When people think about the cattle industry, it inevitably invokes images of the old West – an old-school, traditional business model that hasn’t changed for decades. High-tech or cutting-edge, aren’t typically what comes to mind when considering this centuries-old business. However, SaleDay is a new software start-up looking to modernize the industry and bring the traditional auction business into the 21st century.
Founded in February 2022, SaleDay stemmed from founder Ryan Chapman’s entrepreneurial roots. As a tech-saavy millennial, Chapman hoped to bring a fresh new perspective into the established cattle industry. Early on, he realized the opportunity was there to utilize the convenience of mobile phones to be able to buy and sell registered livestock. He needed a partner that shared his mindset, to help explore this opportunity and bring his vision to life.
Taking an app from idea to production to commercialization
“As a customer of FortyAU, you don’t have to come in with a full-fledged business plan. If you have a vision, in this case a mobile app for cattle auctions, one of our strengths is leverage your team’s unique knowledge to build any solution you can imagine. We enjoy this creative aspect and have the years of experience to help you with your business plan, user journey, design, and support,” commented Andrew Kerr, CEO at FortyAU.
When SaleDay came to us with their idea, they told us they wanted a user-friendly, intuitive, mobile app where users could buy and sell registered livestock through an online auction platform.
In the original vision, you could bid on any lot, within a certain timeframe – simple and straightforward. The heavy lifting for SaleDay was to really understand what the competition already offered and how they could craft a better user experience. In talking to potential customers, they realized that customers wanted the ability to stay informed on the cattle types they were interested in and also needed a way to make selling on the app as easy as possible.
Obstacles to overcome
The FortyAU team helped with initial research on existing competitor platforms and built designs to test and get feedback. An interesting early finding, was around the target demographic in this industry. The users that SaleDay wanted to attract to use their platform, were a part of the digital transformation-resilient generation. In an industry where face-to-face is the norm for transactions, getting them to trust an app where everything is handled online was definitely a challenge.
“Our beta test showed that users were scared to buy on the platform,” commented Carson Ward, Product Manager at FortyAU. “It was an interesting realization as most of our developers in house are used to creating software for typically tech forward users. If you think about creating an automated workflow for a hospital staff, they may be resilient to the change, but the tech is not as surprising or shocking to them as it will be for a cattle rancher. This project really spoke to the empathy and technical diversity we have on our team as we were able to navigate this and fine tune it for launch.”
While launch days can often be scary for the tech team, the SaleDay go-live date came and went without any major setbacks as initial users tried the product for the first time. It has only been 2-months since the app has been available in the United States and they have seen great initial traction and have learned from the early feedback of users to improve the product even further.
Based out of Nunley, Tennessee, Founder and CEO, Ryan Chapman started SaleDay out of curiosity and respect for the industry. A serial entrepreneur, Chapman gained wealth through other avenues that allowed him to form an investment group where SaleDay is one of the portfolio companies.
FortyAU is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2023. Stay tuned to learn more about project highlights, seasoned employees, and more to come in the new year.
Questions about SaleDay, mobile apps, or custom software? Let’s connect to see how we can help you build your vision.