Company: ICOS LIVE LTD
Location: Albany, Auckland, New Zealand
After years of working in the freight and logistics industry, Kathy Ross decided to use her expertise to create ICOS GROUP, an integrated cargo operating system, with a partner in 1989. Unfortunately, her partner passed away in 2003, and, although it was a devastating blow, Ms. Ross felt she had a responsibility to her team and customers to carry on. Through her work, she learned that many businesses weren’t in a position to implement a freight management software package, and those that did found the software to be more of a hindrance than a help. Ms. Ross noticed that these companies had a bunch of things in common, including the fact that they were buried in paper, under resourced, had a lack of transparency, and had a poor cash and time flow. She knew there had to be a better way, and it came to her in 2008: she had to redevelop her integrated cargo operating system into an internet cargo operating system so it could be live. This is exactly what Ms. Ross did, and thus, ICOS LIVE LTD was born. The software company offers real-time track and trace, from online job bookings through scheduling and dispatch to proof of delivery, with sign on glass using smart technology, and has transformed the domestic transport sector by taking it from a paper-based world to a paperless world. This, most importantly, gives operators back time. One of her customers, Lynette Gray, was able to step out of the day-to-day grind to write a book, Women in Work Boots, which Ms. Ross is featured in.
Being in a primarily male-dominated industry, Ms. Ross has learned to never give up, to rise to any situation, and to trust that there are no limits. She feels that no one will have a passion for domestic transport software the way she does, because no one else put their life on the line to make this vision a reality. Ms. Ross believes that things happen for a reason, and that she is exactly where she is meant to be. As a mother of three and a grandmother of eight, she hopes to leave behind a legacy of putting her family first while still being a workaholic. She would love for them to see what she achieved just because she believed she could make a difference.
Looking to the future, Ms. Ross wants to obtain more resources so that she can do more of what she wants to do. To date, she has funded her company herself and has been growing it organically. Ms. Ross feels that, to take it to the next level on a more global scale, she needs a new partner. She is currently setting up distribution agents in Australia, and envisions her technology being used in the U.K. and the U.S. someday.
Ms. Ross is affiliated with the Road Transport Association of New Zealand, Women in Transport and Logistics Australia, The International Women’s Leadership Association, and ITEC, in conjunction with the local university. She has also sponsored graduates to go on and get their master’s degrees while working at iCOS LIVE. Additionally, ICOS LIVE recently supported the Central Finance South Island Charity Cycle Ride. This raised money for the Rural Support Trust, which is a network of people affected by depression.
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