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Progression is a company that digitizes SMB delivery services
On the VatorNews innovation podcast, Steven Loeb and Bambi Francisco Roizen talk to Daniel Valois, vice president of finance and strategy at Progression, a company digitizing SMB delivery services.
Conversation topics include the need for field management software - basically tech to help small businesses, like plumbers and electricians, manage their staff in the field, what differentiates Progression, and how COVID helped their business.
Highlights from the call:
- "My family used to own a hardware store, I was working with plumbers and with electricians and I grew up developing a huge respect for these guys. The way Progression treats its clients, it's with the same respect that I used to see my father respecting his clients... I've seen many, many tech companies trying to explain to the plumbers, electricians, or whoever it is, how to do their job. The difference with Progression is that we want to solve the problem we need to fix to help you get better, get faster, get more time with your family. So, this is all very core, important stuff that I've seen growing up that we seem to be addressing in a very human way and respectful way."
- "Field Service Management, in a nutshell, is basically any services that are being provided to clients off-site. Generally it's related to construction, but we can count many, many trades, like electricians, plumbers, last mile delivery, which are not really construction, but they're still offering something off-site. We like to say, 'any truck that has a ladder on top of it, is potentially one of our clients.'"
- “With many clients the thing we're replacing is actually that three copy, white, pink and yellow paper copy from the billing pad, and we are still seeing a lot of people using Excel in incredibly complex ways to manage their business. So, the gap we're filling for a lot of them, still today, is just to make sure that they get a technological infrastructure behind that very core point, which is the task they're dispatching. Who are you going to send where and who is the best person to go at this specific point? We’re digitizing the whole process in a way that there is less error, it's less time consuming, and everything is through mobile phones.”
- "Our main entry point is businesses that have between 10 to 50 employees total, which represent about eight to 15 users in the field. That's the point where the ROI is very easily perceptible for these clients... For these 10 to 50 employee companies, generally the word we receive is, 'I'm basically saving one complete salary each week with your solution.’ Of course, nobody's losing his job after we get in, we're just offering that one person in the company who was doing that clerical, boring work to do something much more motivating and interesting for them."
- “Through COVID, of course, a lot of people were stuck at home and started to get these new projects to have a better a patio, or something in their backyard, that's much bigger than they have because, at a certain point, I'm pretty sure you remember, we kind of thought that we would be stuck at home for the rest of our lives. That ended up meaning much more demand for our clients. There was much more demand but not necessarily more plumbers, so they added much higher volume to deliver. Why they ended up using our technology is that there is only so much you can do with the old way of using paper and stuff like that and eventually they ended up with unsatisfied clients saying, ‘Well, I called you, you told me you would come but nobody ever came.’ If you use Progression, that stuff won't happen because it's going to be a digitalized and structured dispatch process."
- “We've decided to go to Ontario as it was a very logical path for us to follow. In Canada, the west side of Quebec and the east side of Ontario, there is a huge French speaking community in between the two provinces. So, naturally, we started getting more and more requests from people closer to the west part of Quebec and the eastern part of Ontario. Even though we have a strategy, that same community we have in Quebec, we want to do the same thing in Ontario, and anywhere in the world, as a matter of fact, but we had that we hit the ground running, because we already have clients giving us referrals in Ontario."
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