Interview with Siobahn Whitehead - Passport 360

Today I am delighted to be talking to Siobahn Whitehead, the CEO and co-founder of Passport 360. Founded in Australia in 2015, Passport 360 has developed a cloud-based health and safety platform that allows organizations to optimize their online administration, health & safety, procurement and compliance needs.

Emily: What’s Your Story, Siobhan? Where did it all start for you and Passport 360?

Siobahn: Passport 360 was founded in 2015 by myself, and Simon Warne, who is our CTO. We saw an opportunity to use technology to support engineers and safety managers who were overwhelmed by manual processes and multiple isolated systems, while having to manage their compliance requirements for contractors and their workforce across their projects. We also found that they faced increased risk of operational accidents due to a lack of training transparency and proof of competency while contractor documentation became outdated due to long onboard times resulting in non-compliance and thus increased onboarding costs. Passport 360 plays a huge role in automating all these complex processes in high-risk environments.

Today we have serviced over 600 customers and manage over 685,000 individual profiles on the system.

E: Compliance. In a sentence, why should it matter to everyone?

S: Zero Harm is at the heart of what we do and compliance with safety and risk processes is an essential part of getting workers home safely. We believe that if the processes are efficient, transparent, and easy to follow then there will be greater buy-in from all the stakeholders.

The Passport 360 system allows contractors to self-manage and regulate in a proactive way while creating visibility and transparency for the corporate client.

E: Can you tell us more about Passport 360’s immediate product and marketing roadmaps?

S: We are currently updating our SaaS platform to improve on overall usability, making sure that it is easier to navigate and carry out everyday tasks while increasing our use of AI technology to improve efficiency and intuition. We have optimized search, improved reporting and added a new Meeting Manager to help users schedule meetings within the system, giving them the ability to integrate into Microsoft Teams and Outlook.

Leveraging off Microsoft Azure and new technology, helps our platform perform at powerful speeds allowing access anytime, anywhere as we scale globally.

E: Please tell us more about your team.

S: We have a dynamic and very dedicated team. Our team incorporates members across a wide range of skillsets including technical and safety. Culture is important to us and we ensure that each individual is supported to learn and grow within their role. We embrace innovation as a core value and have a “fail fast” approach to what we do, enabling us to iterate and change very quickly. We have an amazing and dedicated team and I am so grateful to be working with such awesome people.

E: What is the future of compliance and training? Which technologies are you particularly keen to explore and adopt for your businesses?

S: As companies transition more quickly to technology platforms and cloud, we are seeing an expectation for faster and more integrated ways of working. Passport 360 is leveraging our Gold partnership with Microsoft through the Scale-Up program to improve integration with the Microsoft platform and leverage many of the Azure features available.

Virtual reality training, improved analytics and increased use of AI are permanent fixtures on our roadmap, and we continue to improve in these areas. We have also incorporated facial recognition technology for site access as well as making use of IoT integration to track and monitor the movement of people and assets on site.

E: What do you think startups should be doing right now?

S: I believe startups should focus on their people first, ensuring you have a solid team and cultivating a healthy company culture is important for growth and will be the only thing that gets you through the tough and crazy times.

E: What would you be doing if you weren’t working on this startup?

S: Probably working in another startup. I have a passion for the circular economy so I would probably be building a profit-for-purpose business around that, which is on my personal roadmap.

E: What is you most used or favorite app and why?

S: Passport 360 of course (but I am biased). In all seriousness, MS Teams. This app has changed my life and the way we work as a business, I love the seamless integration and multiple connectors available.

E: Bit of a wildcard question: What are you really good at, but never want to do anymore?

S: That is a hard one not too sure that I would want to give up something that I am really good at, perhaps a safe answer would be running. No one really enjoys that even if they are good at it.