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Lightbulb Analytics Case Study

Background

Lightbulb Analytics (formerly known as L&A Consulting) was founded by Phillip Topping in 1984. Since its founding, Lightbulb Analytics has become a leading provider of telematics driven data analytics for police forces in the United Kingdom. In addition to traditional Global Positioning System (GPS) and telematics functions, their product integrates with command and control, incident response, and several other systems to provide real-time response and operational information, allowing command staff to direct tactical operations and back office strategic decision making.

In 2018, Lightbulb Analytics was purchased by Colin Tourick, who has over 40 years’ experience in the fleet management industry. Tourick supported the business in areas such as accounting, finance, and HR, but was not involved in day to day operations. Instead, the business continued to operate under the management of Adrian McMullan and Andrew Ahearne who have been with the organization since 2006.

Lightbulb Analytics was acquired by AssetWorks, a fleet management business within Volaris Group in August 2021. Upon acquisition, Tourick concluded his time with Lightbulb Analytics with the intention of pursuing other business endeavors in the fleet management space. McMullan and Ahearne have since continued their leadership roles the organization and have started working closely with the AssetWorks team to grow the Lightbulb Analytics brand.

The Decision to Sell

With a talented team and remarkable products, Lightbulb Analytics successfully served their clients over the past 35+ years. However, the business was small and did not have the resources to grow their presence deeper into the UK blue light market. Tourick shared: “I always knew that for the business to fly, an investment was needed, specifically in sales and marketing.”

Lightbulb Analytics had been approached by investors in the past, but Tourick did not sense a genuine desire in growing the product from other potential acquirers. After meeting with Volaris Group, Tourick recognized a serious interest in not only the product, but the future of the company. Regarding the decision to work with Volaris Group, he said: “It was important for me to find a credible, competent, capable organization who would give a future to the business and to the people."

McMullan shared that he realized Volaris Group was serious about the acquisition after spending time sharing details on the history of the business and discussing opportunities for Lightbulb Analytics within Volaris Group.

"The reassurances we received from the team showed that there was a real desire within Volaris to help us develop the company further."

- Adrian McMullan, Commercial Director, Lightbulb Analytics

By joining Volaris Group, Lightbulb Analytics gained access to best practices and resources in many key business areas, including sales and marketing. In addition, with the backing of a public organization, Constellation Software Inc., Lightbulb Analytics’ clients have a greater peace of mind about the stability of the business. McMullan shared: "One of our vulnerabilities was that while we did have a clever product offering, we were very small. I have had a number of meetings with our clients and sharing that we are now part of a much larger company has given them reassurance in our business.”

Post-Acquisition Success

Since joining Volaris Group, the primary focus of Lightbulb Analytics was to strengthen and optimize current processes and procedures. “Using the expertise within AssetWorks and Volaris Group has been very useful in helping us refine our project management capability,” said McMullan. The team has already seen improvements in their project management process, which now allows developers to better understand the scope and impact of their work. This has helped the team prevent delays in development, and in turn, increase customer satisfaction.

"Our new project management process allows us to provide a timeline for requests and has given us greater credibility with our clients"

- Adrian McMullan, Commercial Director, Lightbulb Analytics

The team is excited to continue networking with Volaris’ global network to learn how to improve other processes within the business.

 

Future Growth

In the next year, Lightbulb Analytics aims to have a center of policing excellence utilizing telematics, analytics, briefing & tasking, fleet management, capital asset management, and mobility inspections by integrating with solutions offered by AssetWorks. This will enhance their core product by integrating fleet management solutions and providing clients with a comprehensive offering. In addition, the Lightbulb Analytics team has plans to expand by looking at other markets outside of the United Kingdom. Volaris Group will support this growth plan by providing access best practices and tools in sales and marketing.

McMullan and the Lightbulb Analytics team also have plans to launch two new products that will support policing activity. He shared, “Being part of much larger company and having access to sales and marketing support will enable us to grow the business in the future.” The team is excited for the future of Lightbulb Analytics and to continue providing exceptional products and services to their clients.