GICSoft Delivers Transportation Management

When you survey the landscape of Atlanta startups, what’s missing is the proverbial “acorn from the oak tree.” Often there’s little relationship between the Fortune 500 behemoths in town and the entrepreneurial exploits happening at the grassroots. And rarely do Fortune 500 execs break out to form small startups designed to sell back to their previous employers.

In some ways, this a natural fact of the industries based here – specifically large consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies like Coca-ColaNewell Rubbermaid and Georgia-Pacific. The likelihood an entrepreneur will develop a new product that really impacts one of these businesses is miniscule given product development is close to a science for these companies.

But for every CPG, there’s a Turner or UPS – companies who are built on innovation and who have shown a strong propensity to invest and/or buy companies. So why aren’t there more content creation or logistics startups in Atlanta? We’ll save the full conversation on ‘tech transfer’ for another day, but suffice to say one reason is they can be complex, capital-intensive businesses to create and grow. Not exactly the current crop of all-the-rage bootstrapped startups…

A great example is a small Duluth company called GICSoft. But ‘small’ can be a misnomer given the firm has about 200 employees in four offices across the US and Europe. Their history lies in web application development for educational institutions to Fortune 500 companies, but they’ve always managed their own projects as well. The company is finalizing the launch of an automated transportation system called Pathalyst, which is focused tightly on the education market. Designed for transportation managers within school districts, the software is used to generate trip and route information for all school buses within a given district.

GICSoft claims the ability to create 5-40% more efficient routes, and has a pricing model based on a percentage of dollars saved. This is particularly interesting considering the financial pressure that’s reaching almost all taxpayer-funded services.

“One of the main reasons we’ll call on a school district is budget cuts,” says GICSoft CEO Igor Babushkin. “Even in the most conservative applications, we expect to deliver a 100% ROI in three months, and over 450% each year.”

And as the routing becomes more complex, the ROI proposition increases. In the educational world, the most complex example is special needs transportation given the multiple locations and specialized vehicles. For example, a special needs student might require a wheelchair-capable vehicle, but they attend classes at three different locations during a week. Routing these complexities on a daily basis requires flexibility and power that are not readily available in the market. What seems like a relatively straightforward routing process requires both massive computing power and the sharpest mathematical minds in world – a combination GICSoft blends to deliver an easy-to-use system that runs in the cloud.

While today’s GICSoft product is focused on the educational market, there’s clearly an application for a company like UPS. Granted Big Brown’s engineers have been perfecting such tasks for years, but consider what 1% additional efficiency would mean in an operation the size of UPS. And imagine the efficiency impact of delivering turn-by-turn directions to a temporary driver who’s filling in for a sick day or week-long vacation – limiting the productivity decrease to 10-15%. Innovation like that could literally put tens of millions of dollars on the bottom line.

This is the type of ‘tech transfer’ we’ll be searching out and highlighting in the future at TechDrawl. If you’ve got other examples we should know about, please let us know.

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