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50 Leading Companies of the Year 2021

In Conversation with EquipmentShare Leadership: ‘Our Sole Mission is to Make Construction More Productive and Efficient’

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“Our suite of apps is unique in that it sits on a single data lake with features that are purpose-built for solving problems in this industry.”

EquipmentShare is a construction technology solutions company. It builds proprietary technology and end-user applications that empower contractors and optimize productivity across the commercial construction sector.

Fleet managers, general contractors, service techs, heavy equipment mechanics, drivers, operators and safety managers all experience new ways to work along with the benefits of a connected jobsite with the company’s tech-enabled product suite.

EquipmentShare was incorporated in 2015 and is headquartered in Columbia, Mo., with locations from coast to coast. EquipmentShare is growing every day. See a full list of locations at equipmentshare.com/locations.

Jabbok Schlacks and Willy Schlacks, EquipmentShare Co-Founders, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Tell us in brief about your smart jobsite solutions, Mr. Schlacks (Jabbok).

Far more than a rental company, EquipmentShare is an equipment and digital solutions provider serving the construction industry. The days of using multiple systems to manage one fleet are over. EquipmentShare has developed a robust fleet management tool that tracks all assets—regardless of OEM, power, or size—and connects them into a single, easy-to-use portal. EquipmentShare provides fleet managers with real-time fleet data and empowers them with a full CMMS, plus inventory tracking, labor tracking, and predictive insights for unparalleled visibility and efficiency. EquipmentShare has earned the ‘Fleet Management Technology Company of the Year’ from the ‘2020 AutoTech Breakthrough Awards’ with this technology offering. We’re honored to be considered as the winner in this category because we know our technology is a game-changer for the industry.

Q. What are the challenges faced by a modern-day contractor? How do you help them overcome those challenges, Mr. Schlacks (Willy)?

Contractors don’t have clear visibility across their fleet or business operations. Their equipment assets, people, and materials are spread across numerous jobsites, facilities, cities, and states. This destroys efficiency and productivity because contractors and fleet managers have to chase down the information they need to make business decisions: fleet utilization rates, cost tracking, equipment maintenance history, and more.

To remedy this problem, EquipmentShare’s digital solutions gather data in one central location to give contractors a single place to analyze and understand their business operations data. Regardless of OEM, make, model, size, or power of the equipment, EquipmentShare’s fleet management solutions track and record utilization data for fleet managers to access. From their cell phone, tablet or desktop, a contractor can see exactly where their fleet is located, who is using it, when it needs maintenance, and for how long it’s been running. EquipmentShare turns these historically invisible parts of construction operations into highly visible and trackable data that serves various parties within a construction company: maintenance and service departments, accounting departments, project management, and procurement managers.

By providing contractors and fleet managers (and their companies) with digital and electronic ways to record, gather and monitor fleet utilization data, we save them hours typically spent manually collecting the same information, digesting it, and applying it to business decisions. These hours directly translate into dollars and cents. These hours are also spent working efficiently, which will create a sea change in an industry that’s been relatively unproductive for decades. Our sole mission is to make construction more productive and efficient, and we believe our technology empowers the industry to do just that — to access the data of daily construction work and digest that and use it to streamline and modernize dated processes that currently slow them down.

Q. Mr. Schlacks (Jabbok), how is your technology platform different from traditional telematics platforms?

Our suite of apps is unique in that it sits on a single data lake with features that are purpose-built for solving problems in this industry. By using one platform, customers gain the full picture perspective of their business.

For example, recently, an EquipmentShare customer based in Missouri used our technology to locate stolen equipment. They said it was the first time they had been able to find and recover stolen assets within the same day. At face value, the business would have been out $200,000 worth of equipment. But with reputations and jobs on the line, the company’s potential damage could have gone far beyond the industry’s equipment price tag, allowing very small margins of error. We are in an incredible position for our solutions to make a real difference in situations like this one.thesiliconreview-jabbok-schlacks-ceo-equipmentshare-21

Our equipment trackers also provide us with a ton of data, which allows us to take corrective action to help customers save money and prevent downtime—a costly common challenge for construction companies and fleet managers. We use our data to create predictive models that anticipate breakdowns before they happen. If an engine overheats, but the coolant temp gauge shows it’s running cool, then no operator can tell they’re about to destroy the engine.

Fortunately, because of our tracking technology, we have all of that information; we can analyze it and create a model that helps us prevent that from happening in the future.

Q. Mr. Schlacks (Willy), how do you deal with the ‘never-ending change’ in digital transformation?

We’re an incredibly agile and nimble company made up of creative problem solvers. We build things and throw ideas at the wall to see if they stick. If they don’t, we turn around and try something new. We recognize we’re in an industry—technology—where things change on a dime. What we strive to focus on is building products and technology that directly serves our end user. The only changes we seek to make to our technology are improvements to serve our customers better. That is our North Star. We are proud to partner with our customers to build solutions and technology that works for them. Our product development team works closely with our clients to understand which tools save them time and money and create solutions where they are needed. It’s an open channel of communication between our customers and us, and that is a foundational aspect of our company’s success.

Q. Mr. Schlacks (Jabbok), to what do you attribute EquipmentShare’s rapid growth?

The people who make up EquipmentShare are the reason we’ve grown so much. Our team has made our success possible. We’re fortunate to be in the construction industry, a large industry that’s ripe for a solution like our technology—but at the end of the day—it’s all about execution. Who can take our company’s vision and turn it into something that will make a real difference for customers? That’s our people—who can understand that vision and work toward it.

From a business perspective, what are you looking forward to in 2021, Mr. Schlacks (Willy)?

We’re looking forward to furthering customer adoption of our technology and watching that increase. We have put in a lot of work to solve specific problems for our customers, and the result is that we will provide total transparency around the built environment for our customers.

The Leaders at the Helm of EquipmentShare

Jabbok Schlacks and Willy Schlacks are brothers. They co-founded EquipmentShare at Startup Weekend, an event where developers, creatives, and entrepreneurs come together to pitch and build a business throughout the weekend.

“We are in an incredible position for our solutions to make a real difference in the industry.”