Last month, TalentRise’s Carl Kutsmode sat down with Chris LeBlanc, President and CEO of Norfield Development. Norfield Development is a U.S based software company that provides solutions to the damage prevention industry. Their services provide technologically structured prevention methods in industries ranging from government to infrastructure to 811 contact centers.
TalentRise placed Chris in this position back in 2021. A year later, we caught up with Chris to reflect on his experience working with TalentRise, how Norfield has changed in his time with the organization, and hear his predictions as to where the damage prevention industry is headed.
About the Industry
The damage prevention industry is comprised of two main components:
1 – The universal goal of keeping people, and the communities that these people work in, safe.
2 – When errors occur, they are often costly. A second goal is avoiding, through prevention technology, the cost implications of these errors.
To help accomplish these goals, in January of 2022, the company launched the LOGIX platform, a “web-based management system designed for utilities to assess the risk and impact of potential incidents days in advance and provide the software you need to take immediate action,” as the company describes. In simpler terms, LOGIX is an intelligence platform that integrates real-time analytics into business operations. The system then leverages this data to shape and influence how both people and technology can respond to various situations, changing conditions, and eliminating damages from occurring. As Chris proudly reiterates and as LOGIX is a perfect example of, Norfield Development is in the business of “driving safety through innovation.”
Norfield’s advances during Chris’ first year
Within his first few months with the company, Chris made changes that affected the organization’s entire business model. These changes were made because of his observations regarding the organization’s current model and the prior knowledge he had as a result of a 20-year career in technology. Under his guidance, Chris transitioned the company into a growth-based company, increasing its market penetration by being a technology distributor, eventually leading to the launch of the LOGIX platform. Despite having a market size of roughly 12.7 million dollars between the United States and Canada, Chris noted that the industry is “woefully underserved” as many current information systems do not “talk to each other.” The creation of and innovation behind the LOGIX platform is a solution to this issue. Additionally, it will help to take advantage of this huge market by not only advancing the company but also by building shareholder value for the seven owners and partners of Norfield.
Looking ahead at the damage prevention industry
Chris made multiple insightful remarks about where the industry is headed in the next few years, and how Norfield can leverage these changes to take advantage of the industry and fulfill its bottom-line initiatives. He noted that every company initiative answers a consistently asked question: “how can we use data analytics differently than anyone else in the market?”
- Consolidation of technology providers: Chris noted that there is a tremendous market opportunity to merge technology providers who cannot make the leap to provide the services that those future companies in the industry will need. The opportunity to develop these companies will be hugely important to the advancement of not only the industry but technology in general. Norfield has already taken action in this initiative through its May 2022 launch of Locater LOGIX. Chris describes it as a “SaaS-based service model” that streamlines a user’s ability to receive requests and transmit them to 811 call centers. So far, the software has received great traction.
- Generational shift: In 2019, the average age of an excavator was 56 years old. It is predicted that by 2024, the average age of an excavator will be 32 years old. The generational shift in those who choose this career path means that the way technology is used in this industry will be much different. Because of this, companies—Norfield specifically—must be prepared to “address the end-user community with something that is going to be seamless, scalable, straightforward, and easy to use,” as Chris asserts.
- Strategic partnerships: New strategic partnerships will be essential to pushing the limits of and advancing technology even further. Partnerships offer the opportunity to use data in ways that were previously impossible due to a lack of a way to obtain it or the lack of technology to utilize it. Chris mentions that this is something Norfield is currently having conversations with other organizations about.
Working with TalentRise
Chris noted that he appreciated the TalentRise executive search team’s consultative approach throughout the entire process—which proved to be extremely helpful to him in making his decision. He also shared that TalentRise “didn’t try and oversell anything.” The executive recruiter laid out the information—about the role and where Norfield was at as an organization—so Chris had very realistic expectations regarding what he was stepping into when he accepted the position.
To learn more, connect with Chris LeBlanc on LinkedIn. View the entire interview here.