Clearing the air

Award-winning tech startup on a mission to help asthma and allergy sufferers
Jenny Rosado Story images Jenny Rosado Story images Jenny Rosado Story images

Like so many entrepreneurs, Titus Chang and Morgan Sung – founders of Taiwanese tech startup Rice Ear – had a bright idea, a clear vision and a great product.

After crowdfunding over $500,000, they launched the LUFT Cube, a portable air purifier for asthma and allergy sufferers, in stores and on e-commerce platforms in over 40 countries across North America, Europe and Asia.

Early reviews were positive and order numbers increased. Customers were happy with the design, the affordable price and how well the LUFT Cube worked. But there was a problem the Rice Ear team knew they needed to fix fast.

“Before we started working with UPS, we received a number of customer complaints due to unexpected surcharges such as import duties, VAT and handling fees – customers were unhappy that all these costs hadn’t been factored in to the product’s list price,” Sung said. “They were asking us for better package tracking services too.”

With complicated regulations that vary from market to market, calculating additional costs was a time-consuming task for a team of just seven, many of whom were already taking on multiple roles. Providing detailed tracking information for hundreds of orders per day also added to the strain.

“Like most startups, we’re a pretty small team,” said Chang, co-founder and marketing director. “The increase in orders was, of course, great news for us, but we needed to find ways to simplify our logistics processes.”

UPSers in Taiwan worked closely with the Rice Ear team to quickly identify solutions to solve the challenge at hand. By making use of UPS’s advanced automated package tracking technology to proactively monitor shipments, and factoring in market-by-market brokerage and regulatory advice on how to start listing ‘all-in’ prices, the Rice Ear team was able to simultaneously save time and improve customer experience.

The combination of time-definite delivery, streamlined order processing and detailed package tracking saved the team thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours and countless headaches a year.

“Customer satisfaction is now at an all-time high,” Chang said with a smile.

The company, whose name conveys the meaning of modesty and humility in Chinese, won an innovation award for the LUFT Cube at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

But, naturally, they’re not letting that success go to their heads, and the team’s sights are now firmly set on further expansion into Europe, Russia, the Middle East and South America, to help more asthma and allergy sufferers around the world.

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