Joblogic is a Software as a Service (SaaS) tool for essential services companies. Industries include facilities management, gas installation, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), fire safety, door maintenance and more. Joblogic helps manage the services they offer in an efficient manner from enquiry or alert, logging the job and through to invoicing.
A potted history of Joblogic would say it was born in 1998 out of the need for Carter Thermal Industries to track their fleet of vehicles and manage the location of their assets. From existing as a wholly owned subsidiary under the wing of Carter Group, Joblogic began to operate as an independent entity and there its story really begins.
Following a 2013 bid to take over Tracer Management Systems developers of Joblogic, the new owners made a concerted effort to get the name Joblogic known as the go-to Service Management SaaS solution.
The business currently stands at between £5m and £20m in annual recurring revenue.
Now partly owned by Shelby Bidco, Joblogic received around £60m in investment, while the two men behind the success of the company remain at the helm. After such an exciting 2023, the future surely holds a lot of success for this Birmingham based SaaS company.
A short history doesn’t really do this company justice, so let’s see how Joblogic came about, how the company started to grow and why digital marketing became an extremely important part of their business model.
Tracer Management Systems Limited
(Trading as Joblogic)
117 – 119 Zellig
The Custard Factory
T: +44 (0) 800 326 5561
Tracer Management Systems
Tracer Management Systems would say ‘we’re oddball, we’re different, were not like your run-of-the-mill company. We make the choices that others do not’, and it’s true. Tracer Management Systems developed innovative software solutions for old problems that had persisted in the service management industry for decades.
‘We are a Birmingham based software house that has the expertise and resource to undertake the development of any software system or bespoke mobile application.\\\JobLogic has evolved over 13 years to become a “one stop shop” for any service company. \We believe in our product so much, we travel the length and breadth of the UK visiting companies and giving them free no obligation demonstrations.’
Developing Joblogic Software
Carter Thermal Industries used software from outside organisations to monitor their fleet movements, dates they needed to upgrade systems and handle scheduled maintenance tasks. The thought would have been along the lines of ‘why rely on outside organisations to do things to a lower standard than we would like?’ There’s only one way to go when you can see things should be done better but are unable to find a solution on the market.
Their solution was to develop their own proprietary software as a way to manage everything in a way that was customised and delivered more value for the Carter Thermal Industries group of companies. With this in mind, Carter Thermal Industries launched the company Tracer Management Systems to produce software which they named Joblogic (stylised until 2015 as JobLogic).
In order to aid in its development, Joblogic was required to find its own customers, but developed the software as a wholly owned subsidiary of Carter Thermal Industries. This had the benefit of giving Tracer Management Systems the security they needed to develop Joblogic software. These were still the days when software development required large financial outlay and would take years before there was a viable product; and even then, there could be no guarantee of success.
Standalone Modular System
Joblogic began far from the SaaS we know today. The only way Joblogic could work was for the whole programme to run from each individual business premises on their own server. A standalone, modular system, made with bespoke additions for many customers and designed to run on servers at the customer businesses premises.
The Joblogic team started on the ground floor of the Carter Synergy Building on Redhill Road in Hay Mills, Birmingham. The new software development team was very successful and built a product that grew into a tool with its own, stable customer base.
One weaknesses of developing a stand-alone system in this way meant the Joblogic development and training teams had to maintain knowledge of many software versions. These versions came with their own quirks, and constantly switching between them was inefficient. Updates would also rely on the client’s infrastructure, complicating things further.
A customer with a version of JobLogc from five years ago might be several versions behind the latest version. The two versions could have significant differences in terms of features or the way they look.
For a system based at a customer’s premises, it could take a not insignificant amount of time to upgrade. This is in stark contrast to current SaaS that can deliver instant updates. What reason would a Joblogic customer have to keep upgrading and disrupting their business with the downtime involved?
A Joblogic hosted version of Joblogic software was developed as time progressed. This became the most common distribution of Joblogic and would work from the cloud. However, it still wasn’t a truly SaaS first programme, as it was based on older technology which could be improved on.
Tracer Sales Process
The sales process at Tracer Management Systems involved faxes being sent out to prospects and the Joblogic sales team travelling to towns, cities and even rural business headquarters nationwide. Enquiries would come in, then be passed to the field sales team who would perform demonstrations of Joblogic service management software on-site for prospects.
Selling Tracer Management Systems
It would be easy to assume this relationship would continue forever. But as they say in the world of business; never assume. As time progressed, something may have changed the considerations of Tracer Management Systems’ parent company Carter Thermal Industries. They seemed happy for Joblogic to continue as a wholly owned subsidiary, but were no longer in need of its service management software product.
The time came when Carter Thermal Industries were prepared to let Tracer Management Systems go and the Joblogic software along with it. Fortunately at that moment, the two driving forces behind the success of Tracer Management Systems’ flagship and only product Joblogic, were in a position to take action.
It was time to pay the piper and James Whatmore as current director of Tracer Management Systems along with Yacoob Moolla, who at the time was not in the business, banded together to buy Tracer Management Systems. This began a new chapter of growth and prosperity as Joblogic the business entity.
A new era for the software company began when Joblogic was formed as a limited company, incorporated on 21st March 2013. After the formation of Joblogic as a limited company, the purchase of Tracer Management Systems was completed.
Heading up this new company was Tracer Management System’s long-standing director James Whatmore, who drove sales of Joblogic, and software developer Yacoob Moolla. Carter Group retained a 10% interest in the company and John Scott remained on hand, using his long history of experience with Carter Thermal Industries to offer advice.
So what was the state of Joblogic as of 2013?
Joblogic needed to expand their development team in order to keep product quality high and continue innovating their software. This involved outsourcing some tasks to their overseas team of developers in Pakistan. The overseas team worked closely with Joblogic thanks to their partnership with Moolla’s software development company Second City Software.
A new 100% web based SaaS was in the pipeline and would be an essential tool for growth. Better performance, better sales and better customer support would be the result, so scaling a capable team became one of the top priorities for Joblogic.
The Joblogic sales team changed a lot from the time Tracer Management Systems was owned by Carter Thermal Industries. One significant change being the previous managing director leaving the business. Now there was Whatmore and two other sales executives. Whatmore and one other sales executive would spend a lot of their time travelling the length and breadth of the UK, giving on-site demonstrations. The third sales executive was based at their Hay Mills office and would qualify the leads before they were assigned to the travelling sales team.
There was effectively no marketing at the time of Joblogic purchasing Tracer Management Systems; something that would be remedied soon after the takeover.
At the beginning of Joblogic as a standalone limited company, they had just one person dedicated to training new customers.
Joblogic’s purchase of Tracer Management Systems meant that somewhat ironically, Tracer Management Systems which owns Joblogic was then bought by Joblogic. The footer of Joblogic’s website states ‘Tracer Management Systems trading as Joblogic’, but Joblogic actually owns Tracer Management Systems.
The time had come for Whatmore, who had become a director of Tracer Management Systems at 30, and Moolla to take Joblogic to the next level. They had a strong vision for Joblogic, and recognised several key changes that were necessary for the future success of the business.
Joblogic had a sales team, a development team and a training team. The perfect backbone for any small software business. An operations team to do the work, a sales team to bring in customers with demonstrations and a training team to help customers get he most out of their software.
In the early days of the transformation, Joblogic began hiring people in key strategic positions. The key positions identified were for someone to manage their marketing, a second trainer and several more developers to be based at the Custard Factory.
Strategic partnerships with outside organisations also became a priority both for internal systems and on the marketing side. To improve internal performance, Joblogic quickly made operational partnerships to improve the service it could deliver for customers. In a marketing capacity, official partnerships with industry compliance organisations such as OFTEC would help drive adoption of its software in key market segments.
So how exactly did James Whatmore, nominee for Leader of the year 2014, and Yacoob Moolla set about making Joblogic the number one recognised service management software product in the UK? They worked on each part of the business making sensible improvements that would make Joblogic into the success it is today.
Perhaps the biggest factor in Joblogic’s transformation was the move from Carter Thermal Industries’ operational HQ in Hay Mills to the Custard Factory in Digbeth, Central Birmingham. This move was essential to Joblogic’s future and worked on several levels.
Moving to the Custard Factory, near the heart of Birmingham added a level of prestige the industrial estate location in Hay Mills could not offer. Relocating the business to the centre of Birmingham also allowed easier access for employees, making it much more attractive to the best talent.
Like moving from a basement dungeon to a beautiful, refurbished building, it was the opportunity to create an attractive office environment. Employees now had a beautiful office and a dedicated on-site training room was established alongside it. Customers were now encouraged to visit Joblogic HQ and could even say hello to the development team on their visit.
Additionally, the new offices created a real, physical break from Carter Thermal Industries. No longer in their shadow literally or figuratively, Joblogic was now acting independently. That independence also gave rise to the evolution of Joblogic’s company culture as Whatmore looked to make social events an important part of bonding for his growing team.
2014 saw Joblogic step up efforts to radically improve customer service. These efforts included hiring more people for their support team and looking at social media to engage current customers.
On the marketing side of their developing customer contact strategy, Joblogic began to use LinkedIn as a way of keeping in touch with their current customers. Private user groups were created to facilitate the exchange of ideas and problem solving between users. Staff profiles on the Microsoft owned social network also became incredibly valuable to their marketing efforts.
Joblogic ran focus groups in August 2014 to help ensure their 100% web based SaaS software was on the right track. Thanks to these focus groups, Joblogic were able to deliver what is now its flagship SaaS software offering, enabling it to gain market share at home and abroad.
Extra software development resource would be a key pillar of Joblogic’s growth as it transitioned to becoming an internationally recognised SaaS brand. Joblogic’s 100% web based version was in the latter stages of testing after several months of accelerated progress. There was already a mobile portal for customers’ clients to log in and see the status of their work requests and mobile safety compliance forms available on mobile devices. Development of a customer portal and the forms for engineers in the field were really important steps in preparing for the new totally web based SaaS version of Joblogic.
Moving to the Custard Factory was definitely great for the training department. The strategic decision to move meant training and implementation consultants could now have regular face-to-face contact with developers. It becomes much easier when testing the software to give instant feedback or get answers to questions.
2014 saw the start of dedicated consultancy days and Joblogic’s move toward this method of supporting its customers.
Immediately after the public limited company Joblogic was established and the buyout completed, stimulating growth became the top priority. No longer able to rely on a parent company, Joblogic needed to stand on its own two feet.
The way sales of Joblogic software worked in the past would become increasingly unsustainable in the coming years. Travelling around the country to give in-person software demonstrations wastes time and money. Software models continued moving towards SaaS that worked effortlessly, especially thanks to improvements in internet connectivity.
Direct sales would still be an important part of Joblogic’s overall growth strategy, but marketing took up a more important role in attracting new customers. Staying true to the DNA of the company spawned from Carter Group’s desire to do things in-house, Joblogic hired a promising marketer to manage their fledgling marketing department.
Joblogic then refreshed their brand in a way designed to help them appeal to each market segment they operated in and as a break from their previous subsidiary status as Tracer Management Systems under Carter Refrigeration Systems. One of the first outward changes was to state clearly on their website that Joblogic was the UK’s number one workforce management software.
Joblogic segmented their market audience into several key areas with the objective of growing market share in each. Historically, refrigeration services, facilities management and the gas installer software market had been strong areas for Joblogic, but now was the time they identified and expanded into less exploited areas.
Joblogic began visiting an increasing number of trade shows. Similar to digital marketing, event marketing allows customers to come to them, rather than chasing them around the country. They started with exhibitions in Coventry and Crystal Palace, where they were able to show off ‘JobLogic Web’.
Although dominating the UK market will prove to be extremely lucrative, Joblogic set their sights on expanding into their target markets across the globe. South Africa and the United States were identified as the first possible new markets.
The United States in particular proved to be a great market in which to expand, thanks to sharing a language and the maturity of its service management market. Joblogic have also found success in the antipodes and of course Canada which is a market with cultural similarities to the United States and a close business relationship also.
Today, Joblogic has to be one of the fastest growing players in the service management SaaS industry. In 2023, Joblogic had a large percentage of their own company bought by newly formed investment company Shelby Bidco and purchased long-time local rivals Protean Software. An injection of some £60m in capital suggests they now have the resource to move to the next level.
Joblogic has begun referring to itself as Joblogic Group on the website of its new acquisition. This use of name is an indication that future growth will be fuelled by several more mergers and acquisitions of other service management SaaS companies in the UK and abroad.
Their marketing team has expanded over time. Part of the extra £60m recently pumped into the business will most certainly be used to increase their marketing fire-power. There is definitely a culture of doing things in-house at Joblogic going back to its roots with Carter Thermal Industries. We will see Joblogic the limited company spin off its own subsidiary marketing arm(s) to serve SaaS and Service Management companies as a speciality.
From humble beginnings, Joblogic is now a hugely successful enterprise, set for major future growth. Do you want to know why? It’s all because of Yac’.