Back in 2007 Rob Barney set up a small property services company in Clapham, London. It grew quickly, filling a niche for homeowners looking for a company that could provide multiple tradespeople to one household. At the time there were perhaps only two other companies offering this kind of service in London.
Fast forward a year and it soon became apparent that with 50 contractors across multiple disciplines and 8 office staff, a system would need to be implemented to help organise the diaries, the engineers, the customers, the customer payments, the invoices, the accounts, the regulations, the inventory, the vans, everything! The paperwork was immense, the systems were disparate and the alternative was to start employing more administration staff.
So the search began for something out there to take the load. But after several months of phone calls, meetings and trials, nothing was found that would cut the mustard. Nothing that didn't need radical customisation and nothing within the purchasing power of a small start-up... and so, Robert called his brother Simon who knew a thing or two about systems.
Simon was responsible for programming web applications and project management for telecoms giant British Telecom. With a little persuasion Simon left the comfort of a large organisation and joined the company. He began to develop a bespoke end to end, customer relationship management and order processing system that was dynamic and flexible enough to work with hundreds of contractors, employees and customers.
As the business grew and the requirements of the business changed, a handful of programmers and web developers were hired under Simon's careful leadership and after a year this new fangled system known as Datanet was managing every part of the business. It's not an exaggeration to say that it had transformed the business, allowing it to expand rapidly, employing many more engineers and field team members without expanding the office staff commensurately.
Over time the code was written and rewritten to make it more robust, cleaner and more efficient, more modules, more flexibility and more autonomy was added - the software was now managing parts of the business on it's own! As time went on, and the business was more successful, sub-contractors that worked closely with us were running teams of their own and were keen to grow their own businesses. To enable them to do more business with us more successfully, we implemented Datanet into their business. Eventually there were 27 small businesses, and over one hundred sole traders using Datanet, all connected to the central server and all getting on with what they did best, rather than doing endless paperwork!
Eventually, maintaining and improving Datanet became a large part of what we were doing day to day and by this time, we were pretty confident that if it could transform our own business so much, it would work for other businesses just as well. So in 2013, six years after the first version, Simon and Robert decided that it was time to develop it as a stand alone product and release it to the world.
Flobot was born.
The first couple of years saw lots of improvements in th system and a good uptake of clients. Working closely with the first early adopters allowed us to tailor the system to their requirements and build out functionality that was lacking and not needed in the first iterations. The development team was based in the UK over various locations and Skype was used to keep the development on track and keep in touch. The Head Office was in Vauxhall, London.
The work was hard and the rewards were few and at this time Simon was made an offer he couldn't refuse in the corporate world and so he left the company. As he had a key role with the overall development and direction of the system a new replacement wasn;t going to be easy to find but in stepped Chathura Jayasekara. The wizard of Colombo which took the company in a completely new direction.
A new office was set-up in Colombo, Sri Lanka and team of developers recruiting to take the project to the next stage. The head office moved from Vauxhall to London Bridge. Development picked up significantly and lots of new features were added to the platform, the mobile app was vastly improved.
After a lot of blood, sweat and tears (and a good few keyboards!) we now had over one hundred businesses using our system to improve the way they worked every day. We moved to a bigger office in Sri Lanka and the team expanded to 14 developers. We started the partner program and switched from signing small companies directly to partner only.
We're always listening to our customer's feedback and ideas, and thanks to the fact that we're still a small company, we can evaluate and bring the best ones to life really quickly. Technology is improving all the time, so we're committed to making sure Flobot adapts and changes all the time, adapting to new environments and customer demands. What won't change is our passion for helping businesses do their job better, and getting ahead of their competitors by being a being a little bit smarter than the rest...
So, if you would like to join us and see how Flobot could transform your business, give us a call. We know quite a bit about the ups and downs of the service industry because we've been in your shoes. That's why Flobot has been designed with you in mind...and you didn't even know it :)
In a nutshell. It is a software program designed for field based service companies. Hosted in the cloud and available through a browser on any device, Flobot allows the admin and management team to control every aspect of the day to day running of their business. The dashboard gives real-time visibility of the jobs, the customers and the field engineers.
Using this system the user can build and send estimates, issue invoices, receive payments from debit and credit cards, make customer notes, schedule field members for appointments, send and receive electronic job sheets and instantly update clients with the information about their jobs that they need to know.
2020 saw the release of two new products - Triple CCC, FLIMO.
We are happy to provide information and demos on all our software. So get in touch. What are you waiting for?