Outpost Central is a New Zealand technology company that specialises in smart meter technology, environmental monitoring and web-based software that enables organisations to monitor their water and energy use and manage their environmental and resource-based activities. Outpost’s innovative smart meter solutions are used extensively across New Zealand and the company has gained a significant foothold in various international markets including: Australia, Africa and the US.
The company’s cornerstone product – Outpost WASP – is a smart water meter device that provides customers with detailed information on their water use and consumption patterns, which enable significant water reductions and cost savings to be achieved. Meter readings and water consumption information are automatically transmitted in real time via cellular networks to the client’s website for consumption and efficiency reporting.
Additional flagship products include energy sub meter monitoring environmental monitoring and reporting software solutions providing real time monitoring of soil moisture, temperature monitoring, and smart meter web based platforms and reporting tools.
The brainchildren behind Outpost Central: James Riddell a computer science and commerce graduate, and Jed Forbes – an electrical engineer – founded the company in 2002 as a pet project, while at university. The duo saw lucrative potential in developing environmental monitoring systems in a fast growing market spurred largely by increasing water restrictions and environmental regulations mandated by local and central governments.
Since the pair engaged in a full-scale commitment towards developing Outpost’s environmentally focussed technological solutions in 2005, the company has experienced consistent growth and is progressively expanding its solutions portfolio and international market reach. Today 80% of the company’s revenue is derived from foreign export earnings and the company has grown from 2 to 12 full time employees.
Outpost’s key customers include: water utilities, resource management firms and irrigation supply companies. Internationally Outpost Central has secured large accounts including Canberra Municipal Water Utilities and ActewAGL (The Utility of Australian Capital Territories). Its key domestic customers include: Mighty River Power, Vector, Water Conservation Group and GRONET.
While its founders do not profess to being “hard-core greenies”, Outpost Central is a shining example of a New Zealand firm that has successfully secured a profitable niche position on an international scale through focusing its advanced technology offerings on providing environmental solutions. “We just saw a growing market for environmental monitoring technology and decided to develop something [for] it.”
Featuring on the Deloitte Fast 50 index of fast-growing companies, and twice on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, as one of the Asia Pacific’s fastest growing companies, Outpost Central is indicative of the significant global market potential of clean technology solutions.
While Outpost’s innovative technology solutions ultimately deliver positive environmental benefits, the company has largely secured its market leadership position through the significant cost savings its monitoring systems have enabled its customers to achieve through the more efficient use of their water and energy activities.
A further key aspect of Outpost’s growing success is due to the simplicity and size of Outpost’s technology hardware that requires no power supply, data cables, and has a built in battery a tenth the size and weight of competitor products. The company’s innovative development of a minute size battery was initially born out of the founder’s guilt of the “toxic effect” their batteries had on the environment at their end of life. However this has enabled the company to secure an additional competitive edge through increased market interest in smaller streamlined products and in reduced costs for the company in terms of freight and production costs.
The company’s history of successful innovation within the clean technology space has recently resulted in Outpost Central been named a finalist in the 2011 New Zealand HiTech awards for most innovative mobile product.
However, Outpost’s founders don’t plan to rest on their laurels of current success. They remain strongly growth focussed. Riddell says the company has plans to double its annual revenue for the next five years and is on track for achieving this goal. The company also has plans to develop portfolio of auxiliary products developed on the back of Outpost’s growing database of information housing valuable information on company water usage and behaviour stats.
At a national level Riddell believes the transition towards the clean technology revolution is inevitable. “Following the industrial revolution of last century as a economic model isn’t going work anymore. It’s out-dated, and we can’t keep doing it”. He sees huge opportunity for New Zealand industry to invest in environmental and clean technology to improve its environmental standing internationally and that this is vital for the nation’s economy if New Zealand is to continue to rely on its clean and green brand for valuable export revenues.
More Information: Outpost Central