Sunday, March 28, 2010

BVS predicts solid future in digging up people's pasts

From a small outpost on Hillsboro Pike, a group of Nashville entrepreneurs has decided to do battle with one of the giants of drug testing and employee background screening.
The nearly 1-year-old startup in Green Hills, Background Verification Services, hopes to compete with Kroll Background America, another Nashville-based firm that's part of a huge risk consulting operation with offices around the world.

At least BVS founders Brett Thompson and David W. Temple (and two other working partners) expect to score enough sales volume to make a good living despite Kroll's international, multibillion-dollar reach.

Thompson has a background in human resources and executive recruiting. Temple and a partner started an express courier service in Memphis in the mid-1980s and expanded to 11 states before selling at a profit. Temple hopes to make BVS his next big thing.

The two men discussed in an interview with Tennessean Business Editor Randy McClain their latest venture and how to compete with — or even learn from — well-entrenched competitors.

Why do you see an opportunity for a smaller startup like yours in pre-employment screening and drug testing?

Brett Thompson: Where we fit in versus some of the larger competitors is that we try to offer very strong customer service and fast, efficient turnaround times. We partner with one of the largest drug-testing third-party operations in the nation with 15,000 drug-collection sites.

I've been in the employee and executive recruiting industry since 1989, and I've always had an interest in background checks, drug testing and resume verification. About two years ago, I put a business plan together with the idea of starting a targeted background- and drug-testing business.

As I researched it, I felt more confident there's a real niche here. I started looking for (investors) and eventually brought in three working partners. Rick Philpot has 20 years of experience as a manager and owner in auto sales here. David Temple and Joe Bankemper were co-owners of Express Courier International, an express delivery service that eventually expanded to 22 markets in 11 states before they sold it.

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