Mobile billing, invoicing and quotation app for the trade and construction sector, Powered Now, announced that it has been awarded a £166,000 grant from Innovate UK, to develop ‘the Uber of the construction industry’.
The company said that close contact services like Deliveroo and Uber have improved the safety of services comparison, via background information, photos, reviews, and employee names and photos. It added that these features are valuable and to-date greatly lacking in the trade and construction sector. However, with customers exposing their home privacy and their wallets to tradesmen, there is an undeniable need to provide consumers with additional safety, security and transparency.
With this in mind, Powered Now said it will used the Innovate UK grant to allow customers to track tradesmen in an Uber-esque fashion, having access to their name, photo, past reviews and employer contact information. These features will be added to the app’s current offerings, such as appointment booking, and all correspondence being recorded in one place, with Powered Now saying that these developments will allow trade and construction SMEs to compete “on the same playing field as larger corporations”.
Accompanying the launch of its ‘construction Uber’ features, Powered Now conducted research into areas which might allay consumers’ concerns about hiring tradespeople. Some 56% said that their biggest worry about having trades and construction workers in their home is the risk of catching COVID. This was followed by 46% who agreed that knowing a worker’s name and seeing a picture of them beforehand, would help offset their future concerns. Finally, 29% stated that being able to offer feedback to a tradesperson’s boss – with the worker being aware of this fact – would help reduce their worries.
The company’s statement responded to the findings, saying: “These findings clearly showcase how direct contact and transparency around these appointments is integral for the development and evolution of the trade sector. Not only will it ensure the safety of customers, but it will also allow micro-SMEs to efficiently adapt to a COVID-19 landscape and compete with larger companies. Through Powered Now’s new technology, a seamless communication system will be achieved, placing the visibility and transparency of the trade at the forefront for the comfort of their customers amid the Coronavirus crisis.”
CEO of Powered Now, Benjamin Dyer comments on the grant win, and what this means for the trade sector in the future: “We are very excited to be starting this new project. When it is finished, we will be able to offer to trade businesses with up to ten employees the sort of powerful capabilities that were previously only affordable to larger companies. This should really help these smaller businesses to compete on a level playing field.”