Work pays off for Aladtec foundersAladtec doesn’t have a specific meaning, but the company name is recognized by satisfied customers throughout North America. This team was using the “cloud” concept long before the term was coined.
By: Margaret Ontl, Hudson Star-Observer
Aladtec doesn’t have a specific meaning, but the company name is recognized by satisfied customers throughout North America. When company founders Dave Feyereisen and Leo Langlois decided to spin off a new company they knew they wanted a name that would be at the top of the alphabet for ease of Internet searches, and they also realized that it’s easier to brand a made-up word. So they took a couple of their initials and a company was born.
Feyereisen, a Hudson native, and 1981 Hudson High School graduate, recognized the power of the Internet before it even existed.
“I remember that I sold an expensive guitar to someone in Japan,” said Feyereisen, of the days when if you had a modem your computer could communicate with someone else’s computer even if it was half way around the world. “That got me hooked on the possibilities.” By 1996 he was building websites and started his own company Feyereisen Consulting in 2002.
Some of the area residents may also recognize him because of his eight years with the band Stampede.
In 2002, Feyereisen and his partner Leo Langlois created a database system for a large seed company. One of the guys at that company was also on the Ellsworth EMS team. His simple comment ‘that it would be great to have something like this for the EMS’ led to years of development and innovation which ultimately became the Hudson-based company Aladtec.
Langlois is a graduate of River Falls High School and UW-RF, where he majored in geography. He started to work with Feyereisen in the late 1990s.
“We created a program for the Ellsworth group,” said Feyereisen. “Then we received a request from River Falls and Baldwin. They suggested a different way to do it.” The product was an online scheduling system.
“When we started to work with Ellsworth they used a spiral notebook to keep track of who was on call, working and what shifts,” said Feyereisen. “They had no real good way of keeping track. Some of the other early customers used whiteboards. When we started with the first version some of the customers would say that they didn’t have the Internet.”
“We were kind of a head of the times. Selling a web-based program,” said Feyereisen. Their first product, EMS Manager, led to Fire Manager and now they are introducing Zanager.
“Between 2002 and 2006 we put a lot of time and effort into it,” said Feyereisen. “Everybody (the customers) wanted something different.” After years of work, all of it on their own time (unpaid) while they continued to work full-time at their original company, the team of Feyereisen and Langlois was ready to bring on a full-time sales person in 2006. Chad Clay was hired and today shares in the ownership. In 2005 they spun off their online scheduling systems forming the new company Aladtec.
They were committed early on that the system was always online. Today, they have over 650 customers which translates to over 45,000 users. All of the data is stored on the company’s servers. Users can access their account 24/7 from their laptops and smart phones.
Because every EMS unit was different, some were all volunteer, some volunteer and paid for calls, some had paid staff and every combination in between, they kept stretching the envelope to make a product that all of them could use. They succeeded.
“It is extra configurable, flexible and easy for the customer to get up and running,” said Feyereisen. “For the vast number of sales we never meet the customer. It is all done online.”
With the hiring of the full-time sales person, Feyereisen admitted that they started losing money much more quickly.
“We kept working away at it,” said Feyereisen. “Today, it is a communication tool. It helps automate the process of scheduling. Everything is built in, including employees’ different skill sets. We just kept adding the next most wanted thing and over time it has gotten much more flexible.” It is subscription-based and as a result the company still retains most of its original customers.
“They (clients) can try it out and if they like it they can just renew it,” said Feyereisen.
In 2008, Clay became a partner in the business.
“It is almost limitless,” said Clay. “Anybody who has employees can use one of our products. We are always asking how can we make our system easier to use. We look at it as though we have never used it. Like a first time customer.”
Aladtec is located at 2910 Enloe St. in the St. Croix Business Park.
Feyereisen, Langlois and Clay are joined by a small staff all of whom are eager to continue the growth of a company truly built by entrepreneurial spirit.
“To a certain extent now that people have seen what the Internet can do for their business, it is just connecting with the customers,” said Langlois.
This team was using the “cloud” concept long before the term was coined.
“There is no limit to what this type of technology can do,” said Feyereisen. “We still think we are in a high growth rate.”
For more information you may visit their website at www.aladtec.com.