Welcome back to our “Where Are They Now?” article series, which spotlights some of our favourite collaborations and the successes our clients have had in their industries after working with Osedea. Today, we’re shedding some light on the history of BEEM, through an inspiring interview with co-founder Alexandre Lataille.
BEEM is a SaaS company whose mission is to democratize access to and use of data within organizations, regardless of their size. They sell the BEEM data platform as well as Fleet by BEEM, serving multiple industries across Canada and the United States.
BEEM's story began in 2015, with the release of the District 3 business accelerator, with the mission to democratize data access and use for all organizations, no matter what their size is. Following a detailed analysis of the various markets they might consider entering into, Co-Founders Alexandre Lataille and Kevin Ferah decided to target the automotive industry, an industry that needed a lot of progress in technology and data usage. Their initial goal was to create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) that would appeal to their target market. Both engineers by training, Alexandre and Kevin went seeking the help of experts to support them in the development of their digital solution.
They wanted to make sure that the project was going to be built on a rock-solid foundation, so they started looking for an experienced firm that could also speed up skill acquisition within the internal team they planned to recruit. After reviewing the work of several different development firms, BEEM signed on with Osedea. Our mandate was to support the BEEM team in getting up to speed on the latest technologies in the development space, so that they could build a savvy team that would take over from us when our job was done.
From the very first day of the project, collaboration was the name of the game. Alexandre and Kevin started working out of Osedea’s office in Montreal, so that they could work side by side with our development team. This is how their MVP, the first version of AdviseAuto (a tool intended to be used by the managers of car dealerships) was designed.
The purpose of the platform was to track the condition of vehicles that had been leased out, proactively notifying car dealers about maintenance that needed to be performed on their fleet of vehicles. The BEEM and Osedea teams worked together closely to bring AdviseAuto to life. “We took collaboration to the next level,” as Alexandre describes it.
With their first commercial success under their belts and an impressive level of technical expertise acquired as a result of our collaboration, Alexandre and Kevin decided to pivot their product’s purpose, and renamed it to Fleet by BEEM. We did this by updating the code in the AdviseAuto software to make it a highly desirable product for dealerships that offer their customers courtesy cars.
For a car dealership, managing a fleet of courtesy cars is a tedious, expensive, and poorly optimized process, especially when the fleet can be as large as 200 vehicles. Fleet by BEEM is a platform that can be integrated into a dealership’s internal DMS system to optimize administration of contracts, monitor vehicle use, and offer new services such as pick-up and delivery, which allows dealerships to have better control over their fleet, reduce their costs, and increase their income.
“Building our MVP alongside an experienced technology firm like Osedea meant we were able to quickly create a solid foundation that we could evolve our solution from with confidence. This allowed us to mitigate financial risks, and gave us lots of flexibility at the start of the project, a critical phase for any startup.” - Alexandre Lataille, Co-Founder of BEEM.
In 2018, after 2 years actively collaborating with Osedea, the BEEM team began setting up their own technical team to develop a brand new solution: the BEEM data platform. Osedea continued to work with the BEEM team on an on-demand basis to transfer skills, help recruit the right resources, and train the new team. After making significant investments in infrastructure, DevOps, and Refactoring, BEEM succeeded in bringing a unique SaaS solution to market. This new solution allows medium-sized businesses to leverage all of their data from multiple sources via a centralized, secure, and end-to-end managed hub. No need to invest massively to develop and maintain a modern data infrastructure. BEEM offers their service at a reasonable monthly cost, complemented by access to their team of data engineering experts, who act as an extension to the client's IT/data team.
BEEM’s collaboration with Osedea made it possible to quickly build an initial, functional MVP. Not everything was perfect, and there were time and budget constraints that factored in, but it was enough to bring in those first few clients and flow of revenue, which is so necessary to a new startup.
Today, Fleet by BEEM serves nearly a hundred car dealerships across Canada, with an expansion into the US that began in 2021. The new BEEM data platform is currently being rolled out, with fantastic feedback from clients.
BEEM also offers professional services from their data engineering team to support clients in the implementation of their solutions, guiding the evolution of the infrastructure required for effective data use across an entire organization. This service has proven to be extremely popular given that everyone is looking to achieve a digital transformation these days!
We wish BEEM continued success as they do what they do best: accelerate their customers’ business growth by centralizing and transforming their data into a highly usable format that can easily be monetized.