Last year, the estimated cost of petrol station drive-offs was estimated at an all time high. So Eion Byrne and Anthony Schmidt, after watching petrol station operators struggling with an inefficient, inaccurate and manual process, decided to do something about it. They came up with Scancam, an innovative technology that works by scanning plates at service stations, sending the scanned plate for plate recognition, recording plate detections and counter checking against a database of offenders. It was an incredibly simple idea – but it wasn’t scalable in their current platform. That’s where Ignia enters the story.
We met Eion and Anthony at a startup event, and they quickly outlined their plans and their technological constraints. “We shared our plans with Josh (Boys, Ignia Director) over a beer and by the end of the night, he’d essentially designed a new architecture for us on the back of a napkin. With our aggressive growth plans, we needed a platform that can scale with the business and reduce operational costs. Josh had us sold on what Microsoft Azure and IoT can do for us within that first meeting,” recalled Anthony.
Since that first meeting, we’ve been a key part of Scancam’s incredible growth in Australia and beyond. The Scancam system handles thousands of plates at every station, and has already boasted incredible results including a 63% drop in fuel loss and a man-hour reduction of over 80%. More importantly, small business owners have finally been delivered with the ability to recover debt – a crippling factor in the fuel industry’s practices for years. The new features enabled by Ignia’s use of the Azure platform, including facial recognition software, have incredible growth potential for the Scancam both internationally and within state police departments to help combat crime. And it all began, as all great plans do, on the back of a napkin.