Site Passport is based in Dun Laoghaire and has created a new digital procurement and compliance platform for the construction industry that provides main contractors and developers with a faster and more effective way to source, evaluate, procure and manage their supply chain.
The platform also provides a range of services that help subcontractors and suppliers grow new business, demonstrate compliance and manage their people, products, materials, plant and equipment.
Site Passport was founded by CEO Rob Fox, who spent over 20 years working in main contracting and his experience led him to develop the Site Passport platform.
“The Site Passport platform provides a truly digital, automated, integrated and data-driven environment that empowers all the players in the construction industry to improve efficiency, value and confidence”
During his time as contracts manager on some of Ireland’s biggest construction projects, he always felt that there had to be a better, more integrated approach to managing procurement and compliance that would deliver better outcomes for clients and main contractors, as well as subcontractors and suppliers.
What is the problem you are trying to solve and the size of the market you are addressing?
The construction industry is faced with significant problems as the scale and complexity of projects grow, while the number of people entering the industry falls. The net outcome of this is that projects are often delayed, costs regularly escalate, and quality can be compromised. It is estimated that over 35pc of construction projects are delayed by more than 30pc, and 20pc of projects exceed budget by more than 25pc. In the context of a €10tn global construction industry, the impacts can be enormous. This is a global problem that requires new thinking and the adoption of new technology in order to relieve the dwindling construction workforce of mundane, time consuming tasks and at the same time support their skills and experience with powerful digital tools and valuable insights.
What is your core product and service about and how does it work?
The Site Passport platform provides a truly digital, automated, integrated and data-driven environment that empowers all the players in the construction industry to improve efficiency, value and confidence. The Site Passport platform not only provides a suite of digital services to manage the procurement and compliance at the organisational level, but also delivers solutions that manage the procurement and compliance of construction people, products, materials, plant, equipment and waste. A key function of the Site Passport platform now enables all parties to capture real-time data across supply chain deployment, performance and compliance. By providing valuable business intelligence across all the stages of construction, Site Passport delivers increased competitiveness, enhanced reputation and reduced risk for its customers.
What are your impressions of the start-up ecosystem in your region and in Ireland in general?
We firmly believe there should be better government supports for Irish start-ups, in order to build indigenous tech companies that can compete globally. Software is a resource hungry business which requires a lot of up-front investment, and while we’ve had great support from the people at Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown LEO and Enterprise Ireland so far, we think there should be more investment incentives and supports provided by the government to help start-ups to get traction over the first few years.
Are you raising funding at present?
We have recently opened a funding round in order to support overseas expansion. We are also a High Potential Start Up (HPSU) with Enterprise Ireland who can match investment raised.
What are the biggest lessons you have learned so far?
The biggest challenges have been trying to reach and educate our customers and establish our brand in an industry which is quite fragmented and not digitally native, while managing the huge resource requirements to develop and promote the platform.
What advice do you have for fellow founders?
Do a lot of research on what customers want and also what they are actually willing to pay for, or what will make them change behaviour, before making product development decisions.
What technologies or tools does your team use to stay agile?
We use Salesforce to manage all customer and stakeholder correspondence and reporting, WordPress for easy management of our front-end promotion and ZenHub for managing the product backlog.
Interview by John Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published: 8 January, 2020