Meet Ryan Chan, Founder and CEO at UpKeep Technologies
Thousand Oaks, California
Ryan Chan has set out on an ambitious path to change lives. After starting his career in a water purification plant, he saw a fault in the system and decided that he could do better. Ryan has always been determined to prove that the impossible is possible; so, he quit his job and took a class at the local community college to learn how to code. He wrote the first version of the UpKeep app from his mom’s garage, eventually hired a few more people to help, and the rest is history.
Yes, UpKeep Maintenance Management is a CMMS software solution. More than that, though, it has been a vehicle for reaching nearly 10 million people that work in maintenance and facility management in the US alone. Ryan believes we have just scratched the surface and there is always more to do – that’s why he is the first in the office and the last one to leave.
Outside of work, Ryan loves to try new things, go to new places and spend time with his wife, Shelley, and the rest of his family. Some of his favorite trips have been those that most wouldn’t even consider a vacation, traveling to random places like Bakersfield and Fresno.
Ryan Chan, thank you for everything you do. Your leadership and your commitment to every single one of your customers, as well as your entire UpKeep team, motivate everyone around you to be the best versions of themselves they can be.
How did you get started in maintenance?
I went to UC Berkeley and got my bachelors in Chemical Engineering. My first job coming out of school was working as a process engineer at a manufacturing company. Every single day was focused on reducing downtime for our manufacturing line and improving communication across our maintenance and engineering team.
Working in the manufacturing plant was a huge eye opener to me. Initially coming out school, I thought I knew everything, but little did I know how complex the industrial setting is. I mean, it was my first exposure to predictive maintenance, PLCs, and SCADA systems. It took me exactly one hour on the job to realize how little I actually knew. Additionally, the moment I stepped foot into one of these massive factories, I realized how small I really was (and I am already quite small standing 5′ 7″)!
Working in manufacturing pushed me to learn more about the real world through hands on experience and not through textbooks. I learned all about maintenance and reliability through the engineers, technicians, and operators that physically built and maintained the manufacturing lines.
What is one of your proudest achievements?
The proudest achievement for me has been ultimately getting UpKeep to the point where we are today. To date, we have helped over 200,000 people in maintenance streamline their maintenance, improve communication, and become heroes for the work they do.
What is one thing you wish people knew about your job?
Now that I work more in technology and not in the industrial setting every day, I hope our customers and prospects know and see that we’re a group of technologists that have actually stepped foot in the shoes of working in an industrial setting. I hope they see that we care deeply about our customers and that we relate to the problems they face every single day on a factor floor and we’re not just sitting inside of an office hiding behind a computer.
I absolutely LOVE when I talk to our customers and I hear the stories of them getting promoted and recognized at work. I love when I hear that they get to go home early or that UpKeep enabled them to showcase the work they do. These stories are what keep me most motivated every single day to continue to do what we’re doing.