So, there we have it, another year over as the good ship uTrack meanders to an end as I write this the final blog of 2018. It has been a year of growth and consolidation with significant expansion with some great new staff in both the Dublin and Birmingham offices. Indeed in Brum, we have increased the staff to 6, indeed 6, and a half if you include Hugo Hughes, the uTrack hound. He can occasionally be heard on conference calls giving handy tips to team members.
Next year see’s the Birmingham team up stumps, and move to a really sharp and smart purpose designed office in a truly central location in the heart of the City centre. This is endemic of the expansion of the Company, with new staff coming on board now on a regular basis to join the UK team based in Brum and elsewhere in the UK, all highly skilled, motivated, and adding super value to the business.
The Dublin office has also seen a significant increase in new staff, not just on the technical support team, but also with business support, PA help, and an HR Manager. All rightfully symptomatic of a business scaling up to meet customer support and expectation. I have seen a massive change over the nearly ten years that I have been part of the uTrack journey. And a pretty amazing story it has become. It is, I have to admit really pleasing to see how the hard work, dedication, and effort that Eamonn and Conor have committed for the last thirteen years has come to fruition especially over the last three years.
Every business has to start somewhere, and this enterprise is no different, many fail, but some succeed, and I have had a grandstand seat to watch how this little acorn has grown. And become not yet a mighty oak, but certainly a mature tree with strong roots in high profile and expanding customers engaging with uTrack across the UK, the USA, and Europe. Indeed the Business work force clearly reflects this international diversity with more than ten different nationalities on board.
It has been great to watch the ever growing relationship with First develop, not only in the USA, with Greyhound, First Student, and more recently First Transit. But especially this year with FIrst UK Bus, Hinckley Point, and Aircoach. The flagship customer National Express continue to be avid supporters of uTrack, and year on year since 2010, we have added mutual value. There will also be new customers on boarding across the UK, and Ireland, throughout the next year.
So, on reflection, a fantastic year for the business with really exciting plans for 2019, which will be revealed gradually across the new year. As for me it has been an interesting year, on the positive, I published blog number 1,000 at the start of December, and I am already working on the next one thousand. On the negative, I was diagnosed with a nasty cancer tumour in September that required life saving, emergency surgery. That was very interesting with a whole new set of challenges to be overcome, as it stands I am now undergoing a six month round of chemotherapy which is tough but manageable. I have to say that I have been brilliantly supported by members of the uTrack family, my own family, my wonderful partner Yvonne, and legions of friends. For all this I thank my blessings, and the simple fact that I am able to celebrate both Xmas and the New Yew something that nearly did not happen, had my life not been saved by the surgeon and wonderful team at Warwick hospital who operated on me and patched me up over a two week period. Had they not done that then it is quite possible that I could well have Crossed The Jordan as General Bernard Montgomery, the hero of El Alamein, and the D Day landings, used to say after he had lost troops during the Second World War.
So, not surprising that my new year resolutions are simple, take the medicine, get better, and carry on. Simple wishes given my present life, but without doubt the best gift in the world. As for uTrack we march onto bigger and better things with exciting plans for the new year. And as for you my dear reader friends, my grateful thanks for the excellent support that you have kindly shown me. The very first blog was published on January 30, 2012, did I ever think that I would write over 1,000 no, never, but here we are about to launch into 2019 with more planned. And if I may I would like to take the opportunity to thank two very special reader friends who have supported me so positively with the blogs, Rehan, and Sarah, So may I wish you all, and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas and New Year, I will see you one and all with new blogs in week one 2019. Best Wishes, Austin .