Scaling Operations at a Global Business
My brother Amir & I have co-founded UVeye just over 2.5 years ago. We decided to challenge a task that we knew is difficult – create inspection systems led by AI for vehicles without physical human interference and providing a great experience for our potential clients.
When we started we knew there is a big need in the industry and we actually had sales from day one. We received requests from different facilities such as embassies, presidential houses, airports, seaports and power plants – all asking for us to try and solve a similar challenge. They were sick of relying on people with mirrors looking at the undercarriage of a vehicle when entering an access point. They wanted something smart, efficient, data related and quick so their security guards and operators can sit in the air condition and detect threats like bombs or smuggling. Requests for demos and installations came from all over the world, from Africa through Eastern Europe to Asia.
Business-wise and commercially it was the dream. We hit a quick product-market fit and knew that we can also take this to the automotive world, operationally – our real challenge just began.
We needed to develop devices built with advanced cameras and connected through different terminals to the cloud, ship them abroad, install them and make sure the local teams are happy and then maintain, upgrade and keep them satisfied. I’m not aware of many young startups that developed a technology combining hardware and software and managed to deploy and install successfully in dozens of sites and locations.
Lately, we have also initiated projects in the automotive industry throughout the whole life cycle of the vehicle and providing an inspection that can detect oil leaks, dents, scratches, rust with brilliant partners like Toyota Tsusho, Skoda & more.
So how do you do this?
1. Hire reliable people and soul players – my team are some of the best people I’ve ever worked with. I can wake them up at night and send them to the airport or go with them and they will be there for me and for the company. When dealing with global operations this is key.
2. Try to build agile systems and software which have the right documentation and their know-how can be easily taught to anyone in any language. INVEST in good manuals, FAQ’s and specifications from day one.
3. Try to find the right local partners, the ones that have the right marketing connections but also know how to install and assist on the ground. At UVeye we have some great resellers and local players which assist us a lot.
4. Do not compromise on hardware quality but do try to constantly reduce weight, size, and dimensions. Our mobile undercarriage device today can be deployed ad-hoc in any site and is easily transported – we can carry our systems in a suitcase and send them as luggage on the plan when needed.
5. Build the right protocol for deployment, starting from customs, shipment through transportation on the other side. If you build the right steps from day one you will always improve your protocol and adapt it as your team and product evolves.
6. Keep SMILING. Dealing with logistics, suppliers, installations, and deployment can cause a lot of stress and tight time-frames. I know it’s easy to say but we at UVeye try to keep a positive attitude and back up our team at all cost.
I hope more startups at an early stage do as well as we did and always happy to consult and share knowledge in the automotive, AI and smart mobility industries.
Best of luck!