From North America to the UK: AssetWorks’ Geographic Expansion Journey

Acquired by Volaris Group in 2008, AssetWorks has thrived and experienced substantial, sustainable double-digit annual growth. However, before joining our network, that wasn’t always the case.

AssetWorks has since developed immensely under the Volaris umbrella; The company has grown to a point where it has been strategically carved out into multiple business units within the Volaris ecosystem; it has experienced acquisitive growth of its own, seizing multiple opportunities to join forces with complementary businesses; and it has experienced great success in expanding into new geographies.

Having been with AssetWorks for nearly 20 years, and with the company before the Volaris acquisition, we caught up with Randy Walsh to learn about their "going global" efforts. Now the General Manager of AssetWorks Facilities - one of Volaris’ AssetWorks carve-outs - Randy candidly shares about their success with geographic expansion in this Q&A.

Randall Walsh

"We would not have ventured beyond our North American boundaries without the backing of Volaris and our sister companies."

-- Randall Walsh, General Manager, AssetWorks Facilities

Q: Can you share a high-level overview of your company’s software solution and how you’ve expanded your horizons over the years?

AssetWorks Facilities, known as GoAssetWorks, is a leading provider of facilities management solutions for higher educational institutions. Our product offering spans the entire facility lifecycle, from managing construction projects to implementing preventative maintenance programs.

Before the acquisition, we were a dominant player, particularly among R1 institutions which are top-tier doctoral universities in the US.

“Within the Volaris landscape, we have emerged as the market share leader in North America and successfully expanded into the UK. ”

-- Randall Walsh, General Manager, AssetWorks Facilities

With adjustments to address language, spelling, and currency differences, we were able to introduce our solutions to the United Kingdom, securing contracts with prestigious institutions, including top 100 universities.

None of this was achieved without rigorous discovery, the hard work of our talented team, and importantly, the support of the Volaris network. We would not have ventured beyond our North American boundaries without the backing of Volaris and our sister companies.

Q: Tell us more about this support network - How were other Volaris business units able to support your efforts in expanding into new markets?

First, we were able to lean on brand and reputation; Since becoming part of Volaris, AssetWorks has grown and diversified into several specialized business units - One of these is AssetWorks Fleet, which already had an established presence in the UK. This existing footprint provided a valuable foundation for AssetWorks Facilities to build upon.

But most importantly, we relied heavily on Kinetic, another company within the Volaris portfolio, based in the UK and focused on the education sector. Our initial task was to validate whether our solutions would fit the UK market, which we approached with the assumption that our offerings could be effectively adapted and adopted.

“Kinetic's support was instrumental. They arranged crucial meetings with key stakeholders and universities throughout the UK, allowing us to understand the specific needs and challenges of this new market. This collaboration was essential in determining our path forward for expansion.”

-- Randall Walsh, General Manager, AssetWorks Facilities

Additionally, we were able to lean on Kinetic to accurately establish our TAM, SAM, and SOM. Because Kinetic exists in the market while offering a different solution, we have the same customer base effectively. And so, the market information was readily available to us.

Futhermore, Kinetic's HR team assisted us in recruiting and onboarding sales staff in the UK, ensuring we had the right people in place to drive our market entry and growth.

Q: Were there any other ways Volaris was able to support your efforts in expanding into new markets? 

Volaris has been instrumental in our geographic expansion. When we first considered moving beyond our established North American market, we knew we needed robust support to navigate the complexities of international expansion.

Volaris provided that and more. Their guidance and resources have been invaluable. Let me highlight a few keyways they have supported us:

Facilitating Discovery: Volaris has a presence in most geographic markets, which helps immensely during the initial discovery phase. They provide a wealth of resources to set up initial meetings and evaluate the potential of new markets. This initial support is critical in determining the feasibility of expansion.

HR Resources: Since geographic expansion often starts with a robust sales strategy, Volaris offers extensive HR support. They helped us recruit and onboard the right sales personnel, enabling us to establish a capable and effective team in the UK.

Legal Contract Resources: Navigating legal requirements in new markets can be challenging. We were initially unfamiliar with contract law in the UK, but Volaris provided access to our in-house legal team. Because AssetWorks Fleet and Kinetic already operated in the UK, we could leverage their established contract frameworks while ensuring our agreements met Volaris standards.

Q: How else can Volaris support its acquired companies with geographic expansion? What best practices and resources are available?

Establishing Viability: With over 200 companies in our ecosystem and many years of experience, Volaris has the operational expertise and market experience to help assess whether global expansion is a sound strategy based on the unique circumstances of each business.

Strategy Team: We have access to a dedicated Volaris Strategy Team that can provide support and critical insights for market entry. They assist with TAM/SAM/SOM and market data analysis, lead list development, competitive analysis, and more.

Funding Initiatives: Geographic expansion often demands significant capital investment. However, with access to sister businesses, a dedicated legal team, and other corporate infrastructure, the initial upfront costs of expanding into a new geography are substantially lightened - far more so than, in contrast, to a company trying to do it as a standalone business. With the backing of Volaris, we have access to the financial resources to support such initiatives.

Best Practices and Online Resources: Volaris maintains a best practices database with a wealth of resources, including case studies, market entry checklists, and other valuable tools for entering new markets. We also have access to a global online community for sharing insights and feedback.

Navigating Global Frontiers with Volaris Support

When considering the intricacies of international expansion, the journey from North America to the UK undertaken by AssetWorks Facilities exemplifies the strategic advantages of being under the Volaris umbrella.

Drawing upon the collective expertise and resources within the Volaris network, AssetWorks Facilities successfully penetrated new markets, leveraging existing brand presence, connections from sister companies like Kinetic, and comprehensive support in areas ranging from HR to legal compliance.

In the realm of global expansion, Volaris-owned businesses benefit immensely from a robust ecosystem that fosters collaboration, strategic guidance, and financial stability, ensuring a pathway to sustainable growth and market leadership.

More Success Stories Within Volaris: