A CHANGE in direction has worked a treat for a Newcastle software company.

Flow Software Solutions launched last year focusing on Vehicle Route Planning (VRP) software for the company fleet market.

Brothers David and Paul King own and run the company and earlier this year took the decision to move away from VRP solutions to concentrate on developing software for surveying companies.

“Taking the decision to pivot from one product to another was tough, but entirely the right thing to do. We’re now fully focused on developing our Flow Mobile Surveying software, which can be used to capture on-site date and create high-quality reports for asbestos, legionella, and fire risk assessments,” explained Paul.

“Our goal is to be the fastest surveying software on the market, without compromising on quality,” he added.

It’s a sector that David knows well, having developed a pioneering cloud-based risk and management software for a previous employer.

“Our Flow Mobile Surveying software is a step-up from the solution I developed, which is a closed platform only available to those working at that company,” said David.

“It’s a sector I’m very familiar with and I fully understand the business processes involved. I used my network of contacts to meet with surveyors and understand what they’d really want from a software solution. What they asked for was a simple, easy-to-use solution that could give quick results. Speed is the key – slow survey response can lead to financial loss.

“So we developed our software to give on-site results using Android or IOS devices – and we’ve kept the app really simple to use, with as few clicks as possible,” he added.

The change in direction has paid dividends for Flow: “After switching to an industry where we had credibility, our product gained traction immediately, so we know we made the right decision,” said David.

Several local companies have already signed up to use the software, and the brothers are now working to attract orders from a wider market.

Paul explained: “Short term, our plans are to keep getting new clients in an industry we’re familiar with. David has a lot of experience and credibility in the asbestos surveying industry, so that felt like a natural place to start. But the product is equally as relevant for other surveying areas.”

Companies pay a monthly licence fee to use the software and prospective users can take a free trial to fully understand its capabilities.

Other than working from home, the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected the business.

“Working from our homes, both with young families, has proved quite a challenge, but we haven’t stopped working or been furloughed. One noticeable difference is that directors of companies have been easier to contact. Many are looking at ways to improve their business processes, so there are opportunities if you’re prepared to seize them. We’ve had more demo calls and software trials in the last few weeks than we did before lockdown started,” said Paul.

Both brothers have had long careers in the tech sector. Paul has worked at Sage, COG e-commerce and Orchard, as well as the family web development company, Digitalized, where David also worked. David has also worked at Lucion Environmental Ltd and as a freelance full software engineer. He has also worked for a Silicon Valley company called Accredible, producing accreditation and security software.

The brothers had a previous business, 1DayLater, which produced software to help SMEs with their time keeping, expenses and business miles.

Flow is based on Hoults Yard, Byker, and can also provide a range of software development services.

More info at https://flowmobile.app