by Mark Carter
Posted 4/1/2013 12:00 am
Updated 8 months ago
CrossFleet is one of the latest ventures to capitalize on northwest Arkansas’ status as a transportation and logistics hub. The Innovate Arkansas client firm was launched in Fayetteville last year, and its LOCATE mobile app provides shippers with real-time tracking of truckload shipments via GPS from the truck driver’s smartphone.
CrossFleet co-founder and CEO Clint Elcan said LOCATE connects shippers and carriers with real-time status and location updates on their shipments. It works by allowing a shipper to track the status of a shipment using data from a truck driver’s mobile phone.
“Shippers get back real-time data about pickups, deliveries and in-transit locations on loads,” Elcan said. “The driver installs the free LOCATE mobile app onto their smartphone and the shipper logs into the LOCATE dashboard to access features such as real-time breadcrumb maps, service forecasts, load/unload status and historical reporting. The LOCATE mobile app and dashboard work in unison to streamline communication and improve customer service.”
Elcan said the app enables shippers to expand their carrier bases; receive proactive communication on service issue loads; improve visibility, EDI (electronic data interchange) compliance and customer service; increase supply chain visibility and staff productivity; and limit exposure to claims and liability.
“The shipper utilizes a simple and flexible ‘pay-when-you-ping’ pricing arrangement that is a fraction of the cost of a phone call,” Elcan said.
Moving forward, the self-funded venture will continue to focus on research and development and “advance the industry,” Elcan said.
“We have a list of great ideas for commercialization and an execution road map for new products that we plan to launch in the near future,” he said.
It’s no surprise CrossFleet enters the market in northwest Arkansas, home to trucking giant J.B. Hunt. Elcan and Jeremy Williams, co-founder and CTO, are former J.B. Hunt employees.
Harrison native Elcan most recently served the company as vice president of transportation for its brokerage division. He also served J.B. Hunt in finance, operations and sales roles during an 11-year career with the Lowell firm.
Williams, of North Little Rock, developed management apps at J.B. Hunt, also built rocket launchers for Lockheed Martin and is a serial entrepreneur.
Both he and Elcan are University of Arkansas graduates, Williams in industrial engineering and Elcan in chemical engineering with an MBA in finance and entrepreneurship.
It’s also no accident the two launched a startup related to the trucking industry. Elcan said their experience at J.B. Hunt led them to start CrossFleet.
“Without a doubt, the acquisition of industry knowledge and the opportunity to establish great relationships with co-workers, mentors and customers from my time spent working at J.B. Hunt have been critical to our startup success,” he said. “It takes both experience and networking to capitalize on an opportunity. The industry experience was crucial in identifying problems in the marketplace and developing solutions to solve those issues. But of equal importance are the relationships developed with people that have helped in both fine-tuning the idea as well as implementing the solution. The ‘what-you-know’ and the ‘who-you-know’ are both important to startup success.”
As far as Elcan and Williams are concerned, there are no IPOs or acquisitions in CrossFleet’s future. In fact, the venture not only satisfies their career aspirations but serves as a vehicle for their Christian faith.
The name of their startup was intended to reflect that.
“Regarding the ‘what you do,’ we are an intersection of technology and business solutions (Cross) in the supply chain industry where all work together (Fleet) to improve operational and financial performance,” Elcan said. “Our slogan is, ‘Better Technology. Better Solutions.’
Regarding the ‘why you do,’ as followers of Jesus, we want to work for something more than ourselves and create a culture of radical giving. We want our name to reflect His gift to all (Cross) as we work swiftly (Fleet) for His glory.”