Cookeville-based start-up launches DOT-Ready Software program
By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
Regulatory compliance in the trucking industry is getting more complicated and time-consuming, but there’s a company in Cookeville that has just launched a product to make that task much easier and more automated.
“Our software is the only 100 percent all-in-one digital solution for both the driver and the vehicle,” Tyna Bryan, Chief Executive Officer of DOT Readiness Group Inc., says of a new compliance product she officially launched on February 23 at an event at The Biz Foundry.
Named DOT-Ready Software – DOT stands for Department of Transportation, the product is the result of two decades of involvement by the West Texas native in the compliance, consulting and training aspects of the trucking industry.
“I did it (the compliance consulting) for free for a long time,” Bryan told us recently. “I had no intention of starting a business, but a friend pushed me into it.”
DOT Readiness Group was founded in 2012, and Bryan moved it to Cookeville about 18 months ago. By then, she had already started work on providing a solution to the vexing task of meeting compliance requirements for both vehicles and drivers. It’s something she learned from her early experience consulting with trucking companies in the oil and gas industry.
“I saw the same compliance problems over and over,” Bryan told us recently. “They were always paperwork-related . . . frequently little things like a missing signature.” The more she explored the problem, the more she realized how widespread the need was.
“It did not matter what type of industry,” Bryan said, noting that her client base of 750 companies also includes airlines, utilities, beverage companies, construction firms, paving companies, and HVAC service providers.
“Pretty much anyone with fleet vehicles has to be in compliance with DOT regulations,” Bryan added. “Many don’t think they are regulated.”
Efforts to find an existing, off-the-shelf software solution for her clients experiencing paperwork problems came-up empty; there were no integrated solutions. Instead, companies had to use five or six different products.
Noting that she is not a techie, Bryan says, “I started designing my own solution on paper.” Her journey from idea to product rollout took her through unsatisfactory experiences with two development teams before she was connected to Jeff Brown of The Biz Foundry.
“Jeff connected me with BGBO,” Bryan says of a local software company. “We had to start from scratch last June to rebuild it.” Today, she’s a very satisfied client of theirs and also a happy tenant at The Biz Foundry as well as resident of Cookeville.
“I was really fortunate to get connected with Jeff and The Biz Foundry,” Bryan says. “Cookeville is the best little place ever.”
There are already paying clients for DOT-Ready Software. With her existing client base of 750 companies, 34,000 subscribers to her corporate newsletter and hundreds of followers on a YouTube channel, Bryan says her initial market plan is “to talk to those who already know me.”
The product includes some key features that she believes will help with quick adoption.
“We built our software to be proactive,” Bryan says, meaning that it will alert a client to problems. While DOT-Ready Software is proprietary, it was designed so that a client can integrate it with other systems in use such as payroll or dispatch.
One of its other unique features relates to the always challenging task of employee hiring in a highly competitive environment for drivers.
“We have an ability to do all background checking for new applicants, a process that normally can take two weeks,” Bryan says. “With the DOT-Ready Software, our clients can recruit, hire, perform required background checks and have a fully-compliant driver in 48 hours from the paperwork side.”
She adds that it could be done faster, but drug screening takes 24 hours.
Bryan has started a number of companies, the first at age 19 when she launched Bailey Jean’s Cookies that was named after her daughter. “We made fantastic cookies, but it was too time-constraining,” she explained.
Along her entrepreneurial journey, she’s learned that you can’t do everything by yourself. “Today, I’m very much a reach out and get others’ opinions person.” That’s clearly reflected in the evolution of her latest undertaking.