Locqus, a software startup in Bizdom’s co-working space in downtown Detroit, has upgraded its Field Manage app to allow businesses to automatically share real-time updates regarding service appointments.
“Customers get frustrated when there are delays to their scheduled appointment, or when they’re not sure what time a provider will arrive during a vast time window,” said Sandy Kronenberg, co-founder of Locqus. “We’ve provided companies with the ability to more easily update customers.”
The en route notifications update — which allows businesses to send customers an e-mail or text message of a map, identification photo, and estimated arrival time — builds upon the Field Manage app, which accepts credit card payments, generates quotes and invoices for clients, and schedules jobs directly within Google Calendar. The app was launched in December.
Used mostly by electricians, landscaping companies, and plumbers, the free app helps level the playing field for small- to mid-size businesses, says Paul Proctor, co-founder of Locqus. “Normally, service management tools (like this) can range anywhere from $30 to $100 per user a year. These smaller companies can’t really afford a solution like that, so this is a great opportunity for them to enjoy the benefits and efficiency of that tool without having to pay for it,” he says.
Proctor adds that Locqus plans to launch a microloan program with the app later this year.
“When you’re a small business, you fly by night — you do it all on paper and just try to make the bottom line,” Proctor says. “As a business gets bigger and becomes more successful, there’s a greater need for new systems. We’re trying to help the small business operation itself, and also provide that financing that is often tough to get from a bank.”
The company, with seven employees, plans to hire additional developers and salespeople, Proctor says. “We’ll probably be up to 10 to 15 people by the end of the year,” he says.
For more information about, or to download, Field Manage, click here.