Dan discovered the drain pipe from his kitchen sink was clogged on Sunday, shortly after noon. Dan lives in Meridian and decided to turn to the Better Business Bureau to find a plumber. Dan clicked on a link off the front page of bbb.org that says, BBB Service Locator: See Whos Available Now!
Dan gave his name, a brief description of the service he needed, his address and phone number along with a time frame within which he needed the work completed.
Dan hit the submit button at 1:27:27 (thats 1:27 p.m. and :27 seconds), and watched the clock tick. I share the seconds with you because its the first glimpse, revealing the power of technology developed by an entrepreneur in Idaho.
As Dan watched the clock on the screen, he wasnt necessarily aware of the story behind what was happening.
Doug Joseph lives in Boise and has an entrepreneurial background. He had an idea to create a location-based lead generator for service providers. Think plumbing, HVAC, handyman services and landscapers. The list is much longer. What if each service provider had a smart phone app that reported their location? Then, what if a homeowner could go to a website and plug in their address and the service needed, and let technology find the closest service provider, making the connection?
Doug took the idea to a tech company whose chief technology officer resides in Driggs, and together, they went to work developing what would become Locate Express. Another great tech story for another time.
A Better Business Bureau board member heard about the Locate Express project and made contact with Doug. Another What if? transpired. What if the speed of Locate Express was coupled with the trusted companies listed with BBB?
A few months later, the BBB-Locate Express search function debuted.
Asking the What if? question and looking for collaborative opportunities solved a major problem. BBB always encourages people to research a company before making a purchase, but how do we create a quick connection between a homeowner and a trustworthy business? Locate Express brought speed to trust.
BBB is a national organization with local offices. We tested the locally developed Locate Express at the local level serving Boise and surrounding areas. It didnt take long for BBBs in cities across the country to hear about the technology. Now, the work is underway to expand the technology making it available to more people like Dan in Meridian.
As Dan clicked the submit button at 1:27:27, an alert sounded on plumber Troy Paulins phone. Troy didnt respond immediately, so the Locate Express technology found the next closest plumber and alerted Rusty Karel at 1:27:43. Unbeknownst to Dan, Locate Express was working feverishly to find a plumber. At 1:28:40, just one minute and 13 seconds after clicking the submit button, plumber Charles Lively responded to his smartphone app and connected to Dan. The technology made quick work of the clog. Livelys commitment to BBB created confidence.
DALE DIXON: President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Southwest Idaho and eastern Oregon. Contact him at 342-4649,email@example.com.