GeoTraq Delivers the Right Data at the Right Time
General Manager and CTO Pierre Parent (left) and Marketing Vice President Tiffani Neilson want to make adoption of their technology stress-free.
These days, numerous innovations are continually being introduced to help shift businesses into the digital era. But even though these products have the potential to bring efficiency and improve competitiveness, some decision-makers are still resistant to adopt them.
Tiffani Neilson, the vice president of marketing for GeoTraq, explains that this is due to a lack of understanding for the value a data-driven IoT solution can bring to their business or how to implement new technology to their operations. “When some people think of digital transformation, they imagine a complex and costly process, which can seem overwhelming and even a little scary,” she says. “What they don’t realize is that it doesn’t have to be.”
The Las Vegas-based GeoTraq is striving to make the adoption of its asset tracking and remote monitoring technology stress-free for customers. “We’re providing an easy approach that allows companies to keep their existing equipment and software, to make the transition as smooth and simple as possible,” Neilson asserts.
GeoTraq started operations six years ago and is now bringing its Tracker-Module and Sensor-Module products to market. Neilson adds, “We provide visibility for monitoring location and sensor data beyond the job site and across your supply chain.”?
When connected to external sensors, their modules can trigger alerts to warn supervisors of conditions that can ruin shipments or cause potential machine failures.
According to General Manager and CTO, Pierre Parent, ”Many companies are interested in asset tracking and remote monitoring, but they struggle with where to start.”
Parent, who carries extensive experience in the wireless industry, notes that some companies, including those in the agriculture, construction, and energy industries, believe that system-wide changes are needed to implement remote monitoring. But this is not the case with GeoTraq, he states.
Unlike its competitors’ products that require soldering to circuit boards, “Our module is an ultra-small, fully contained package,” he says, noting that the modules – which are the size of a penny – can be easily attached to or inserted into assets and machinery of all sizes.
The modules’ plug-and-play design makes them a good fit for the retrofit market, where clients have machines with status indicators that can range from a flashing light to an audible alarm. “All of those alert systems can connect to the IoT,” he says.
In the field, machine units and pipelines are susceptible to breaching their optimal range of temperature, pressure or other physical states. GeoTraq’s technology provides alerts for potential maintenance issues through API integration to the IoT platform of the client’s choice or their legacy system through their backend platform WebTraq.
GeoTraq’s modules can also inform clients of volume levels in fuel tanks or even the charge status of batteries. Parent notes that the company is currently in negotiations with a business that provides solar chargers to power lights mounted on trailers for construction sites or concerts.
The chargers collect energy from the sun and store power in battery banks to ensure the lights continue to run overnight. However, in certain systems, “Liquid electrolytes in the battery evaporate over time and must be replenished,” Parent says. He also noted that the battery cells would fail if this solution gets too low.
But GeoTraq’s modules will transmit a message containing the status of liquid levels to clients before that happens. “The use of sensors can provide several days of lead time on that,” he says. “Without them, they just get blindsided with calls and complaints once the lights stop working, which is not the best customer service strategy.”
GeoTraq’s devices also provide clients with opportunities for operational savings, Parent says. For example, if one client has a machine that stops operating because it has run out of consumables, they should find out sooner rather than later.
“The faster you can get that machine back in service, the fewer the losses due to downtime,” he says. “When we talk to people, they say starting the clock sooner to get the line going again is what translates into savings.”
It also benefits clients with machines located on remote sites who would not know there was an issue until output had stopped. Additionally, if there are multiple machines on that site, the module can transmit data that tells them exactly which one shutdown and at what time.
This feature allows clients to get everything back up and running without checking every machine for issues. “Having access to the right data at the right time helps operations recover quickly from problems before they escalate,” Parent adds.
Keeping it Simple
Currently, GeoTraq is in the prelaunch stage with its modules and has plans to begin fulfilling orders next year. Parent sees a strong future for the company, with the potential for its modules to bring efficiency to industrial operations, particularly those looking to retrofit legacy equipment.
For example, he says, many companies offering high volume consumables frequently dispatch technicians to perform inspections and replenishments. With GeoTraq’s technology, “The solution can be as simple as someone in the dispatch office getting a text or email identifying which customer account needs service,” he says.
GeoTraq technology can be integrated and implemented, he adds, with very few changes to a clients’ overall operations. “With our simple IoT approach, they’re getting more actionable information from less data,” he says. “Once customers see the benefit of that, they’ll be much keener to incorporate our remote monitoring solution into their business process.”
“We’re going to change the perception of IoT by simplifying how companies approach the process,” Parent concludes. It’s only a matter of getting people to think differently about existing operations, he says, and show them how they can turn sensor-driven alerts into proactive services for customer engagement and increased oversight.