Shawn Watts

We make software that helps construction companies streamline job site paperwork with the technology they already have.

Tell us about yourself?

Years ago, I took a job on a construction site. It was meant to be just for the summer to make some money, but it turned out to be a great fit for me, and I spent 10 years in the field as an ironworker. I led some of Ontario’s biggest commercial construction projects – hospitals, condos, schools, and bridges.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

You don’t have to know all the steps before you take one. You don’t need a rigidly detailed five-year plan. You’ll end up throwing it out in six months, anyway. As we added more and more customers and started getting their feedback and wish lists of what the app could do for them, that really informed the direction of our development. Being collaborative, responsive, and open to new ideas and opportunities has been a huge part of our success.

What problem does your business solve?

On the job site, paperwork can be a nightmare. There’s so much information everyone needs to have, from safety policies and daily checklists, to project details, proof of certifications, access to blueprints, breakdown of assigned tasks, and inspections performed… It’s all essential to the job being done well and safely. But a job site is a busy, messy, and sometimes chaotic place and that paperwork often gets lost in the shuffle. Corfix digitizes all those job site essentials, so information is easily accessible, shared instantly and remotely, and never gets lost.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Anyone who’s worked on a construction site can tell you a story about them or someone on their crew getting injured or almost getting injured. That’s what first gave me the idea for a way to make safety checks and compliance easier and more effective. Then I had a pretty serious job site accident myself, and that was the last bit of motivation I needed to pursue this idea 100 per cent.

What is your magic sauce?

Our magic sauce is that we know our audience. We’ve BEEN our audience. We understand the realities and needs of the job site in a way that only comes from putting in years actually doing the job. We know exactly what our user’s day-to-day looks like and the things that would make their job easier versus what would just get in their way. That inside knowledge of the industry really shows in our product and the support we provide.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We’re going to keep expanding our market. Every time we break into a new country, we learn more about how different environments have different needs. And expanding our product. We’re always getting feedback from customers and great new ideas for how we can evolve. The more pieces of the puzzle we can consolidate into one convenient package for our users, the better. No one wants to juggle multiple apps and multiple software to manage one project.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Traditionally, construction hasn’t been the most tech-friendly field. Sometimes when we talk to new companies, they have concerns about their workers resisting using a new tool. But again, we have decades of hands-on job site experience, and we’ve designed user-friendly software. We also have a really thorough onboarding process, including a ton of self-support options. Being able to smooth the learning curve and seeing users adapt to it so quickly and how it makes their jobs much easier is really rewarding because of the initial challenge.

How can people get involved?

If you’re still using pen and paper for your job site management or trying to cobble together digital solutions, book a demo by visiting our site, www.corfix.com/get-a-demo/ and see how our team can help you.