Chattanooga-based WorkHound has launched a platform aimed at reducing turnover and improving profitability in the trucking industry.
Entrepreneurs and owners Max Farrell and Andrew Kirpalani recently raised $500,000 to grow WorkHound.
“It feels like we are playing the game for real now,” Kirpalani said. “We’re not in the major leagues. We may not even be AAA, but it’s not T-ball anymore … Raising money is not success, but it’s a milestone. It means you’re leveling up.”
This fundraising round will help WorkHound improve its product, ensure customer satisfaction and build long-term relationships within the trucking industry, according to a news release.
It’s already allowed the leaders to add developers for the product that companies such as U.S. Xpress are currently piloting.
WorkHound’s platform aims to solve pain points for truckers and the companies employing them. Those pain points contribute to a high turnover rate in the industry.
High turnover is costly.
Although the turnover rate at truckload fleets with more than $30 million in annual revenue dropped during 2016 to the lowest since 2011, it was still at 81 percent, according to American Trucking Associations.
That rate means a lot of people are unhappy with their work, the duo said.
“Max and I have a shared passion for doing stuff that matters,” Kirpalani.
Both Kirpalani and Farrell went on ride-alongs with truck drivers in an effort to understand the challenges and frustrations of the job.
They found out that much of the dissatisfaction surrounds not feeling respected, not like part of a team and not feeling heard, Farrell said.
Other solutions, such as worker satisfaction surveys, fall short by not providing real-time interaction like WorkHound does, he also said.
The platform allows drivers to use their smartphones to share feedback and ideas, and company leaders get updates about what their employees are saying.
Company leaders can communicate with fleet drivers, and WorkHound aggregates the responses and turns them into actionable insights to help manage and retain drivers.
Although trucking is the focus, the platform also has potential utilizations in other industries that encounter difficulties with retention, such as warehousing, manufacturing and nursing, Farrell said.
“It’s exciting to know that our product is applicable beyond trucking,” he said.
Currently, WorkHound employs four full-time team members in Chattanooga and two in Des Moines, Iowa. But the office is wherever and however the team is communicating from their remote locations, he also said.
Having a presence in both is a reflection of WorkHound’s employees and culture.
Farrell said he and Kirpalani want to employ satisfied workers while improving the lives of those in the trucking industry.
“Our north star always remains the same-we want to help people love the work they do,” Farrell said. “Our team is a bunch of people that are hardworking and passionate about that mission.”