The Silicon Review
Managing a large fleet of commercial vehicles is a challenging task. It involves tracking their movements, speed, real-time location, distance traveled, and so on. Even though some companies use rudimentary tracking and follow-up measures, tracking a vehicle using sophisticated real-time GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking devices is a growing market.
Plug N Track GPS was launched in 2014 to cater to that market. The company offers a user-friendly GPS system and advanced proprietary software to enable easy tracking and management of vehicles and equipment to improve efficiency in operations.
In conversation with the brains behind Plug N Track GPS, Bent Jensen
Q. What was the inspiration to launch your company?
I did a marketing research project about upcoming technologies in my first year of university; “The Consumer in the GPS Telematics Category.” At the same time, I was working as the Marketing Director in a car audio retail shop. I started advertising such a product in 2004 and found that demand was more prevalent in B2B than in B2C markets.
We started Plug N Track GPS in 2014 with the idea that fleet operators were ready for a brand that could offer an easy to deploy and easy to use GPS tracking and fleet management software solution. GPS tracking technology had come a long way with modems becoming more compact and simpler to deploy. We used to install GPS tracking devices that were the size of a lunch box, and the wiring could be complex. We were one of the first to introduce plug and play devices that could simply be installed over the OBDII port of light-duty vehicles.
In fact, we had successfully partnered with the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee to outfit vehicles used to transport VIPs during the 2010 games with these devices. We were getting lots of orders for these devices, and because the installation was so easy, we felt it was the perfect opportunity to offer a one SKU packaged solution through an e-commerce channel that allowed small to mid-sized fleet operators easy access to an advanced GPS tracking solution to help them manage their light-duty vehicle fleets. I remember waiting for days before we saw our first order from our new Plug N Track GPS website. It felt like an eternity.
Q. Can you tell us about your company’s early days?
We gradually began to get more traction after the first few orders, but we found out quickly that our customers often wanted to outfit other fleet assets as well, either heavy-duty vehicles or equipment, alongside primarily light-duty vehicle fleets. These fleet assets weren’t compatible with the plug and play OBDII device. We were positioned well to accommodate these requests as we had a lot of experience in and supported a broad range of GPS tracking devices to meet these types of needs and we gradually added more hardware options to the site. It stretched our original intention of a single SKU brand increasing sales and service complexity.
Q. How has customer feedback influenced your company’s offerings?
We take a very customer-centric approach to growing our business. Not every new product, feature, or service that we’ve tried has been 100% successful. We update and improve our platform solutions frequently, and we involve our customers in continuous feedback loops to gauge their success, find gaps, and log future needs. A lot can be gained even from simple ad-hoc comments during a sales presentation. Of course, it’s also our responsibility to constantly scan the horizon to look for new opportunities that will add value. For example, the internet of things was just this concept what seems a short while ago but is steadily becoming a part of everyone’s business and life. That’s why we develop products and tailor features to existing clients’ needs but also think forward to create cutting edge solutions that will be needed sometime in the future.
Q. If you had to list five of your company’s biggest assets, what would they be?
Q. What’s a typical day in your office like?
I’ve made it a point to become very systematic so the team can always anticipate what I’m going to be doing at any given day and time; as well as what I’m going to be asking them for and when. I’ve made a point over the last 12 months to be less ad-hoc with engagement with departments and department heads. I have fixed days of the week and times for departmental “Sync” meetings. There is always a baseline agenda that we launch off of for the meeting, just to get up to speed on all the initiatives they are working on which we call “Epics”, the progress of each of the team’s sprints, what’s outstanding and what needs to be addressed in the short, mid and long term. I find it’s been instrumental in ensuring great ideas are not forgotten. It has had a dramatic impact on the fact that once the meeting is over, the department continues on its execution.
Q. Do you have newer products getting ready to be launched?
We are launching an entirely new reporting suite that monitors, analyses, and reports fuel efficiency and the overall greenhouse gas impact for the business or municipalities’ fleet. It’s a win-win; the customer is able to identify the divisions or departments that operate according to fuel efficiency benchmarks and which ones are not, and the environment wins from the reduction of CO2 emissions.
Q. About Bent Jensen, Founder, and CEO of Plug N Track
Bent directs the strategy for the company and assists in negotiating major contracts with vendors and customers. Bent is a highly productive and innovative professional with a proven track record of successfully launching new business divisions, products lines and implementing large projects. His skills in business development, P&L management, capital budgeting, and brand management are nothing short of market winning. Mr. Jensen holds a B.Com. Degree from the University of Alberta, Edmonton.