Posted: August 01, 2008

TechStartup: myDIALS, Inc.

Eric Peterson

Company: myDIALS Inc.
Where: Lafayette
Founded: Summer 2006
www.MYDIALS.com

INITIAL LIGHT BULB: While a stint as senior VP of worldwide marketing was his most recent experience, myDIALS co-founder and CEO Wayne Morris previously worked at Citect, an automation and control software specialist based in his native Australia. In 2006, he reconnected with a pair of former Citect co-workers, Peter Long and Darren Trumeter, currently myDIALS chief technical officer and board member, respectively.

"We got together and thought there were some excellent things in our collective backgrounds to start a new company," Morris said.

Morris said industrial controls offer "real-time information for decision makers" in factories and information technology environments, but there was no corollary for corporate decision makers. "Why not provide real-time information to everyone in an organization who makes operational decisions?"

The trio launched the company in August 2006 and went to market a year later. The company currently has five employees in Lafayette and eight at a wholly owned development subsidiary in Australia.

IN A NUTSHELL
Priced as a hosted service at $75 per user per month, myDIALS offers decision makers real-time information via a Web-based interface that is not unlike a car’s dashboard, Morris said. "If your engine warning light goes on, you need to pull over," he said. "myDIALS does the same thing for a business. We’re using Web 2.0 technologies to provide a rich interface that is easy for everyone to use. They not only can use it, but they want to use it."

The software is semi-customized to accept a wide range of data from systems already in place, including customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning software as well as spreadsheets and databases. "We try to automate it as much as possible," Morris said.

Morris said the prime uses of myDIALS revolve around tracking metrics related to order fulfillment, procurement and manufacturing processes but that it also has utility in analyzing sales cycles, collections, worker safety and other areas. "These areas are a little bit neglected, so the more we do across them, the more value we provide to our customers."

Snap-On Tools is myDIALS’ largest client. The toolmaker is using myDIALS software to track and improve safety across 80 plants in 22 countries, Morris said. "We’re allowing them to analyze safety data for patterns and trends. If they implement training or safety programs, it allows them to look at their effectiveness."

Furthermore, Snap-On trucks — which are actually operated by franchisees — also use myDIALS to look at their performance relative to other franchisees and sales data across the market. "It’s a good way to help franchisees improve their performance," Morris said.

One user, Steve Mosley, director of leadership development at Little Rock, Ark.-based Alltel, called myDIALS "a valuable tool for our executives to see the impact of our leadership development efforts across the work force." Added Mosley: "We are able to provide a barometer to the organization on key employee metrics and pinpoint areas where leader development is working, or needs to be provided, or needs to be adjusted."

THE MARKET
myDIALS is targeting a wide range of companies with $100 million to $3.5 billion in annual revenues, from energy to health care. "The underlying commonality they have is they want to improve performance in a certain area," Morris said. "It could be fairly broad or it could be fairly narrow."

The company is presently working with partners in a wide range of industries to bring to market industry-specific boilerplate dashboards, Morris added. "We’re building up partners to develop off-the-shelf applications."

FINANCING
Morris said myDIALS raised a seed round from the founders and another round from private investors and no venture capitalists. Another financing round is on tap; the company is again targeting individual private investors.

Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com

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