Capitalising on the strength of Intervate’s ‘Citizen Reporting’ framework, local start-up Cool Touch has radically elevated its business model by embracing mobile app technology. Cool Touch – founded in 2013 by two aspiring local entrepreneurs – was originally a humble cleaning company that focused on cleaning municipal dustbins around Gauteng. By connecting with Intervate, Cool Touch was able to fundamentally pivot its approach. It created a service through which facilities management and building management companies can log incidents that require maintenance work, and have tasks easily or automatically assigned to reputable maintenance crews in the local area.
At the heart of the service is the intuitive Snap! mobile app, which is available on any Windows Phone, Android or Apple smartphone. Incidents or issues are captured via the app – with descriptions, photos and other supporting evidence. The report is automatically geotagged to the exact location. This app makes use of the same ‘Citizen Reporting’ framework that powers apps such as the Johannesburg Road Agency’s ‘Find & Fix’ app, has been surfaced in a unique interface for Cool Touch’s requirements. It leverages the native capabilities inherent in almost all smartphones and tablets: GPSs, cameras, and internet connectivity. Facilities management companies can choose to plug into their existing maintenance support function, or wholly-outsource the process to Cool Touch – in which case maintenance crews will be automatically dispatched.
With quoting, billing and sign-off processes handled efficiently via the mobile app, the end results include:
* Incidents are reported more comprehensively, and are fixed more quickly and at lower cost
* Facilities management staff no longer have to painstakingly capture information manually and track individual jobs one-by-one
* Facilities management companies looking to outsource all aspects of the value chain are able to do so
Intervate’s lead Lionel Moyal explains that the relationship with Cool Touch developed to the point where it became clear that leveraging the ‘Citizen Reporting’ framework would allow the young entrepreneurs to unlock new opportunities.
“We were strongly attracted by their vision to move from a simple cleaning business, to a scalable network-type organisation. Our underlying infrastructure was perfectly suited to the app they wanted to develop, and the service model they were looking to establish surrounding that app.”
“Core to our enterprise development ethos is the idea of sharing our IP, our technology, and consulting resources with the right partners. It is incredibly rewarding to see the technology we’ve developed having a broader impact on people’s lives and helping to grow dynamic South African start-ups”.
Cool Touch co-founder Babongile Ntuli adds that Intervate has provided more than just the technical foundation for the app. “Intervate has provided us with mentorship and guidance throughout our journey – helping us create both the technology solution and the business strategy.”
“Together, and with additional supporting funding from T-Systems South Africa, we’ve made a successful entrance into the market. We’re now working hard to grow the service across the country, and build the base of clients and maintenance service providers”