Cairns entrepreneurs Darryl Posgate and Matt Hanson have turned software originally targeted at pool-safety into an adaptive inspection management platform, Inspection Apps.
The idea behind Inspection Apps came from an app they had originally created to complement their pool fence inspection business My Pool Inspection. But in early 2011, the Queensland Government created a roadblock when it instigated a six-month moratorium on the need to conduct pool fence inspections across the state.
Unperturbed, Posgate and Hanson pivoted and Inspection Apps was born. The pair found that the pool fence app could be adapted for other businesses that were required to carry out inspections, which naturally increased their operational efficiency.
“My Pool Inspection engages 24 contract pool safety inspectors, manages around 3,500 property management clients and around 30 independent contractors and has completed over 18,000 pool fence inspections since 2011,” Posgate said. “This has been managed on a day–to–day basis by one office manager.”
The product records inspection data and photographs, and reportedly completes over 6000 inspections per month. Clients are based all over the world, including lift and elevator inspections in Hawaii, Feng Shui consulting reports in Canada, merchandising in Australia, and pre/post match reports for the QRL (with the NRL said to be showing interest).
One of their biggest clients is the Department of Transport and Main Roads, with other clients representing industries from real estate to hospitality as well as pre-purchase building and pest inspectors.
Inspection Apps calls to mind Townsville’s major success story, the auditing startup SafetyCulture. But while SafetyCulture is focused exclusively on workplace health and safety, Inspection Apps is designed for multiple forms of inspection.
Rather than relying on external funding, the team have grown the business organically. They have a strong focus on personalised service, and customer feedback directly affects further enhancements and customisations.
Using the sort of feedback loop associated with lean startup methodology has meant that Inspection Apps both maintains customer relations with personalised features and avoids wasting development resources.
“Not surprisingly some of the best ideas for Inspection Apps have come from our clients,” Posgate said. “Once they start using the product, invariably we receive a phone call a couple of weeks later asking, “Hey guys, cool app. Can you make it do X?”
“We’ll take a look at the idea and if it’s something that other Inspection Apps users could use we’ll partner with the original client to produce the enhancement, at reduced cost on the understanding that we can share with other Inspection Apps users.,” he said. “Otherwise we’ll program that development for the original client only.”
When asked about challenges they have overcome, Posgate cited the long lead times and high costs of outsourcing the app enhancements to a third party programming company.
As a solution, Posgate and Hanson have now sponsored a developer through a 457 Visa. He works in the same office with them and productivity has reportedly skyrocketed.
Posgate is a regular in Cairns’ startup scene and a mentor at theSpace. He was also part of the team that won the city’s first Startup Weekend with PakYak, a wireless communication app for cyclists riding in packs.
“The enthusiasm and energy from people in startup is truly infectious, it energises me to work harder on my existing businesses,” he said. “Doing my own thing with excellent support is awesome.”
“Life is short, give it a crack,” he says to any would-be entrepreneurs. “The world needs your ideas, it needs your enthusiasm.”