What was the scope of their involvement?
When we started the collaboration, we explained our operations, logistics, and goals, and Apiqu designed the platform from scratch. In 2014, Apiqu rewrote the entire platform using C# and added functionalities to make it more usable. We launched the new version in 2017.
We provide roughly 1,000 trips per day. Once we order a trip, multiple self-controlling features determine the customer's budget, the duration of the service, and their access to certain areas. This software immediately accepts the request or asks for verification, but automatically halts if we try to book a service in the past. Customers can select a wheelchair van, a sedan, a minivan, or a car with booster seats. After each trip, the software enables our quality control department to contact customers and record the results.
All our drivers can choose a status on their smartphones. That information is sent back to the office, where it shows on a huge real-time map. That's one of the most attractive, useful features of the platform. We had a feature that showed the real-time location of cars long before popular ride sharing apps even existed.
Five monitors sort all our business by timeframe and status. Our representatives can see client movement and visualize business volume. Apiqu also implemented an automatic calculator for driver tardiness and a feature that tells us when drivers are speeding.
Before launching the new software, we outsourced a phone-based process and hired many people. Apiqu developed a complete solution. They didn’t trouble us with colors, button shapes, or other small details; they described how the solution would work and sent us a demo. We highlighted the parts that needed improvement, and they devised solutions within the day. Once we implemented this software on the outsourced company’s side, we started saving on human resources costs.
What is the team composition?
We’ve worked directly with three people out of the six or seven on Apiqu’s team. One focused on communicating feature requests to their Android and iOS departments, and the other two worked on our software.
How did you come to work with Apiqu?
I’m far removed from tech development. I needed someone who could understand our operations and logistics and explain a product design. After meeting Apiqu’s CEO, I started talking about some of our problems. He gave me his opinion on how I should solve them, and we set up a meeting to talk about the whole picture.
How much have you invested with them?
The last project cost us around $300,000 CAD (approximately $230,000 USD).
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with Apiqu in 2009. Development took a year, and we launched the platform in December 2010. They did a full redevelopment between August 2017 and February 2018, adding many new features.