Award-winning Mid-Wales telematics company, Plant-i Ltd, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, has announced plans for international expansion and the upcoming launch of two new innovative solutions.
The first innovation is a driver aid device that will assist lorry and bus drivers to avoid low bridges or getting stuck in lanes too narrow for their vehicles. The device uses both ‘in cab’ driver alerts and remote database updates.
The second is a 360 degree ‘bird’s eye view’ video fitted to plant machinery and lorries that provides the driver with a full view covering all ‘blind spots’. This video data is stored ‘in cab’ and on cloud servers and can be viewed remotely using Plant i Ltd software via personal computer or tablet.
Plant i Ltd, which builds and installs vehicle, asset and fleet tracking solutions, is currently in the process of buying its 5,300 sq. ft unit base on Machynlleth’s Dyfi Eco Park from the Welsh Government, less than two years after taking up the lease.
Employing 21 staff, the company aims to grow turnover from £2.2 million to £3.5 million within the next two years, create 10 new jobs and to open an office in Washington, the United States’, capital to develop products for the country’s huge telematics market.
With eyes firmly focused on growing its European customer base, the company is joining a Welsh Government trade mission to Barcelona, Spain this week.
Looking to build its strong and dedicated team, Plant i Ltd has vacancies for sales staff and software developers who will be based with sister company, Pure Telematics Ltd, which shares the same business premises. Focusing on sales, marketing and research and development, the new company is expanding Plant-i Ltd’s partner network.
Launched by managing director Sam Browne from his kitchen table in 2007, Plant i Ltd has shown great resilience in the past year, enabling it to continue to increase its customer base after losing a major EU customer following the Brexit vote.
The company resisted the temptation to make redundancies and instead employed old fashioned sales techniques to replace the lost business with new clients. Within six months, Plant i had won many more clients, resulting in a much stronger business.
In addition, the customer that originally withdrew its business has now returned, resulting in Plant-i Ltd increasing its client base within the insurance industry. Other key sectors for the company are civil engineering, construction, maintenance, rail, transport and self-drive hire.
“Even with the big drop in business that we experienced, we still managed to hit our forecast for the year,” said Mr Browne. “Our whole business model is built around customer retention, which explains why our customer support team is triple the size of our sales team.”
Plant-i Ltd is also partnering with a developer of market leading vehicle camera technology which alerts drivers to potential hazards as well as to speed limits and lane drifting. Research and development to stay ahead of the market and the ability to respond quickly to bespoke customer requirements are among the company’s unique selling points.
“The telematics that we have here in Europe are more sophisticated than in the United States, which is why we plan to open an office in Washington with current assistance from the Welsh Government,” said Mr Browne. “The US is a huge emerging telematics market, which has great business potential for us.”
Winner of five Powys Business Awards in the past six years, Plant-i Ltd is a market leader in the fleet, telematics and data management sector. Continued investment in new databases and a management portal enables the company to deliver bespoke remote data management applications very quickly.
The technology developed by Plant-i will, for example, provide real-time video footage and 2D animation of a crash scene and face recognition to assist insurance assessors and fleet managers.