Injury Connect keeps it safe

30/06/2016 - 05:55

SPECIAL REPORT: Rising Stars winner Injury Connect found initial success targeting an under-serviced niche market, but is now pursuing broader growth. 

Injury Connect keeps it safe
BUILDING BUSINESS: Glen McIvor with colleagues Rebecca Halliday (left), Jamie Gilroy and Ali Morton. Attila Csaszar

Rising Stars winner Injury Connect found initial success targeting an under-serviced niche market, but is now pursuing broader growth. 

Glen McIvor spent most of 2009 in a friend’s spare bedroom, writing computer code for what he hoped would be a new business.

Seven years on, that business is achieving rapid national growth and developing new products to meet the needs of its customers.

The breakout year for Injury Connect came in 2014-15, when it doubled sales.

Its growth has accelerated since then – it signed up 50 new clients in all of 2015, and has already signed up 45 in the first half of 2016.

Now the business’s managing director, Mr McIvor said Injury Connect was also starting to deliver healthy profits after years of trading losses and new investment.

He said the idea for Injury Connect came from a friend who worked in the injury management field and saw the need for a software package to help employers capture, manage, and report on their workplace injuries.

Mr McIvor, who studied computer science while in the army, was drafted in for his IT and programming skills.

The company signed up its first clients – the City of Melville and Veolia – in 2010, just 12 months after starting.

“Once we had a product it moved well,” Mr McIvor said.

“I think that showed the gap in the market.”

Injury Connect targeted employers with between 400 and 1,000 staff, who were still using bulky paper files and Excel spreadsheets to manage workplace injuries.

“There was lots of frustration in the market,” Mr McIvor said.

The early years of the business stretched Mr McIvor’s finances, however.

He went unpaid for the first two years and had to sell his house in order to buy out his business partner.

“Most of the income we have made has been reinvested in the business,” Mr McIvor said.

While Injury Connect was initially focused on mid-size companies, it has also been successful in targeting bigger companies.

Mr McIvor said the turning point was signing up Bunnings, which gave many other big employers confidence to buy its software.

Other notable clients include McDonald’s, Kmart, NSW Health, Arnott’s and BP.

He said Injury Connect’s web-based software-as-a-service business model meant it was much more agile than the incumbent firms, which were installing hardware at each client and needed to post out program upgrades.

The specialist nature of Injury Connect’s software means the firm is able to clearly identify its target market.

As such, it has been able to successfully use unfashionable sales techniques, with most new clients coming from cold calls.

It also writes letters to key people inside companies it is targeting.

Mr McIvor said he had learned many lessons during the past seven years.

“When I started, I was building a product,” he said.

“To be successful, you need to build a business.”

That has included developing a more structured sales process, more focus on business development, and a continued focus on customer service and support.

Injury Connect has also continued to invest in its server architecture to meet the needs of bigger clients.

In the early years, Mr McIvor said he tried to implement long-term plans but decided it was pointless because the business was changing so rapidly.

Now that the business has grown in size, with 15 staff across the country, Mr McIvor said he was starting to focus on long-term planning again.

“In the longer term I want to build a suite of tools,” he said.

The firm has also recently developed safetyMax, which enables clients to capture, track, manage, and report on workplace incidents and hazards.

“We haven’t tried to market it yet, but we already have 15 clients who have signed up,” Mr McIvor said.

SafetyMax has been designed so it integrates seamlessly with the injuryConnect software.

It also opens up a much larger market, but also one Mr McIvor expects will be much more competitive than the injury management niche.

He said the next possibility was a software package to help employers manage health and wellbeing issues in their workplace.



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