Diversity delivers sky-high success for CartonCloud


For Gold Coast businessman Vincent Fletcher, investing in recent university graduates is a win-win for everyone at software company CartonCloud.

The same goes for CartonCloud’s diverse workplace, where staff from all cultures and backgrounds feel welcome and part of the team.

“Recent graduates have just as much to offer the workplace as any other employee,” said the company co-founder and CEO.

“Sure, there is an added level of time investment at the start, but as a business owner, taking on graduates gives you the opportunity to shape them to fit the company. In the long-term that investment can really pay off.”

Sometimes engaging with a student can have pay offs in the most unexpected ways. Vincent sites a recent example of a high school student who joined the CartonCloud team for work experience.

“I decided to give Adam, a team member with no previous direct management experience, the opportunity to supervise the student. He went really well, we were all very impressed with how well he managed the student and how attentive and helpful Adam was throughout that week. Since then, he's managed two others within the company – a graduate and junior developer and has done so very successfully.”

CartonCloud develops cloud-based transport and logistics software for small and medium-sized businesses. Just three years into operation, CartonCloud is now used by more than 90 carriers and warehouses across Australia and New Zealand.

Before launching CartonCloud in 2012, Vincent launched his business career in Sydney by purchasing a medium-sized refrigerated transport and warehousing company, however sometimes even the best intentions go awry and Vincent soon found the business in serious financial trouble.

Facing major revenue issues and delays caused by paper-based handling and manual processing, Vincent knew he had to upgrade to a paperless and more streamlined system. The key to success was applying his background in software engineering to develop his own software program.

“I studied science and technology with a major in electronics and instrumentation in New Zealand. Although my training was largely hardware focused, in industry, software development [to work with the hardware] takes substantially more time than developing the hardware itself, so my software development skills stemmed from here” says Vincent.

“I thought: why not take a punt? What other option did I have?”

While the subsequent software program took 15 months to develop, it turned the freight company’s fortunes around.

It was also a turning point for Vincent. With software engineering now his focus, he sold the logistics business and moved to the Gold Coast — a city that until then he’d visited only once for the thrill of the theme parks — and began CartonCloud.

Today Vincent regularly shares his start-up knowledge with the local community. He was guest panelist for Study Gold Coast’s Embracing Diversity event at Commonwealth House during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, and featured at Brisbane’s Myriad Festival, a gathering of the world's most influential thinkers.

He believes the Gold Coast is a prime location for future software engineers.

“I think there is a strong and growing demand for software engineers, as well as those with an understanding of data science,” he says.

“Data science is becoming more and more critical as businesses seek to understand how to use the massive amounts of data they collect to make better strategic decisions.”

“If graduates are based on the Gold Coast, there is a high chance they will be picked up as we can never find enough people.”

As for CartonCloud, stability in the workforce (the company has doubled in size in under 12 months) and becoming cash-flow positive are the aims for the next six months as the company continues to evolve.

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