Geotab is where the much-hyped internet of things meets the real-world practical utility that can fundamentally improve business performance.
Geotab’s telematics use data from internet-connected vehicles to make commercial fleets safer and more efficient. The Oakville, Ont.-based business is one of the largest and fastest-growing telematics companies in the world.
In the past year, Geotab revenues have grown 40%, while its workforce increased by more than 30% (up to 370 people). It launched the latest iteration of its cornerstone tracking device—the GO8 LTE, which offers advanced GPS technology, G-force monitoring, engine and battery health assessments and in-vehicle audible coaching.
By the end of 2017, nearly one million vehicles were using Geotab technology, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was among the high-profile names added to Geotab’s list of customers.
Growth is very good, of course, but it’s also changed the day-to-day role of CEO and founder Neil Cawse. In the early days, he could spend more time on the product and the customer, but now his most important contribution to driving performance at Geotab is hiring the right people and making sure those great people don’t want to leave.
“If you’re hiring poorly, you’re not hiring the right person, you’re not putting them in the right job or you’re hiring somebody and you don’t look after them. If you don’t give them the best possible circumstances and they end up leaving, that is a reflection on us as leaders of the company because we are not doing a good job of looking after the thing that makes our company great,” he says.
“I would say the most important thing we do to retain is we have an attitude of transparency,” he says. They treat everyone like Geotab is their company and share with them as much information about the company’s performance as possible. “We will take it as far as we can.”
Geotab has given 40 employees stock in the company—not stock options. “They have a vested interest in making sure that it’s done right, that it’s good, that there are no mistakes made and pointing out any problems.”
The company has a mission beyond profit, he says. Geotab technology can reduce CO2 emissions and improve safety for drivers. “There are hundreds and hundreds of people who are alive today because they’re running Geotab,” says Cawse. “Staff think of themselves like: ‘This is a good thing I’m doing for society.’ That also helps us.”