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Free private fleet tracking service launched by Detroit start-up

By John D. Schulz, Contributing Editor
March 24, 2014

 
Ever wish you could more easily keep your customers informed of delays or updates for deliveries, repairs, and other scheduled appointments? Now, there’s an app for that.
 
Detroit-based Locqus is a free service that helps businesses manage sales, jobs, billing, and employees in the field. The start-up company is pitching itself to private fleets and others to enable those companies to automatically share real-time updates to scheduled appointments while in transit to a job.
 
And the best thing about the service?
 
“It’s 100 percent free,” Rob Feldman, Locqus’s vice president of business development, told LM. “There is no product out there that does what we do for free.”
 
Locqus says it is the first company to offer en route notifications as a free service. Now, businesses can automatically send customers an e-mail or text message of a map, identification photo, and estimated arrival time of service workers prior to scheduled appointments. The map and arrival time update approximately every five minutes.
 
“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. It’s providing a seamless service experience for free.”
   
The platform also enables companies to:
•Accept credit card payments on-the-go with Locqus’ credit card reader
•Generate quotes and digital invoices for clients
•Keep dispatchers in the loop with electronic time clocks
•Schedule jobs directly within Google calendar
•Manage employees and notifying clients with geolocation
 
Founded last December, Locqus said it “provides small businesses with a big company experience” through streamlined, easy-to-use tracking and management services. The platform, which takes mere minutes to install, lets small businesses compete with bigger, more established companies within their respective fields.
 
Feldman says Locqus is ideal for private fleets with tight schedules. Instead of numerous platforms for their needs, ranging from accounting to payments to tracking and managing tasks,  Locqus says it offers a one-stop, streamlined solution encompassing all of these services in one platform.
 
“We’re in talks with numerous fleet management companies, which we think are a perfect fit,” Feldman says. “It’s a perfect fit for any company with truck or tire on the road.
 
Take a bakery delivery private fleet with 20 trucks whose drivers take their vehicles home at night. In the morning, the driver hits the app on his or her smart phone and all the day’s jobs are pre-loaded. Mapping takes the driver to Job 1. That location already has been notified the driver is arriving, via text or email. Signatures are recorded, and it’s off to Job 2, and so on.
 
“How often are private fleets losing valuable time waiting for a load, or receivers wondering where the truck is?” Feldman asked. “Now with one click of a link, they can see exactly where the truck is located. In office, it will show every truck on the road. It will show emergency hot shipments, and be able to see exactly where the closest truck is located.”
 
Feldman says all the technology is done in-house, with no outsourcing. Employee vacation schedules, time-off requests, and other private fleet adaptations can easily be added, he said.
 
The way revenue is generated is through Locqus’s separate credit card payment services and through premium services, such as onboard diagnostics for fleet needs. Those OBD services cost about $10-12 monthly. Locqus also hopes to link with financial institutions to help small business arrange loans.
 
“Some small businesses have trouble obtaining loans because they don’t keep good paperwork,” Feldman says. “Through our credit card services, we can look at what they average in revenue and income. We’ll know more about them than any bank ever could. That will help small business obtain loans easier than through traditional banks.”
 
Locqus is available on the Web and mobile devices. For more information, please visit http://www.locqus.com or download the Android or iOS app.

About the Author

image
John D. Schulz
Contributing Editor

John D. Schulz has been a transportation journalist for more than 20 years, specializing in the trucking industry. He is known to own the fattest Rolodex in the business, and is on a first-name basis with scores of top-level trucking executives who are able to give shippers their latest insights on the industry on a regular basis. This wise Washington owl has performed and produced at some of the highest levels of journalism in his 40-year career, mostly as a Washington newsman.


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