So you run a little plumbing company. You have a couple of plumbers. They’re good guys. You get a call for a job, and assign it to Jim who has car trouble but doesn’t phone back to the office to let you know. Now the customer is upset and her cat is still stuck in the drain pipe. When Jim finally arrives, the lady doesn’t have cash to pay Jim so she’ll mail you a check. Hopefully.
Enter Locqus. It’s a complete solution to address issues by the customer, technician and manager in the installation, maintenance and repair industry. Locqus will be a gamechanger.
After 18 months of development and securing $2 million in funding, the Detroit-based company is today launching its platform with the hope to, as a co-founder told me, “uberize the service industry.” Think of it as a field management tool in the cloud aimed at small and medium-sized service businesses such as plumbers, handymen and landscaping companies.
It’s Locqus’s goal to bring modern technology to a father and son industry stuck in the father’s era.[gallery ids="1064717,1064718,1064719,1064720,1064694,1064693,1064692,1064691,1064690,1064689,1064688"]
Locqus is two parts. A time clock which can process payments, and a web-based interface serving up comprehensive customer tracking, employee management and payment processing tools. Likewise an iOS and Android app gives clients and employees access to data and tools relevant for use in the field including payment processing. Managers can assign jobs to employees through the web interface and the field tech can accept and invoice the jobs from the apps.
The service is free for those looking to track two teams of 20 employees each. However, to gain access to SMS customer alerts and payment processing, it will cost $12 per user.
The company sees paper as their biggest competitor. And for good reason. I can’t recall a single repairman I’ve hired using anything remotely close to technology when invoicing, billing or scheduling.
Last January Locqus started trialling their service to 100 business including electricians, plumbers, contractors, babysitters, dog walkers, marine service, appraisers, pizza delivery and more. These companies range in size from two to 40 employees. The service is now open to all.
The Locqus platform is launching with the backing of Samsung and Moeris. The Locqus app will be just one of 20 apps in Samsung’s Galaxy Essential app pack. Payment processor Moneris is a strategic partner who provides on-site payment processing and will assist in marketing Locqus to the 350,000 businesses to which Moneris already provides financial services.
The company was founded by Sandy Kronenberg and Paul Proctor. After selling another company, Kronenberg stayed on-board, acting as the company’s CTO where he was tasked with implementing an off-the-shelf field management tool, which cost hundreds of thousands and six months to implement. The company abandoned the platform after Kronenberg left.
Locqus is now 16 people strong and working out of Detroit’s famed Madison Block — a row of buildings, housing dozens of startups in downtown Detroit. Kronenberg himself and the Moneris partnership provided the $2 million in funding to get the company where it is today at its launch.
By the end of the first quarter in 2015, the company hopes to offer on the spot consumer financing to allow clients to, say, finance the purchase and installation of a $5,000 furnace. This would be done all in the Locqus mobile app.
The power of Locqus seems to be that the product is completely built and ready to go on day one. Rather than launching a functional prototype, the company spent the time needed to fully bake its service and is now launching with a complete solution that’s ready for consumption. With impressive strategic partners and a fully developed app at launch, Locqus seems well positioned to achieve its goal of modernizing the service industry.