By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor
COOKEVILLE – Just over eight months ago, Tyna Bryan watched as the code for the software that she had been working on for over three years disappeared line by line. That’s the moment that Attorney Kevin Christopher sent her to the Biz Foundry and Jeff Brown for a new start.
On Saturday, Feb. 23, Bryan celebrated the launch of her Department of Transportation (DOT) compliance software, DOTReady, with an invitation only party and a waiting list of customers eager to sign on.
Bryan is the owner/CEO of Cookeville based DOT Readiness Group and Proverbs Technology LLC, parent company to the DOTReady software platform. DOTReady is designed to improve trucking companies’ operational safety, improved regulatory compliance and enable the hiring and retention of sought-after drivers.
Five years ago, Bryan, who has over 20 years of experience in DOT compliance, realized that she was seeing the same problems with her clients regardless of the size of their fleet. She tried every software that was available but kept telling herself that she could do it better.
Bryan spent three years working with a software developer before the working relationship fell apart. By the time she met with Christopher and Brown, the developer was literally erasing all the code they had worked on.
This perceived setback was actually a blessing in disguise as Bryan feels the new software is better all-around.
“Tyna is a life-long entrepreneur who found a desperate need and built a product to fill that need,” said Jeff Brown, Biz Foundry executive director/president. “She’s not a techie. She doesn’t know how to write software, but she saw that her customers needed software that did this, so she went out and figured out how to build it. We’ve been able to help her tremendously.”
The Biz Foundry introduced Bryan to Micah Johnson and Alane Boyd, owners of BGBO Co. Bryan contracted with BGBO Co. to build the software and provide other marketing and public relations services, enabling Bryan to focus on ensuring that the software had all the components she felt were necessary to be the best product available.
“It was not just an idea I had, and I put it on a napkin, and they made the napkin come to life,” said Bryan. “It was very strategic on what my end goal was going to be, and I appreciate Micah and Alane for walking me through that because even though I knew in my head what I wanted it to be they were giving me tips on things that they had already been through and saying ‘you might want to do it this way instead’ or ‘yeah, that’s a good route to go. Let’s keep it going this way.’ They’ve been through it. They’ve been there done that and made mistakes already and also done it well so, since they have experience, it worked.”
From Bryan’s personal observations, she estimates that about 90 percent of the DOT fines were due to paperwork issues.
“And they’re huge fines,” said Bryan. “They’re not small. It’s because of the paperwork. That’s the problem I wanted to solve. And it’s not just the fines either. To me it was about safety. It’s about hiring better drivers, safer drivers.”
So, she set out to create a software package that incorporates all aspects of recruiting, onboarding, driver qualification files, vehicle inventory, incident and accident information, maintenance and inspections in an integrated system that is user friendly.
The system also links into the company’s SMS Report alerting companies to their audit potential.
This software works for small owner-operators and large companies. It is designed for anyone regulated by the DOT but also works for non-DOT regulated companies.
Her software, and the process that it has drivers go through as they are applying for jobs, qualifies the drivers. It uses eight different criteria to evaluate applicants.
The software is running motor vehicle records and background checks, scoring the driver comparing their safety record to other applicant’s safety records, while the company is doing the drug screening, allowing companies to not only hire drivers faster but better.
By the time a driver is through the on-boarding process, the software will have the entire 56-page DOT driver file complete and with the information consistent throughout.
After a driver is hired, the software tracks driver, truck and trailer in a manner that allows the company to keep all driver files, maintenance records and even incident records in a linked file that is easily accessible. The software will even alert the company about upcoming driver and vehicle license renewals.
In the event of an accident, the driver is even able to input all the information with pictures into a mobile phone and upload the information to the company and their insurance company before resuming the trip.
Insurance companies see this software as a way to improve safety for their customers. Bryan has one large insurance company prepared to license it as a service for all their commercial companies with fleets. Other insurance companies are interested as well.
Bryan’s years of business consulting served her well as she put her plans for the business and software together. She had a strategy for her end game and everything focused around that.
“I was very strategic in how I set it up,” Bryan explained. “I was very strategic in keeping it separate from my consulting company. I was very strategic on how I wanted to set it up. Alane and I were very strategic in how I wanted to market it and the pricing of it. We were strategic on all of it, piece by piece by piece, not just on how we developed it on the back-end, but on the front-end and all the little pieces that go into it.”
Bryan’s successful beta test and launch have garnered interest from potential investors.
“I am getting a lot of calls already from people interested in potential partnerships or buying out the company, which is interesting,” said Bryan. “Not just one or two, but a few.”
“I think it says a lot about what she’s built and what she’s done already, that it hasn’t even officially launched and because of her talking it up and having a very clear vision of what she wanted and being able to piece that together, that she’s already getting phone calls from people looking at acquiring her company,” said Boyd on the eve of the launch.
Brown feels that Bryan is a shining example of what the Biz Foundry is all about – entrepreneurship.
“The way we teach entrepreneurship is to make sure someone wants what you’re building,” said Brown. “Don’t go build it, and then try to find out if someone wants it.
“So, her software is the perfect example of she saw a huge need, built a product for it and people want it. She knew they wanted it before she built it and she built it to be what they wanted instead of building what she wanted and trying to sell it to them. She developed it for them and therefore she has a waiting list to buy it instead of I’ll go build it and see if anybody wants it.”
With a client base of 750 companies and a newsletter following of 34,000, one thing is for sure, Bryan knows they want it.
For more information about the DOTReady software, visit http://dot-ready.com/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about Bryan’s consulting company, DOT Readiness Group, can be found at https://dotreadinessgroup.com/.