Our VP of Partnerships Zak Pines recently sat down with Andy Kight, VP of Sales for BeaconInsight, as part of our ongoing Partner Interview Series. Zak and Andy had a far-ranging conversation that covered BeaconInsight’s compliance management software and their work to help prevent accidents through collection of vehicle safety data from the field. Here’s an abridged transcript of the chat.
BeaconInsight: Compliance Management in the Transportation Vertical
Zak: Andy, can you start by telling us about BeaconInsight?
Andy: We are a software system used for onboarding, commonly referred to as an applicant tracking system. We also offer post-hire compliance management and driver qualification file management solutions.
In the transportation sector, there are regulatory bodies such as the Department of Transportation, or DOT. There are specific processes a business needs to follow when they hire a new driver, from capturing the complete DOT application to managing the driver qualification file post hire. The items that reside in this driver file would need to be produced in the event of a DOT audit.
That is just one example. There are different regulatory bodies for each sub-vertical. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) are other examples of different regulated modalities under the DOT umbrella.
So when a company hires someone in this field, there are strict processes that need to be adhered to. Our software helps customers manage all that.
Zak: So who is your typical customer?
Andy: Trucking companies, private fleets, energy and construction companies…anyone that employs DOT-regulated positions.
Zak: What sort of processes are you typically replacing when you work with a customer?
Andy: This used to be managed with paper-based files. You’d stuff papers in a cabinet and manage it manually. And every so often the DOT would show up, and you had to provide them the necessary information from the driver file.
We have integrations that help our customers, such as integrating with the providers of the required documentation. We integrate with the background screening providers, for example—companies such as HireRight, Sterling, EBI, and Samba Safety.
Zak: Is there also an ongoing management aspect to it as well?
Andy: Yes. So it starts with onboarding. But then you have ongoing requirements as well. You have to have a new motor vehicle record every 12 months, and there will be a trigger 60 days out when it’s coming due.
Zak: Who are your typical customers, from a role perspective within the organization?
Andy: We deal with multiple departments—human resources and recruiting, fleet safety professionals, compliance. The users are HR and recruiting, with safety and compliance on the back end.
Zak: Are you purely a software company or do you also offer services?
Andy: We do also offer admin-type services. Some companies would prefer our team is reviewing files on their behalf. We could also scan and upload legacy files on their drivers if they need help getting historical data into the system.
Zak: What is your career background?
Andy: I have always worked in transportation. I’m a bit of a DOT nerd. I worked in the logistics and transportation side of the business for the first half of my career. About 10 years ago, I went to work for HireRight to build out their transportation and account management organization. During that time is when I met Beacon.
I’ve always thought very highly of Beacon. I liked the software. I liked how they partnered with companies. They had a good reputation. So when the opportunity came up to join them, it made a lot of sense.
Mobile Forms to Manage Data Collection on Vehicle Safety
Zak: Can you share the story of how BeaconInsight and Formstack came to partner?
Andy: Our team identified Formstack as a complementary technology that we could integrate with to help our customer National Express deliver on their mobile data collection needs around vehicle safety.
Zak: What is the use case for the solution?
Andy: National Express manages a large number of drivers. We’re working with Formstack to enable the field safety evaluators to use an iPad for their evaluations. So they get on the bus with the driver, and they are following a checklist to evaluate how that driver is doing.
Is he following too close? Is he straddling the line? Did he hit the curb?
Zak: How was this done before?
Andy: Before, this was a paper-based process. So the huge opportunity here that National Express is so excited about is the centralized data collection element.
They used to have individual paper forms, and that was it. Now, with a digital system through Formstack and BeaconInsight, they can look out across their driver population and understand the trends.
Are there overall trends in safety that need to be addressed? What specific drivers need what specific training to address any concerns? They can capture trainable actions within their driver pool. There are drivers who are following too close; we need to address that and provide them further electronic training around that skill.
Zak: The benefit to this project sounds massive.
Andy: Yes, it’s all about managing safety proactively, not reactively, and keeping their drivers and company accident-free.
The idea is that now they can identify potential issues with drivers before they result in accidents—which is a huge benefit to National Express as well, as they are wanting to provide their driving services to more and more customers by showing they are the safest.
Preventing Accidents Through Proactive Detection and Training
Zak: What Formstack products are used to deliver this solution?
Andy: We are using your forms product, including mobile forms, to collect the data. We use your API to sync the submissions into our BeaconInsight system. We also use your Formstack Documents product to create formatted PDFs based on the data, which is a major time-saver. We’ve packaged that all into an offering we call InsightForms.
Zak: Do you see other opportunities to deliver this solution to other customers?
Andy: Absolutely. From a DOT standpoint, every sector would benefit from more automation and centralized data for their field safety evaluations.
Zak: How are most companies handling this today?
Andy: Either it’s not being done, which is a compliance risk, or it’s being done on paper with no analytics behind it. It’s just living in that driver’s file but not being centralized.
Zak: So I’m hearing three huge benefits.
There is the compliance angle, of being compliant and reducing the risk of not being compliant, but that’s just the start. There is the opportunity that comes from more proactive safety programs—identifying issues before they happen. And the third thing is the analytics you can get by centralizing that safety evaluation data for the first time.
Andy: Yes. You want to prevent accidents from happening through proactive detection and training. You want to proactively identify trends. You want to catch things before disaster strikes.
Zak: That really is amazing stuff.
We can wrap up with some lighter topics. I’d love to learn more about you. What are some of your personal interests or hobbies?
Andy: I have two daughters, 12 and 10. They both play golf competitively. So I love to practice with them after work, and I’m getting used to losing.
Zak: Do you have a productivity tip you can share?
Andy: Keep organized. I keep my emails in the inbox to a minimum. I like to keep lists of things I need to get accomplished in the day or week or month. I need organization and structure at home and work.
Zak: What’s your favorite TV show?
Andy: In my house the Golf channel is usually on. I also love college football. I live in Oklahoma; it’s not a professional sports state. I bleed orange; we are huge Oklahoma State fans at my house.
Zak: What’s your go-to lunch during the workday?
Andy: I work close to home, so I typically run home and grab some leftovers.
Zak: And to wrap up, is a hot dog a sandwich?
Andy: No. It’s a hot dog.
Zak: That’s been a popular answer in this series.