From tire importers to vehicle wear data analysts

Ruedata emerged in Colombia in 2017 to offer an unusual service: measure the use and wear of truck fleet tires to make more efficient use.

7 min read

The opinions expressed by employees are personal.

From tire importers to vehicle wear data analysts
From tire importers to vehicle wear data analysts

As a metaphor for the current times, it was born from a product trading company that was bankrupt, and became an enterprise that offers a comprehensive data analysis service and day after day they continue to discover new potential paths.

Sebastián Baquero was living in China and worked in a company that was dedicated to the production of tires, so in 2011 together with Jorge Quinche they created a business to import tires with very competitive prices to Colombia.

To enter to sell a new product and without a recognized brand, in a sector such as freight and passenger transport that is very traditional, they decided that they had to go beyond simple sales and offer a value service. So they began to analyze the tire wear process to offer proper rotation and maintenance service, in order to guarantee the best performance and life of your product.

Everything seemed to be growing quite promisingly, until the oil crisis came and with it rose the value of the dollar. Its tires, which were quite competitively priced, were totally above the market price and with that the business fell apart.

At that time Sebastian and Jorge, they realized that they had developed a market value that no one else had, to offer a tire care and efficiency service for vehicle fleets. They had data such as: tire wear rates in millimeters, the route followed by vehicles, kilometers traveled, truck and bus marks, the driver, the exposure and position of the tire. They had a wealth of information and experience to apply, now they needed to develop the tool to do so.

Generate the software to take advantage of the data obtained

Ruedata was born when a new partner, Sebastián Cajamarca, joined the project, to contribute his experience in software development and data analysis. With it the digital engineer was integrated to convert the basic Excel of initial information collection, into a specialized program to automate the handling of the collected data, now they could analyze the values ​​faster and find more correlated factors.

Thus they generated their service offer that consists of collecting the information to carry out an analysis of the conditions of the vehicle fleets. In this process the company determines the wear and performance of the tires, as well as mechanical failures. Then they generate the suggestions, design the tire rotation routines and change them. They offer two service models:

1- The monthly rent of the tool and the software for the client to carry out its measurement process.

2- The on-site service, where the staff goes directly to the client and performs the entire review process.

The analysis is carried out in real time so that the client receives the information at the moment. However, the important thing is that the workers of the company follow the recommendations to improve the operation of the vehicles.

In addition to measuring the efficiency of the tires, they have shown customers that significant savings can be achieved, including in the operation of vehicles, achieving savings in general maintenance and even in gasoline and safety. The issue of fuel efficiency is being investigated more and more, and they are even developing the methodology to measure it better. They estimate that in the more than 72,000 tires that they have managed the last year, they are getting the transport fleets to stop emitting more than 500 into the atmosphere and thereby contributing to the reduction of the carbon footprint.

Difficulties: a traditional sector little open to innovation

They have found that the transport sector is very traditional, usually they are businesses that have been running families for 2 or 3 generations. Sebastián Baquero explains to me that it has not been easy to convince them to accept new ideas or modify their routine practices, especially to maintenance personnel.

They are businesses that do not require much innovation for their operation. They like to maintain their usual way of doing things, routines, suppliers and the same processes, so they are not open to research or specialization. So they don't like outside people telling them what to do or how, nor do they like to risk discovering the things they are doing wrong.

Sebastian adds that it is a sector where relationships are vital. “If we want to have a sales opportunity we must arrive with the manager or CEO of the company. The implementation is very difficult at the beginning and also the client often mistrusts, always asks for a test to decide if they like the system.

Driven by the entrepreneurial sector

Ruedata in its short existence has a trajectory drawn up in the entrepreneurial sector, in 2018 they were selected in the program of the Colombian government, in 2019 in and at present they are in for the 2019-2020 program with which they are looking to expand their model of Business to Mexico.

Sebastián Baquero, considers that the entrepreneurial ecosystem has been one of his main supports, “the incubators, the experiences of others and the advice of the mentors have helped us to see things that we had not seen in our technology and service offer. They have allowed us to grow and develop many more things than we thought. ”

They are about to open operations in Mexico in the first months of 2020 and aspire to continue expanding to reach the United States. According to Sebastian, his vision for the future is for Ruedata to be the global bus and truck data integrator, which can be used for many industries of various branches: truck, insurance, mechanical performance. They would even like to contribute to make cities smarter by offering information on the best vehicles, to achieve a more efficient world and thus contribute to generating a more sustainable economy that contributes to the future of the planet.

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