I was standing in my driveway one day and a plumbing van pulled up outside my street and guy got out and started looking up and down the street with a puzzled look on his face. He saw me and came up to say hi, and ask where the hell was street address such n such. Â I didn’t know but I pulled out my iPhone did a google map search for him and showed Â him it was 5 minutes a way.
Much relieved he hopped in his car and went to the job.
This got me thinking what other useful tools could I get onto a mobile phone to help small tradie businesses with a single guy working on his own, who didn’t have time to do the scheduling and customer database management. This was just sitting back in my mind.
On my way to my work, I saw this Audio Visual van parked on the side of the road. I thought I’ll grab this guys number and give him a call to see if he has any thoughts on my idea. As I parked behind his van, the guy came out with a puzzled and distracted look on his face. Â I thought no harm in asking so I got out of the car and said I’m thinking about putting some software on a mobile phone, which would you validate addresses and track your customers.
He said, well I just pulled up here looking for street number 300 flat 6 and the flats only go up to flat 4. So I’m buggered, I’ll have to call the customer to confirm the address. I said what if I could give him something on the phone which would check the address when he captured it.
Well he thought that was a pretty good idea, and that kicked me off with a lot of help from him, to get build the product that was in early 2009.
There is now all the functionality he needs to keep track of his customers, jobs, and what the best order is to do his jobs in a day. We also added some SMS functionality so he can SMS customers that he’s on his way.
From a business point of view he wanted to be able to see who was referring good business to him so he could buy them a slab of beer or offer them some other sign of appreciation. So we put in the ability to track where jobs come from and the different job types.
I come from a software design background, with a focus on building really easy to use software.
So we built this software to work on the mobile phone and on the PC.