Wheelings & Dealings: Locqus Nets Funding to Better Drive Mobile Workforces
The mobile workforce is an exciting idea that allows for a lot of great potential opportunities. Not only is there a significant boost to employee morale, but so too is there new flexibility and opportunity to make contacts and achieve revenue that hadn't previously been available due to issues of time zone and the like. But there's often some concern with the mobile workforce about whether the employee in question is where that employee needs to be, when that employee needs to be there. Locqus, a startup from Detroit, offered up a new and exciting answer to that, and is backed up by fully $2 million in seed funding.
Locqus has created a product mostly geared toward businesses that generally have no choice but to have a mobile workforce, specifically, businesses like plumbing operations, delivery services, repair services and the like, where employees must go out into the field daily in order to perform the work in question. These represent roughly one in every three employees out there, and that means there's quite a bit of market for services that can help keep track of that massive block of employees.
The Locqus system offers a combination of apps—a cloud-based app for the home office and a mobile version for the mobile worker—which alternately allows the company to keep track of workflow elements and the employee to keep track of current operations. The company's app allows for tracking of employees, of bills outstanding and paid, and similar elements, while the employee's app allows said employee to provide information about services provided, notify customers that the employee is on the way and even provide a little extra notice about unexpected delays.
What's particularly noteworthy about Locqus, however, is that it's designed to take the place of several separate apps commonly used in conjunction with one another, though not specifically intended to do so. For instance, small businesses might use QuickBooks for accounting, Toggl or Harvest for the employee side of things, and other apps as needed, But Locqus offers a complete platform immediately accessible to handle several tasks at once, as well as being able to integrate with other tools. Locqus can integrate with Moneris Software to allow for both billing and payment processing functions to take place from the app itself, and Samsung is actually set to offer a complete mobile phone option—specifically hardened against adverse conditions—that comes pre-loaded with Locqus.
This might just be the app that some businesses have been waiting for for some time. Its flexibility and multi-faceted functionality should go a long way in helping make business run more smoothly just about anywhere it's put in place. This is an app that can accomplish several important tasks all from the same platform while at the same time allowing for the smooth operation of a workforce that must be mobile by sheer necessity. It's enough to make one wonder, though, if this couldn't be adopted for use in other mobile workforce operations as well, allowing for smooth and easy reporting of tasks in progress and expected arrival on other tasks. That might soften some of the issues that some businesses perceive around the mobile workforce concept, and might make it more accessible as well.
Only time will tell just where Locqus can take all this, but it's a pretty safe bet that it might be exactly what some companies were looking for. It could, in fact, be just what some companies didn't even know was needed at the time.
Edited by Alisen Downey