After four years consulting with industry buffs, deciding on the best delivery mechanism, building a call center, logistics and sales departments, Arrowsight Inc was born. Its product, Remote Video Auditing, offers video monitoring and, compliance reports. Initially all clients were small businesses.
But in the winter of 2008, everything changed. The USDA ordered a recall on 143 million pounds of beef — an action triggered by an animal abuse video.
A tape at the plant captured a slaughterhouse using the meat from cows that couldn’t walk or stand, which often signifies the risk of mad cow disease. Because the plant's main customer was the USDA school lunch program, an uproar ensued, prompting Congressional Oversight Committee hearings.
While Arrowsight cameras were not used at that facility, they were being used at another one. Aronson was asked to testify at one of the hearings to explain what his company does, and how companies like his could provide better monitoring of meat packing processes.
"Because of that, I got on the radar of Cargill,” said Aronson.
Within one year, Cargill, the largest agricultural company in the U.S., rolled out Arrowsight’s video monitoring services. Others followed, including beef processor JBS Swift & Company. Two of the top five meat producing companies is a good chunk of market share.
In 2010, Arrowsight brought in $2 million in revenue, and company projections by 2012 are $5 million.
This growth rate depends on Arrowsight continuing its strong streak. It has already expanded into the healthcare industry.
Today, a New York hospital reportedan 75 percent improvement in hygiene practices, as a result of Arrowsight’s compliance reports. Negative implications for non-compliant hospitals may soon take effect.
The Next Step
At the point where a business is still young, nimble and growing, what is the next step?
For Aronson, it is to break into yet another market. But, he can’t do this on his own.
“The intention I’ve always had, in order to scale it to many more industries, is not to do what we’ve been doing, but to partner with large consulting firm like Deloitte or Booz Allen,” he says.
In this scenario, Arrowsight enters once consultants have left the building.
“When a consulting project is done, it’s done. The camera could be brought in to sustain the improvement consultants put in.”