Business technology creates solutions for companies of every size to better manage customers, clients, jobs, employees, and so much more.
Within Alberta, there are several companies that have made it their goal to help entrepreneurs get the boost they need to succeed in the marketplace; Jobber is one of those companies.
Speaking with Sam Pillar, CEO and co-founder at Jobber, we found out what services and software solutions they have to offer small businesses. “Small home service businesses provide meaningful employment to our families, friends, and neighbours. They provide essential services in our communities that help to keep our homes and offices running safely and smoothly. Despite the major role these businesses play in our economy, they’ve been historically underserved when it comes to software solutions. That’s why we created Jobber.”
Pillar continues, “Jobber is a software platform that serves as the command center for small home service businesses like landscapers, plumbers, HVAC technicians, residential cleaners, and more. The app can be used on any data-connected device, allowing important information to be accessed in the field or at the office. Our technology modernizes the way that home services are delivered while helping small businesses better connect with customers, grow revenue, and compete against big corporations.”
When asked about what Pillar saw missing in the marketplace, and why he co-founded Jobber, he had this to say, “I worked as a freelance developer building software solutions for small business owners for several years. During this time, I witnessed firsthand the challenges that these entrepreneurs were having just operating their businesses. The technology solutions available to them at the time, especially in the home service market, were archaic or didn’t exist at all. Many of these businesses were relying solely on pen-and-paper or were using multiple solutions to take care of routine administrative work. I developed a passion for working with these small business owners, and wanted to build something that would save them time and help them become more organized.”
Business technology has had a huge impact on small businesses in recent years, and Pillar explains how Jobber helps entrepreneurs compete, saying, “Jobber gives your local plumber and electrician access to enterprise tools to compete against big companies. Service entrepreneurs can use Jobber to manage the full customer lifecycle, from generating quotes to scheduling crews, servicing homeowners, invoicing them once the job is done, and accepting payments in-person or online. Our software also gives business owners real-time snapshots into booking trends, invoicing, expenses, team efficiency, and more, so they can make more informed decisions about their businesses.”
Pillar discusses growing customer expectations, “Jobber is helping small businesses adapt to change and customer expectations. Today, it’s all about convenience and speed. Customers expect businesses to be highly responsive and to accept online payments. Technology solutions like Jobber enable these features and even automates them. It would be near impossible to meet customer expectations without some sort of facilitating management tool.
“Jobber is powering more than 100,000 service professionals worldwide across 50+ service segments, who, to date, have serviced more than 12 million people. These businesses have done more than $15 billion worth of work for their customers.
“In January 2021, we announced a $60 million USD growth equity financing that speaks to the strength of the home service category and our rapid growth. The funding round is the largest tech growth equity financing to occur in Edmonton’s history. We currently have 350 employees across Canada and plan to reach 500 by 2022.”
Software is not the only way entrepreneurs are helping other businesses move forward. Tech-enhanced equipment is also making a difference, as seen with innovations from Blackline Safety.
Blackline Safety services a global market and transforms workplaces by creating the technology that enables connection and increased safety. Blackline is the company behind the G7 EXO, the only device of its kind to deliver work-anywhere, wireless, multi-gas detection, two-way voice communication, text messaging, evacuation management and complete customization for every business.
For Blackline, the G7 was part of a long-range vision.
“A number of us have been in this industry for 20-35 years,” says Sean Stinson, CRO, “and we’ve created gas detectors in the past. During the entirety of the mid 90s and early 2000s, we wanted to create a better gas detector. A connected one.”
At that time, however, their vision and the current technology simply didn’t match up. “It was impossible to put a cellular radio into a gas detector,” explains Stinson.
That changed between 2005-2007 when it became viable to build a cloud connected server, and when Blackline’s CEO, Cody Slater, had an opportunity to pivot the company to where they are today.
“We adopted the new cell phone tech and kept evolving it. When the G7 came out five years ago, it changed everything for millions of people around the world. It has very sensitive detection for motion, falls, gas levels – and it includes two-way voice. The G7 is the best in the world in what it does, and we take a lot of pride in it coming out of Alberta.”
Blackline is headquartered in Alberta and has a presence globally. The way they operate by leaning heavily into the digital sphere is an innovation of business practices as well.
“Most energy or industrial companies rely on face-to-face interaction, but we are a global business and focused on generation strategies. We had already leveraged technology for our working practices in the past. Our web and digital presence were instrumental during COVID restrictions,” says Stinson.
Having the infrastructure in place to interact with their team and clients remotely was one of the reasons the company grew rapidly during the past 18 months.
For everyone at Blackline, innovating is a driving value.
“Our market and its need change quickly,” says Stinson. “We have the ability to adapt. We have a truly innovative culture that helps us stay ahead of our clients.”
He continues, “Thanks to our tech like the G7, I go to sleep at night knowing that we have helped people. We have saved people’s lives at work.”
Learn more about Black Safety and the G7 at www.blacklinesafety.com.
As technology continues to evolve, so will the way we work, interact, and connect in the business world. The future of tech means better, safer, more efficient and connected workplaces.