By Nancy Dahlberg
In 2010, sitting in a pizza rodizio in Brazil, John Thompson and Daniel Walsh sketched out their plans – yes, on a napkin — for a cloud-based project management company.
“Planning is easy, execution is hard. We said we could provide sophisticated predictive project management capability,” recalled Thompson. “That’s what we set out to do.”
Fast forward to 2020 and their venture, Exepron (which comes from Execution Project Network), is one of Palm Beach County’s newest technology companies and offers a predictive project management and scheduling solution for enterprises. It relocated its headquarters to Palm Beach Gardens earlier this year.
Thompson explained what sets Exepron apart from competitors.
In project management environments, 60% on-time delivery rates seem to be accepted as the norm and on-budget rates are even lower that that. That just seemed wrong to Exepron’s co-founders. As a consultant, Thompson worked for many years with the Goldratt Institute, founded by one of the gurus of business management, Eli Goldratt. Goldratt, a physicist, also authored The Goal, required reading in many business schools. Walsh, a former Navy Captain, was also a project management consultant before founding Exepron and is a follower of Goldratt’s principals.
In developing Exepron (V1.0 launched in 2012), “we identified all the fault lines and addressed them and we did two things. We kept the complexity and the intelligence behind the curtain for the average user and we also simplified the interface,” Thompson said.
A project management interface that is easy to use and very intuitive leads to wide adoption throughout a company, he said. “It’s like driving a sophisticated car. You just know how to turn it on, put it into gear and drive. You don’t know how the engine works, you don’t care, and that is the approach we took developing Exepron.”
And about that 60% on-time rate in the industry? Exepron clients experience a 90% or more on-time and on-budget operation, Thompson said. “Ship building, aircraft maintenance, repair maintenance environments, engineering, construction, large custom fabrication – those are the environments which Exepron thrives.”
A PREDICTIVE SOLUTION, TOO
In 2016, Exepron began moving into business intelligence, which helps guide and prioritize the decision-making processes. The tool is moving from a sophisticated multi-project management environment into a decision application, Thompson said.
Today, Exepron can handle over 100,000 tasks in one project and can also schedule over a thousand projects in one portfolio. It predicts the resource requirements well into the future. “As you add more work, it will tell you where your limitations are starting to emerge in the future in terms of resources,” Thompson said.
Tools that claim to be project management tools are often just cool-looking task lists with no governance rules or oversight capability, he said. “We provide the governance, the guidance and the critical intelligence that you really need to be successful.”
Exepron’s customers include BAE Systems, Thomas-Sea, Charles River Labs in healthcare, and Danfoss, which has nine factories globally, and others in 15 countries. In 2018, Exepron won the President’s Export Award.
RELOCATION TO SOUTH FLORIDA
To support its growth, Exepron couldn’t find the talent it needed in Louisiana and began to hire contractors around the world. But the company wanted to begin consolidating in one location where there was more access to talent and chose Palm Beach Gardens as its new HQ.
Since its relocation in February, the company has recruited four employees – full stack and front end developers – and plans more hiring locally. Exepron employs seven here and still has contractors around the world.
“Our perception is there are enough resources in the area to support our growth,” said Thompson. “Also, the environment is so desirable.”
This report was written for Palm Beach Tech and republished with permission.
Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter and email her at [email protected]
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