Nominee Q&A - Greenway
Greenway Director Andrew Hancock has been working in partnership with CPI to secure funding to develop a prototype of a unique Internet of Things (IoT) rodent monitor for use in commercial food production and hospitality environments. Here, he tells us about the business’s development and plans for the future.
Tell us a bit about your business?
Greenway Integrated Pest Management Ltd was established in 2017. With a background in Environmental Science at Newcastle University and a keen interest in conservation and the circular economy, I created Greenway to provide a second-to-none pest control service, servicing the North East of England. Greenway carries out work in domestic and commercial settings for a wide variety of pests.
How has the company developed?
When I moved back to the North East of England after six years working in Suffolk, I built up my company from just an idea. I had no contacts in the North East, so I initially found all the work off my own bat.
As I had time to reflect on what I wanted my business to achieve at an operational level, every action that Greenway takes is challenged with the questions ‘how can this be done more effectively?’ and ‘how can this be done to have less impact on the environment?’.
What is the ethos behind the company and has this changed or developed since you started?
I wanted to prove through my company that a better service could be provided while actively finding ways to reduce its environmental impact.
In a world where great service should be a given, Greenway’s added value would be that the customer would know that by using Greenway they were actively helping to tackle the environmental issues of the present day and the future. Greenway continues to grow and develop, but the core ethos will always be ‘how can this be done in the most effective way while minimising the impact it may have on the environment?’
Any company can work more efficiently today by borrowing from the potential of the future. In a truly circular economy, a business should ensure that any actions that are carried out today are done with the mindset of improving or minimising and remediating the negative impact on the future.
What investment have you sourced for the business and how has this helped you to go further?
Greenway’s first major investment was to move away from paper reporting and invoicing to a purely paperless system. CRM software is nothing new, but Greenway’s bespoke build also allowed for chemical use monitoring, to highlight treatments that were high chemical use with the aim to develop treatment techniques that were less chemical dependent.
I was introduced to CPI, a company that works alongside individuals and companies to develop the technology of the future. The team has good knowledge of the innovation process, securing funding for partners and they bring industry expertise to develop products to bring to market.
Through CPI, Greenway has secured funding through the European Union and Northern Powerhouse to develop a prototype of a unique Internet of Things (IoT) rodent monitor for use in commercial food production and hospitality environments.
Greenway has also secured funding through the ARROW project with Newcastle University, to investigate rodent behaviour around monitoring devices to minimise ‘avoidant’ behaviours in the rodent population.
All of this will lead to the development of products that will improve the pest control industry as a whole.
What is the most important thing to remember when applying for funding/investment?
When applying for funding, the most important thing to remember is to find people and services that complement your business. Find people who understand and share your ideals.
You also need to be able to explain your goals in a way that people can understand. You may have a solution tailored to a certain business. Chances are, the people whose help you need will know nothing about your industry, so you need to be able to explain why what you want to do is important and worth their time.
Can you give us an example of an impactful collaboration your business has been involved in? Why has it been a success?
Greenway’s collaboration with CPI, in developing its unique IoT rodent monitoring solution, has protected the company’s finances while giving it access to leading technical expertise and allowed it to punch well above its weight in developing its product.
Most micro businesses do not have the luxury of large sums of money set aside for research and development that may not lead anywhere and are more focused on the day-to-day running of the business.
UMi is currently running its Go Further campaign, which celebrates organisations with the ‘foresight to inform and respond to the changing world around them’. How does your organisation fulfil this?
I see a sustainable future where IoT solutions are part of a move to more efficient working systems that are less wasteful.
Greenway’s IoT rodent monitor has the potential to improve not only the efficiency of the pest control service, but also increase levels of public health protection and decrease waste from spoilt foods in the food production industry.
What has been your company’s greatest achievement?
Greenway’s greatest achievement to date is to be selected as a finalist for the National Pest Awards 2021, with the winner to be announced in September 2021.
What is your business’s short and long-term plans?
In the short-term, I want Greenway to act as a proof of concept for the rodent monitoring IoT solution. Once it is a proven concept, a new company will be formed to run the CRM software and produce the IoT monitor hardware, which will be made available to the entire pest control industry through a software subscription and hardware purchasing model.