As sensors become cheaper and easier to install, the whole process of maintaining equipment and assets is starting to shift from just scrambling to fix problems to getting a hold of issues before they get out of control.
That’s opened the door for startups like Fiix, which are creating workflow software that helps companies manage equipment and assets. That software enables companies to keep a close eye on equipment and resolve issues quickly before they become more complex to the point of costing companies hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix. Every percentage point of efficiency, for some operations, can translate to revenue significant enough to the point that this kind of software is an easy sell. Fiix said today it has raised $12 million in a new financing round led by BuildGroup.
“It was one of the last bastions of enterprise software that’s yet to go through the same disruption that every other major software company [has gone through],” COO James Novak said. “If you look at human resource software, CRM software, accounting software, they’ve all gone through the same transition. This market was one of the last ones to go through that transition.”
Fiix takes the process of managing work orders, assets and inventories and throws it all into a set of software that’s designed to be easier to use when compared to existing complex asset management software. That includes making sure all of this is available on a phone, where managers and employees can monitor what kinds of work orders are in progress, approve them, or issue them. That’s designed to remove some of the time barriers that may keep managers from starting the maintenance process.
But because there’s a lot of money to be made here, there’s going to be an increasing amount of competition. Already, there are startups like UpKeep, which came out of Y Combinator’s winter class last year. By giving managers a way to prioritize and get work orders done quickly, employees and managers can have a more real-time level of communication — which means they can spot problems earlier and earlier, and keep things running smoothly.