Former contractor Nick Began sees his new app, PinPoint, as a win-win for homeowners and contractors.
The app allows clients to track the progress of contractors en route for appointments or deliveries. The real-time GPS monitoring aims to end confusion about exactly when the pro will arrive, cutting down on homeowner calls to the company headquarters when the pro’s not there at 10 a.m. during an arrival scheduled between 10 a.m.–noon, Began says.
“In this day and age, it’s all about time,” he adds.
Began, a former tile installer-turned granite countertop fabricator, got the idea for the app when remodeling his own home. At the time, a service technician gave him an arrival time “between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.”
“I just thought, ‘There has to be a better way,’” he says, adding that putting himself in the shoes of both the contractor and the homeowner led him to an outline for PinPoint.
The software works much like Uber in its GPS tracking of drivers, Began says, and the homeowner can choose to download the app or get automatic text updates of where the driver is (he tested it out with his mother, who advised him that clients over 50 years old probably didn’t want to have to download anything). The app also includes a photo of the driver so clients know who to expect, and clients can rate the experience like an Uber to allow for real-time feedback to the company.
“Before, the only information going back to the company was bad news,” Began says of deliveries and service calls. “Now, it’s also good news.”
It’s not just the homeowners who can track the technicians; PinPoint also offers a full dashboard service for company owners or managers to track where all their technicians are out in the field in real-time. The app has a monthly subscription cost of $30 per user, with each crew at a company representing one user.
A pilot version of the app launched in September to a group of contractors, and the company, of which Began is a partner, went into “sales mode” for the app in January, he says. The company is based in Akron, Ohio, and has a team of 15 developers so far but is still growing, Began adds.
“I don’t think we’ll ever stop building the app,” he says. “We’re just like Uber in their first 18 months.”