One of the problems associated with heavy-duty truck repair shops is the apparent lack of software tools to ease the operational processes involved in running it. Shop owners lose out on a lot of clients because a major chunk of their time goes into redundant tasks of creating invoices, settling disputes, and perceiving the efficiency of their workers.
Fullbay, a startup based out of Phoenix, AZ, has created a heavy duty shop management software that helps shop owners create instant invoices, attract technicians, and truly satisfy customers.
“I would describe Fullbay as a medical record for trucks,” says Jacob Findlay, CEO. “Independent truck repair shop owners did not have a 21st-century solution to run their operations. Mostly it was paper-based, and it involved printing work orders and invoices. So we stepped in and solved that problem so they could run their shop with an iPad and eliminate most of the paperwork involved.”
Prior to founding Fullbay, Findlay was the CFO of WebPT, one of the largest companies in the U.S. in the field of physical therapy. It was during this time he got the idea for this startup - the intent was to take some of the best ideas from the medical world and apply them to commercial truck repair. “With Fullbay, the shops can really streamline their operations and can help clients with preventive maintenance by tracking all their units through our portal,” says Findlay.
The road to success did not come easily to Findlay. “Before I started the company, I quit WebPT to go ahead and take over the office side of an actual truck shop to understand the pain of repair shop owners directly,” he adds. “I believe that gave me some street credibility which I now use while talking to shops. It helps to have been in their shoes.”
Though Fullbay is still in the early stages of growth, Findlay is very wary of where he ends up selling his software. “We are hyper-focused on heavy-duty repair shops and do not sell Fullbay to light duty shops. This is something that makes us unique in the market.”
To make sure it succeeds against competition, Fullbay has been working on creating a perfect product-market fit that would help it stay ahead in the freight startup environment. Findlay spoke with shop owners and surveyed the different software that was already available to understand what the market lacked and what could be built to meet demand.
“It was in August of 2015 when we started selling Fullbay, and it took us some time to figure out how to sell it,” notes Findlay. “We were cold calling shop owners at the start. And between getting our first and the second customer, three months had passed.”
But then, the clients are delighted with the services of Fullbay. “The first client that we have had, has their shop set up in Texas and since their association with us, they have quadrupled in size,” explains Findlay. “They wouldn’t have been able to do that using paper and the old legacy systems. Their growth is a measure of our product’s success.”
Right from the start, gaining traction has been a non-issue. Findlay believes they got lucky with the product-market fit. “It is just a matter of grinding it day-in and day-out and doing what it takes to grow the business. A lot of the people on our team were working with me at WebPT, and that company is now approaching a valuation of $800 million,” says Findlay. “We know how to scale a software company because we have done it multiple times.”
Fullbay is now in all 50 states and has a presence in most of the Canadian provinces. “We are also in discussion with several shops in Mexico, and are in the process of translating our app to be multi-lingual,” says Findlay. “We want to have it in other languages apart from Spanish. I had lived in Austria before and would love to get back there with the app.”
The company has a 99% retention rate and is approaching a thousand clients - all within two years of existence. “We believe we are serving a need that is not being addressed and the shops that we sell to are very appreciative of what we are doing,” concludes Findlay. “It feels great to help, and now, it is time for us to hit the gas and scale up.”
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