Today, Zeto launches its new website alongside a freshening up of the brand. As part of this new phase in our company’s journey, we are beginning something I personally thought we would never do – start a blog!
It took some convincing by the team here to get me to agree to start a company blog, but what swung it for me in the end was the argument that if we truly believe that we can change the refrigeration industry’s approach to software, then we need to show that we are thought leaders in that space. The best way to do this is to write about our achievements as we go!
So, if we are going to blog, we are going to need a theme and the theme of this blog is “Bringing IoT to the Refrigeration Industry”. Deciding on the theme in fairness was a pretty straightforward decision. IoT technologies and how they intersect with the global commercial refrigeration industry is pretty much what myself and the 11 other people here at Zeto focus on every day. As I look over to our board room right now, the development team, products and project managers are whiteboarding how we can create software to ingest hundreds of digital refrigeration controllers’ parameter libraries quickly and easily, so that we can provide 2-way communication with any make or model of refrigeration controller from our web based platform. As far as I am aware, there is nobody else doing anything like this in the refrigeration industry so we should be telling everyone about it! Hence the new blog…
I am going to start off this entry with just a small bit of background on the company and some of the milestones over the last number of years that have gotten us to where we are today. Over the coming weeks, months and probably years then, people like Myself, Jonathan our CTO, Tom our Head of Sales and Brian our Product Manager are going to give you an insight into our progress. The aim is not to sugar-coat our experience, but to give an accurate as possible account of the trials and tribulations that are involved in growing from a fledgling start up company to becoming “The Smart Refrigeration Platform”.
The journey started back in 2009. Michael (my dad) came to me with an idea for temperature monitoring in the healthcare industry. I was not long after moving back from London where I worked for a HR Software company and I was itching to start my own business. Michael had worked for himself for the last 30 years so I had grown up seeing the highs and lows of self employment and it was a challenge that I wanted to take on for myself. I started prototyping a system to monitor the temperatures of dishwashers and laundry equipment in hospitals and so the journey began. The system worked but the business model was severely flawed! The system required manual operation and was practically impossible to scale. We learned a lot of lessons and moved on to the next idea.
In 2011 we settled on implementing a similar application for the commercial refrigeration industry after a meeting with a refrigeration manufacturer in Dublin. We could see a massive need for the type of platform that we already had designed so we got to work on it. To cut a long story very short, we have spent the next 5 years raising €2 million to get the business off the ground and we have brought in the best people possible to lead the R&D, Sales, Project & Product Management teams. We also put together a board that I feel are second to none when it comes to strategizing about how we revolutionise software for the refrigeration industry.
Commercially, we have had a number of successes over the last 5 years also. Our list of clients include Lidl, Coca Cola and Dixell as well as some smaller companies. We provide a number of services for our clients ranging from basic temperature monitoring to much more advanced services such as predictive maintenance, energy management and asset tracking.
A few weeks back, we had an offsite day with the team here and I put 2 questions to them:
- What is the Vision that we have for this company?
- What is the Message that we want to send out to the world?
The answers that came back and the conversation around these 2 questions were invigorating. Personally, it was amazing to see a room of people pulling together to collectively try and achieve a goal that myself and Michael had dreamt up after leaving a meeting in Dublin 5 years earlier.
The Vision we have as a company for Zeto is to be ‘The Smart Refrigeration Management Platform’. Our message that we want to put out into the world is that ‘Zeto is a software company dedicated to putting technology into the hand of it users that allows them to manage any type of refrigeration equipment from anywhere in the world’.
Finally, to answer the title question of this blog, our mission is to “bring IoT to the commercial refrigeration industry”. It is an audacious, disruptive and frankly ballsy goal, but its one that I KNOW we can achieve. 5 years ago I would have been happy with a number of clients in Ireland using our system and being happy with the service. Now, however, I have seen the global potential for this idea and so have the rest of the team. We come to work everyday to work on this Vision and throughout the course of this blog (however long that takes!) we look forward to sharing the details of this journey with you!