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Eye on the Storm

Natural disasters happen, and this company created just the product to help fix things up.

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This story appears in the September 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Into every life, a little rain must fall. But Marc Paul, founderof Paul Consulting in Tallahassee, Florida, has a different view ofstorm clouds, especially during hurricane season. Paul and softwareprogrammer Wes Holden have devised software called DebrisInformation Management System, which tracks loads of debris removedto collection sites after hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. Thisis important because the Federal Emergency Management Agencyreimburses local governments, and subsequently, privatewaste-removal firms, based on loads and type of debris.

Paul Consulting started the application more than three yearsago, but Paul, 39, had little luck selling the concept until astring of hurricanes walloped Florida last season. Now hisconsulting company, which expects $1.5 million in sales this year,has teamed up exclusively with AshBritt Environmental in PompanoBeach, Florida, to add support for bar-code scanners, whichautomate tracking of load information, and geographic informationsystems, which can serve up digital maps of cleanup areas. SaysPaul, "Teaming up with [AshBritt] was invaluable for makingthe product, for both sides."

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