I've emailed you the draft for my marketing toolkit in order to equip the lady for selling the refill detergent. It's still a draft because I have to make sure about the language tomorrow with my colleagues at work since I used Javanese which is not my mother tongue. I work far from home.

The idea of shampoo in a box is brilliant, and I need something that is cheap enough so the villagers here can afford that. Or they can use their own used container which has no cost at all. Maybe you can give me more information about the price, because the it will give additional price if I buy Shampoo in A Box from abroad or I have to license the design. Actually I had the idea of selling the container also, but I have not find an affordable container that meets my need. So I postpone the idea and see what happen. If the villagers still buy the refill even I don't provide them with container, then I think it's okay if we don't provide them, since our first product is detergent. but I might need the container if may product is not detergent. Maybe shampoo would need it.

At first I assume that villagers has not ready yet to the system so I equip the lady with recycled paper (I use paper because I only sell powdered detergent at first) and used Yakult bottles (I have some at home so they will only bring limited number of the bottles). The used Yakult bottles is brought in order to give them the idea about bringing their own container.

Thank you.

Spam
Photo of Vivek Patil
Team

Hi Kumala, great idea!

Practically, what should be the ratio of number of households in a village to the number of Bike Lady Cleaning Specialist? This is important considering:
1. Everyone in the village should receive the supply of detergent in fairly the same time of a day. If a lady alone distributes refills in a village, there will be a huge time gap between the household which receives the refill first and the one which receives it towards the end.
2. If the size of a village is large, then a lady alone will not be able to cover the entire area with heavy load of detergent with her.

Also, do we need to employ a supervisor for this activity?

Overall, I liked the idea and would like to collaborate in pilot testing of the product at my village in Maharashtra, India.

Spam
Photo of Aadish Rahman
Team

will there be a problem of adulteration?

Spam
Photo of Kumala Susanto
Team

Hi Aadish,

Thanks for your question.

As for now, we will use the detergent that already have distribution license in Indonesia. We will buy in bulk (5-25kgs) and get the lady to distribute it in retail refill package. Now I am making some calculation about the price (at first I will try to give the same price with the existing sachet products), and the commission system for the lady. I have to make sure that during the prototyping phase, while we train the lady for her marketing skill, she still earn enough money for her living.

Spam
Photo of Camron Hinman
Team

I think their are lots of areas in the USA where you could do this as well. Transportation is a huge issue for many low income people. This could also be something where unemployed low income family members could be part of the delivery team and gain revenue for themselves. Great idea. Camron

Spam
Photo of Kumala Susanto
Team

Thank you Camron for your insight that this idea might work in some of the USA area.

I hope friends from USA can try this idea in their neighborhood. I am happy to discuss this together.

Spam
Photo of Chinanu Nwaohangwa
Team

Hi Kumala,

Am convinced that detergents dispenser and refill will work wonder in plastic wastes reduction.

Your idea is really helpful for this challenge.

Spam
Photo of Kumala Susanto
Team

Thank you Chinanu for the couragement!

I hope we can find the best solution to reduce our waste.

Spam
Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Kumala!

Congratulations on being today's Featured Contribution!

Spam
Photo of Kumala Susanto
Team

Thank you.

I hope people get inspired and start together with me in other areas possible.