I've been on board at GPS-Buddy for about 500 days now, and in that time a lot has happened. As our CEO Ties Schaafsma already pointed out, 2022 is the year of change for the company... and how. In early 2021, Ties asked me to take a fresh look at the company and lead the day-to-day operations as COO. He also invited me to focus specifically on developing new markets and translating the technical possibilities as best as possible for our customers.
Oscar van der Spruit, COO - June 2022
Ties and I have known each other for years and find each other in the field of innovation. With over 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur in electronics I am always looking for trends and new opportunities. This attitude fits in perfectly with the nature of GPS-Buddy and helps me to look at the direction of the company through objective eyes. I may be new to this branch, but I am not new to 'the game'.
In the first few months, I did a lot of research, internally and externally. I challenged the team to think critically about why we do what we do; first consolidate and achieve stability and then learn what the customers' needs are. Then my attention turned to understanding the market, and what an opportunity it presents. The demand for fleet management will continue to grow in the coming years and the market for monitoring and planning of large and small equipment is still as good as open. The extensive knowledge and experience that GPS-Buddy has in managing vehicles can be used perfectly to get a grip on other assets.
EVERYTHING UNDER ONE ROOF
Technological developments mean that more and more data can be collected. The added value of GPS-Buddy lies in opening up this data as smartly as possible and actually applying it to the needs of the customer. This all sounds very abstract and blasé, but in the market with so many players it is not self-evident. The fact that GPS-Buddy has the development of hardware, firmware and software under one roof makes us unique in relation to the competition. It ensures that we are agile, independent and therefore able to respond quickly to the actual needs of the market.
In all honesty, this required some changes within the organisation. The organisation was working on a lot of great projects, but the synergy between them was lacking. In the past year, we have therefore created a technical heart around which all disciplines have been brought together. We united the R&D department in Italy, where they develop all hardware and firmware, with the software development team in Uzbekistan, thus connecting all new technical developments to the company's new direction. The focus is on customer needs and the application of (big) data.
In order to get the puzzle right, our management platform and the user interface of our solutions are currently undergoing a thorough overhaul. The tracking systems are also being fully optimised and equipped with all kinds of new features. As a result, we are even better able to monitor not only vehicles, but also other assets. By using established technology such as NFC and Bluetooth in combination with the latest RFID techniques, the fleets of all our customers are given a gateway function and thus form a broad IoT network that all those customers use. The data that is accessed in this way is quickly and clearly translated into practical applications for the customer. The various applications are modular, can be switched on or off at the press of a button and are paid for by subscription. In this way, we can easily grow along with the customer and the customer is able to easily anticipate the developments in his market. Our CTO and R&D manager will elaborate on this in a subsequent article.
TO BE EXPECTED
The team is still hard at work on these changes. At the end of this year, it will be possible to manage all assets with RF technology within our current platform. Early next year we expect to make the switch to the new management platform. We will also enter into a broad cooperation with Techdata to make this accessible to as many companies as possible through their reseller channels. In this way we can continue to do what we are good at and GPS-Buddy will regain its position as a pioneer in the market.
At the end of February, our new operations director Oscar van der Spruit was interviewed for RTL Z's New Economy programme. The subject of this item is the added value of data for Construction & Infra companies. In these sectors, enormous profits can be made by having a grip on the entire fleet of vehicles and equipment. Not just on vehicles or large equipment, but also on smaller equipment such as concrete mixers, aggregates or attachments.