Welcome back! Spiffy here, your faithful interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth with an eye on entrepreneurs working to make this world more equitable. Today, I’m super excited to speak with Hans Galland, the CEO of BeyondTrucks Inc. Let’s see what he’s been up to!
Spiffy: Thanks for joining me, Hans! Let’s jump right in. What challenge is BeyondTrucks addressing?
Hans: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! BeyondTrucks’ challenge is to transport small and mid-size businesses (SMB) in the trucking industry into the future using automation, smart data, and embedded financial products.
Spiffy: What motivated you to tackle this challenge?
Hans: Essentially, we wanted to help SMB trucking companies get ready for the massive tech transformation the industry is facing.
Spiffy: Always great to have a helping hand! Tell me a bit about how BeyondTrucks is working towards a more equitable world.
Hans: Sure thing. You see, trucking SMBs have traditionally been neglected by high-end technology. Much like Shopify has helped SMB retailers to compete in the world of e-commerce, we are enabling SMB trucking companies to access technology that makes them more resilient and resistant to tech disruption in the future. Specifically, our technology helps trucking companies digitize and collect data. The lack of data has historically prevented them from making smart decisions to improve their operations or secure appropriate financing for their working capital. As an example, most SMB trucking companies improve cash flows with factoring at more than 30% APR. With BeyondTrucks, some of our customers have replaced factoring with lines of credit which come at a fourth of the cost, or around 7%.
Spiffy: Amazing! Tell us about a recent milestone you all achieved. What impact does that make?
Hans: We are currently working with 40 fleets of trucks. Our customers are seeing twofold to threefold margin increases as they automate administrative functions, have more time to take care of their drivers, and access capital that's properly priced. We are proud to report that many of our fleets start growing once they use BeyondTrucks and increase their bandwidth.
Spiffy: Congratulations on those impressive results! How about sharing an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up? Tell us what you learned.
Hans: We previously built dispatch optimization algorithms that solely solved for profit per truck per day. The algorithms created a problem for our fleet owners because the drivers using the algorithms all ended up hating the experience and left. We subsequently decided to build a driver care module into all our algorithms. Our key lesson was that we had to be not only customer-centric, but also human-centric above all.
Spiffy: What is something you've unexpectedly learned from someone recently?
Hans: Many of our customers are very different from us, and the existing political narratives have been reinforcing the perception of those differences. We have learned through working with them, however, that we have more things that unite than divide us. Like us, many of our customers are simply looking for a meaningful impact on their communities and families. Magic happens when we realize that we can unite around this shared purpose and build success together.
Spiffy: Agreed! Thanks a lot for speaking with me, Hans—it’s been an honor!
Hans Galland is the founder and CEO of BeyondTrucks, a vertical SaaS company in trucking. Hans has built companies in private equity, investment banking advisory, real estate, logistics, and tech. Before founding Haulistix, he built a $1.2 billion real estate development business and raised more than $500 million in equity for a start-up private equity fund. (Nominated by Lorenzo Thione at Gaingels. First published on the Ladderworks website on June 10, 2022)
© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by George Romar. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Corner here.