Safe365: A Kea Connect Journey
Andy Hutt, Director UK Europe of Safe365, first engaged the Kea Connect service in 2019 to support their business growth in the UK. The past year has been a period of significant growth for Safe365, which reflects both the problem that exists within workplace health and safety, and Safe365’s ability to fix it. Kea spoke with Andy about this journey and the outcomes of connections made through Kea Connect.
Tell us about Safe365 and the problem it solves?
Safe365 has developed and applied innovative SaaS health, safety and risk technology. It enables a data driven, lead indicator approach to improving senior leadership awareness, enabling step changes to occur in organisational safety and risk capability and maturity. The platform delivers stronger business performance and efficiencies, including improved productivity, significant reduction in workplace incidents and improved financial outcomes.
Safe365’s cloud based, Microsoft Azure hosted application, through its unique business health and safety risk maturity assessment, enables a business or business unit to rapidly understand its level of capability and capacity and to focus on improvements that will make the biggest impact on reducing overall risk in health and safety. Within 90 minutes, a business has a real-time digital maturity profile which visually demonstrates areas of both strengths and vulnerabilities for the organisation across 84 lead indicator elements. At the same time, the micro learning engineered into the technology has a powerful impact in unlocking awareness and generating engagement from business leaders – a real challenge for many senior safety & risk professionals.
Traditionally, this approach was only available via a consulting proposition, a process which as well as being much more expensive, took a lot longer, yielded inconsistent results and only ever resulted in written reports for the client rather than any degree of ongoing visibility and monitoring. Safe365 has disrupted this traditional model and, as a result, removed major barriers for any business to understand health, safety and risk at work in the modern era. Safe365 now has users in 40 countries globally and has partnered with over 60 health and safety consulting firms who now use Safe365 software to add further value, modernise and digitise their advisory offering to their clients.
See here to watch the Safe365 platform in action.
What was Safe365’s approach to funding following its inception in 2016?
Originally ‘boot strapped’ through personal investment by the founders, Safe365 quickly secured early seed capital from interested parties. New staff rapidly invested in the company having seen the rate of client acquisitions and the positive feedback from the market about the solution, scale potential and product roadmap. Safe365 continues to attract interested investors from all over the world to assist with its expansion plans but the company remains open to, and selective about, having the right investors (capital, sales and channel value, something else unique) to partner with.
Tell us about your experience with Kea Connect
Kea Connect has been extremely helpful for the Safe365 team in opening new conversations and connections with its fellow Kiwis in the UK. We started our UK operation in late 2019 and have been introduced to several UK-based Kiwi businesses either as a direct introduction or through attending KEA Connect events at New Zealand House in London. This has been invaluable and, as a result, some have become clients. The thing we like about KEA is their open and friendly approach and, with Tania Bearsley, we had someone we could talk to on a business level with real connections and networks into the local UK market. Tania is more than prepared to open her connections once she understands your value proposition and what you are seeking to do. This support continues and is incredibly valued by the Safe365 team.
How has Safe365 grown since 2019?
Safe365’s customer-base has grown significantly over the last 12 months with B2B client numbers now over 4,000 (more than double that of 12 months ago). ARR has increased 250% year on year and the Safe365 team has tripled. With various initiatives in play we expect customer acquisitions to increase to 8,000-10,000 within the next 12-24 months. The growth has been rapid and reflects the creation of a solution to a problem that businesses value. Safe365 will continue to push into the UK, Australia, Singapore, India and USA markets over the coming few years while seeking to dominate the home base New Zealand market.
Our clients often refer to us as the ‘Xero of Health and Safety’ (an SME on-line financial accounting solution from New Zealand) due to our similar rate of expansion. However, Safe365 is now engaging with larger enterprise businesses which means that our addressable market goes well beyond that of Xero.
What was Safe365’s approach with entry into the UK?
Our approach to building the business in the UK is one of continual business development and leveraging personal networks. Very early on we engaged with a major UK airport which enabled us to test our proposition and platform for the UK market. The project resulted in the ability to map Safe365 lead indicator elements to the airport’s safety strategy using a PowerBI output, bringing the strategy to life in real-time, digital form. Unsurprisingly, this key project proved that our technology platform and the value it offers is extremely compelling in the UK market.
Furthermore, we have engaged with key partnerships ranging from individual health, safety and risk consultancies i.e. @Inspiration-all and @Sureteam, to larger H&S product and risk management providers like @Cardinus. We also partner with associations such as @IIRSM (International Institute of Risk & Safety Management) with many more on the horizon. These organisations effectively create another marketing and sales channel to its members and clients.
Clearly, the current global pandemic has slowed growth in the UK somewhat like it has everywhere. However, business development activities continued during this phase resulting in new clients using the Safe365 platform, even more pertinent now that health and safety conversations, such as ‘working from home’ assessments (DSE), office and site audits etc, become agenda items at Board level.
Safe365’s main target in the UK market is orientated towards the small to medium enterprise (SME) although we are now seeing many much larger organisations become clients. Typically, SME businesses rely on manual tools to manage its health and safety processes, such as Microsoft Word, paper documents, Excel spreadsheets, SharePoint files etc. In general, they are not able to afford expensive digital, operational management systems which is where Safe365’s unique technology platform and pricing structure play a key role allowing for a more non cost-prohibitive way to enter the digital world for managing health and safety obligations and performance.
As a Health & Safety software provider, what was Safe365’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and how did you and your team identify what businesses needed and where Safe365 could help?
The challenges we are seeing drive right at the core of who we are as a company and why we exist. Our purpose is to protect people. As a result, we have established many initiatives to support businesses through COVID-19 to ensure the workforce remain safe, healthy and well.
One such initiative is that we have offered the Safe365 smartphone app and performance console free during the current global pandemic for businesses up to 200 workers. This allows staff and contractors to report incidents, risks and hazards, safety observations and perform workforce wellbeing surveys. The app also has a checklist facility allowing businesses to create and run bespoke audits, risk assessments and inspections such as vehicle and site inspections, toolbox talks etc. Pre-built checklist templates are also available to support businesses with establishing and maintaining ‘working from home’ arrangements, ensuring employers meet their regulatory obligations to workers. A COVID-19 survey is also available for employers to check in on their remote teams to ensure everyone has what they need, is safe, healthy and remaining productive.
What key opportunities do you see for Kiwi tech businesses seeking to enter the UK?
Any Kiwi company offering a disruptive technology entering the UK market is presented with a great opportunity. Having a unique offering, understanding the ideal target customer profile, and pricing correctly will provide a compelling proposition to any UK business. UK organisations are looking to digital platforms to manage and automate key functions within the business. Furthermore, organisations need to leverage data to provide a level of insight to aide better business decisions, performance improvements and seek that elusive competitive edge. The UK market also offers expansion into other jurisdictions whether it be in Europe or the USA. There are many larger organisations that, once they embed a technology solution in the UK, will reach out to their counterparts across Europe and USA etc, allowing technology businesses to leverage relationships and expand their customer bases globally. There is also a wealth of talent available who specialise in starting up new tech-based companies within new territories, whether it be business leaders, sales people or technical personnel.