Qv21 Technologies opened its doors in 2009 with the goal of innovating the short-haul trucking industry through its leading logistical and versatile transportation management software (TMS). While there are several TMS on the market today, Qv21 remains the leader, unique both in product functionality and quality of service. We sat down with Huw Thomas, founder of Qv21 Technologies, to find out the answer to "how does Qv21 work?" and how the company successfully created leading technology in the short-haul transportation management system market.
Photographed: Huw Thomas, Founder of Qv21 Technologies, building the first version of The LogisticsFramework ™.
Q1: How did Qv21 come about?
I had recently sold my company and was deciding what to do next when a friend reached out to me to tell me she had bought a logistics company. It was a great company, run by a great guy. The reason she liked it was because he did everything in real-time, so he was quite efficient and made good use of their fleet. But everything was manual. She asked if I could help. I said “Geez, there must be loads of solutions out there for this” and she said, “there are loads of solutions, but they're all extremely expensive or require expensive equipment to be installed in the cab.” The timing was just right. I knew we could create something that removed these barriers.
Q2: Why is efficiency so important for a trucking business?
When we started, oil was $125 or $130 a barrel. As we tapped into the oil industry, we found that educating trucking companies on the importance of efficiency was an uphill battle, simply because all they had to do was hire more people to handle more paper tickets. However, as we forecasted where technology was leading us, we knew a quick shift in operations had to happen for companies to maintain their day-to-day business and continue growing. In 2021, it's a totally different kettle of fish. The trucking business has become incredibly competitive. The margins are very, very fine. Ultimately, efficiency is the biggest lever to making your business work.
Q3 What has been the vision for Qv21?
The vision has always been to provide real-time valuable data for how people run businesses and commodities in the country. One of the wonderful things about being a company like this: you must be agile and able to change your plan in the middle and still execute. And that’s what we did. In summary, happy customers & greater efficiency.
Q4: What technological advancements or improvements have you seen over the last decade that have made the largest difference?
There are loads. I mean, when we started Android didn't exist, so I mean that's huge. Then, of course, cellular connectivity. When we were working in North Dakota at the beginning, there were more areas without cell connections in a world without a cell connection. And now it's obviously totally the other way around.
Connectivity, computing power, and software development tools are improving daily.
Qv21 remains at the helm when it comes to utilizing these technological changes to innovate and optimize efficiency for our customers.
Q5: What does Qv21’s relationship with its customers look like?
A real partnership in this kind of business (TMS companies working with transportation companies), is one where we can become an extension of your business. You do not want to develop software. You do not want to run technology. You want to say, “This is what we'd like." and "Could it work this way?". Then, we guide you and work with you to make that happen.
Q6: What are Qv21’s strengths?
I think our greatest strength is that the company, en mass, all these people together have the same motivation - which is to make our customers' lives better. You can get very talented people who don't really care about the end result and what it does to their customers, but that doesn't work. We have a team of people who are good at what they do. Everyone at Qv21 is passionate about making our customers' lives better and that, I think, is incredibly strong.
I don't think there's anyone who comes anywhere near the care and devotion that we provide to our customers.
Q7: What makes you excited about the future of Qv21?
We are in a position where we have a team that can look forward and decide what they want to do in the future and then executes the plan. I think if we choose to do something, we can do it. And I have confidence that the company can do anything we decide to do, and do it well. That is a very exciting feeling.
From acute technological decision-making to superior and empathetic customer support and care, the Qv21 team is truly unique.
The company is always looking for ways to innovate and continue to drive forward a better logistical future for the trucking industry.
Keep an eye out for the 2nd installment in this series, an interview with Qv21 CEO, Johnathan Currie.
About the Founder & Chairman: Huw Thomas
Qv21 began over a decade ago with a phone call from a business associate who wanted to make their trucking company efficient. Using technology to make companies efficient is a passion (Qv is a term for efficiency, as it approaches 1 you become 100% efficient, hence Qv to 1!). Now, I watch our team deliver efficiencies to customers, daily and I get to help design new features and systems to further that effort. In my spare time, I'm chasing after my two daughters or off-sailing!