IronSight: Improving Oilfield Service & Delivery
Updated: Dec 14, 2020
Most Albertans know that oil and gas isn’t just made up of the companies that do the drilling and pumping. There’s an entire ecosystem built around supporting those larger organizations, from food and camp services to oil field service companies that fix gear or supply machinery. Shawn Martens & Adam Jessome, co-founders of IronSight not only come from that ecosystem but so do their families, which has given them the hands-on experience and feedback to help them grow Iron Sight.
IronSight actually started as a vac truck company, providing support to oil sites. As part of trying to make their business more efficient, they created an app for their customers to make it easier to request services, approve costs, see when a truck was enroute, and track completion.
Why was this a big deal?
In a city like Edmonton or Calgary, you can easily order a $10 Uber and know the arrival time, path, approve the cost and pay, all in one app. In oil & gas, depending on the service, you might have to use text, email, phone, or pen and paper, and sometimes all of them. Getting the documentation, financials, timelines and approvals all in place can be challenging and frustrating for both the service provider and site. And what do you do if an approval is missing? Or a truck is delayed or cancelled? What if the truck is going to a location they have never been before and gets lost? Or who to contact?
Their initial app allowed their customers and service providers to dispatch, track, approve, and contact as required.
As IronSight’s customers got used to using the app and aligning with the collapse in oil prices, they found that there was an increased interest in their technology over their vac truck services. So… Shawn, an electrician, and Adam, a mechanical engineer, took a closer look at what they were doing. Initially, with Adam leading the charge, they worked with a development team out of Eastern Europe to build their app. They soon realized that a switch from vac trucks to software would require some big changes.
Selling their rigs and partnering with Lift Solutions and Arc Financial, they started to build out their software company and now have a staff of 16. Their platform allows their 8,000+ users a way to bridge the gap between the field and the provider. Just like Uber, the user onsite can select the service, get a quote, approve the cost, and get updates on scheduling. It can even be integrated with accounting systems.
With the downturn in the oil and gas economy, Shawn has noticed that many companies are starting to look for ways to be more efficient and to incorporate more technology. The embrace of more technology also comes with a change in the leadership, as millennials and boomers change roles. The willingness to adapt and bring in technology is stronger now than it has ever been, and as a province, IronSight is an example of how this will impact our tech sector. In all of their onboardings, they have run into exactly two flip phones, which confirms how forwarding thinking and advanced their industry clients are. Shawn is excited about the potential, especially as they are now growing into the US and are having their first conversations with companies in the Middle East.
As to why Shawn and Adam chose Alberta? They are born and raised here and proud to be part of the oil and gas sector. Beyond that though is the availability of world class talent that is coming out of our universities, specifically the University of Alberta. They can’t wait to make the industry that they grew up in and worked in more efficient with their platform.
Check out our full interview: