Saratoga Springs entrepreneur Chris Thompson recently launched his new startup, WorkOrder.es, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) ticketing platform that organizes and simplifies communication regarding repair projects for landlords and tenants.
WorkOrder.es is targeted toward small to medium-sized investment-property owners: up to 100 buildings with up to 500 apartments.
Thompson’s SaaS platform lets tenants submit work-order requests, along with photographs, from their smart phones when there’s an issue. Landlords receive the work order and can triage their requests. Then the landlords can assign jobs to an employee or a contractor. Both landlords and their tenants can track the progress of the repair until its completion.
“Landlords do want to be responsive,” Thompson said. “This way, tenants have an easy direct line to their landlords, who can update and track the work orders. Plus, there’s a discussion thread for reference.”
The application runs in the cloud: on remote computer servers that users access through the Internet. Software, platforms and infrastructure can be SaaS, utilized in this way.
“Through Amazon Web Services, thousands of customers can be on a handful of servers,” Thompson said.
He hit upon the concept of WorkOrder.es when he bought two investment properties and needed to handle repair requests.
“My tenants would text or e-mail me, and we’d write back and forth. There was often missing information or confused communication,” Thompson said.
So he developed the WorkOrder.es mobile application on the Net as a mobile site with response design. Its layout changes depending on the device used -- computer, tablet or smart phone -- to fit the screen and make for easier use.
“WorkOrder.es is incredibly easy to use,” Thompson said. “All you need is a free Google account. You log in to the website and type in your request.”
Thompson describes himself as owner, founder and presently sole funder of the WorkOrder.es venture. He’s accustomed to these roles, having been a project manager for 13 years, creator of an online polling company in 2002 and a consultant for other SaaS firms.
It all began in his master’s program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
“While I was at RPI’s incubator program, the entrepreneur bug really bit me,” he said.
He had the idea for WorkOrder.es in June 2013 and formed the company in November 2013. He is the system architect and the creator of the user interface.
“I hire graphic designers, and front- and back-end developers to do the coding,” he said.
March 5, Thompson presented at RPI's Startup Tech Valley event in front of a Troy crowd of 200 people. In April, he’ll meet with real-estate software companies in New York City, and he’s exploring a presentation for an Albany real-estate investor network.
Thompson is also seeking venture-capital investments, which would accelerate his business plans.
“I'm helping to grow the local tech scene,” he said.