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Dave Olson, Published June 08 2012

Busting loose: Pedigree Technologies leaves incubator, spreads wings

FARGO – Pedigree Technologies is all about using software and sensors to track the comings and goings of things like trucks and other equipment.

Now, the company is registering a big move of its own.

The business that got its start in 2003 in the North Dakota State University Research and Technology Park is leaving the nest and moving to a new headquarters at 4776 28th Ave. S. in Fargo.

Alex Warner, company CEO and founder, said he is grateful for all of the help Pedigree received from NDSU, as well as from North Dakota’s congressional delegation and the Fargo-Moorhead area business community.

“I owe a debt to a lot of people,” he said. “There’s no way you can build companies like this without the support of your community and different leaders in the community.”

Warner grew up on a farm outside Hillsboro, and is a graduate of NDSU and St. Cloud (Minn.) State University.

When Pedigree began, its technology was used primarily by the military for remote sensing.

It is now being used in the private sector.

“We track, monitor and diagnose our customers’ fixed and mobile equipment, and connect it to their mobile workers and corporate offices,” said Warner, adding that the technology allows customers to monitor their operations in real time.

“We’re like Facebook for machines,” he said, referring to software and hardware that enables machine-to-machine communication.

One client, Farstad Oil, of Minot, adopted the technology a few years ago.

LaVerne Malcomb, who works as a dispatcher for Farstad, said the technology transformed how business gets done.

The system can tell him where the company’s trucks are and how fast they’re going. It also monitors the level of fuel in the tanks of gas stations Farstad Oil services so Farstad knows when they need to be refilled.

“Once you get used to it, you don’t imagine how you could go without it,” Malcomb said.

Warner said he’s pleased with the space the company is in – the estimated 12,000 square feet is roughly double the old space. He added there is room to expand, which he expects will happen given the company’s business grew 300 percent last year.

“We’re up to 50 people right now, and it continues to grow,” he said. “We’re expecting to double in size over the coming year.”

Although Pedigree has left NDSU, it hasn’t cut all ties to its former home.

“We’re still very connected to the NDSU research park. We still do projects with the good folks over there,” Warner said.

If you go

What: Open house for new Pedigree Technologies headquarters

When: 3:30 to 6 p.m., June 21, with a ribbon-cutting at 4 p.m. by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber

Where: 4776 28th Ave. S., Fargo

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555