Staff & Training

On Defining the Long Term Vision of UpKeep

Ryan Chan

The Motivation for Writing

I often get asked the question “what is the long term vision for UpKeep”? In the beginning, I didn’t know how to answer because I had always thought it was so clear that every business wanted to grow and make an impact on the customers that they serve and the employees that they work with. I didn’t realize, however, that it wasn’t always true. Companies can be motivated solely by profit or strive to be a “lifestyle” company — for many, it works! But that’s not us.

We’re not on a quick path to sell the company, we’re here for the long term. There’s still a long journey ahead of us, but the path towards getting there has never been more clear.

The Vision for UpKeep’s Customers

Stated more explicitly, our goal isn’t to automate the blue-collar worker’s job through AI, machine learning, or big data; it’s to empower maintenance teams to become twice as productive and allow them to receive recognition for the meaningful work they do that is often lost in a paper trail. We recognized that a problem with technology today is that the most user-friendly software is often built for the most tech-savvy people instead of the ones who need it the most. At UpKeep, we are committed to giving the people who are typically forced to use the most difficult-to-use software a completely different experience.

In the few years that we’ve been in business, I’ve personally seen this happen. I’ve seen one of UpKeep’s very first customers, and now someone that I call my friend, Tom Knudsen at Stericyle, be published in his company’s newsletter highlighting his work on streamlining maintenance practices at the company. I’ve also seen Matthew Craig, an employee at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections of over 7 years not only be recognized for his work, but also be promoted to Director of Technology for overhauling the maintenance and reliability at the facilities across the entire state.

These are the types of moments that I feel like we are making an impact and truly living up to our company’s mission. However, there are over 10 million people just in the United States that work in a maintenance related industry or position and there’s still so many more people that we could affect.

The UpKeep Team Working On Product Vision

The Vision for the UpKeep Team

My vision for every single team member that joins the team is to provide them the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on our customers’ lives, be challenged to learn something new every day, and have an incredibly rewarding (and challenging) experience of a lifetime they won’t regret. These are directly affected by our company’s values:

  1. Commitment to customer
  2. Dedication to progress
  3. Gritty resourcefulness

I am forever grateful to the folks that have joined our mission and the vision in the early days (and yes, that’s still today). For example, thank you Kevin Phung for turning down medical school and consulting jobs to work with me when there was only 3 of us. I am constantly impressed by you, your ability to learn and rise to any challenge you’re faced with. Joe, for leaving your job to step into UpKeep when it was just 5 people crammed into a tiny office. And to Ankit for taking handwritten drawings and incredibly vague product requirements 4 years ago and helping build it into what UpKeep is today.

Along this journey towards empowering maintenance teams, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and bright individuals who compose what the UpKeep team is today. I am forever grateful for everyone who’s part of that journey and I hope that I am able to say that UpKeep has impacted your lives and careers in a positive and meaningful way.

My Conclusion

My vision for UpKeep is clear— I want to impact the millions of people in maintenance related industries around the globe and I want to work with a team to grow and develop themselves and their careers. Seeing this impact on our customers and our employees are what bring me the most joy every day.

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