Two employees of a landscaping business are hoping their homegrown computer software will catch on with people in similar lines of work.
Brad Davenport and Kevin Hatcher started ICT Solutions LLC to market software they developed for Superior Landscape Management in Andover, where they’re employed.
“We didn’t start out thinking it would become a commercial venture, but it has,” Davenport said.
The company’s cloud-based software is designed to allow landscapers, plumbers, HVAC technicians and other service industry workers keep track of time spent on jobs, inventory and other details via mobile devices in addition to desktop and laptop computers.
Davenport is an operations manager for Superior who previously worked in engineering for Boeing. The traditional way of keeping track of work on paper is inefficient for employers like his, he said.
“Say you have 10 service people. They’re out all day long and each does 10 calls. That’s 100 pieces of paper. Inevitably, somebody’s going to fall behind.”
Davenport said he couldn’t find any off-the-shelf software that met his needs.
With ICT Solutions software, he said, “Everybody has every piece of paperwork, figuratively speaking, with them all the time.”
Initially, ICT Solutions planned to develop and sell perpetual license software that would belong to each customer. It’s now supplying the software for free, charging clients a monthly fee for hosting the application. The company offers four different packages depending on how many users and features are needed.
So far, ICT Solutions has a handful of clients in the Wichita area and one in Canada.
The company’s website allows potential clients to download a free trial app.
“We had a lot of interest from people on the Web,” Davenport said. “We’ve had a lot of international customers look at it, from Africa to the UK to this Canadian company.”
One thing that makes ICT Solutions different, Davenport said, is its mobile app programmer – 18-year-old high school student Caleb Wren. Davenport said Wren is a family friend and senior at Wichita Collegiate School who plans to study computer science at Wichita State University.
“I’m kind of used to work with high school students,” said Davenport, who said he’s been active in the BEST (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology) robotics competitions for high school students. “The best part of it is they don’t understand yet what can’t be done.”
“I’ve seen Caleb de-bug 20 or 30,000 lines of code. His memory is incredible.”
Davenport said his employers at Superior support his software venture and added that he and Hatcher have no plans to give up their day jobs – yet.
“We’re weekend warriors at this point. But we’d like to do this full time is where we’re headed.”