Over 10 years ago Morris Gelblum was cleaning an office in Raleigh. When he was finished, Morris found a way to replace himself - he invented Sweeps - a company that matches college students with jobs posted by clients.
In the beginning, it was just Morris and his mother. Once Morris went to college, he discovered lots of college students were trying to find whatever work they could. To get the job-seekers together with the job offers, Morris started Sweeps with a website and e-mail.
Following the true Lean Startup model without realizing it, Morris simply "duct-taped" a lot of off the shelf software together to run the high demand of a job matching marketplace. Starting with a static website he coded himself, he added some manual forms, email and SMS functionality, and ZenDesk for managing the jobs as "tickets". While this lasted several years, sustaining his business and optimizing his business model, he realized that he needed a customized software solution to scale to the next level.
"vaporware significantly reduced the time needed for our team to process jobs and applicants, allowing us to continue to grow." - Morris Gelblum, Founder of Sweeps
Having grown up in Raleigh, Morris already had a tight knit group of contacts, but still was looking for a quality app development company. His previous efforts to internalize development with college students had proved too challenging. After connecting with HUB Raleigh (now HQ Raleigh), he got a recommendation to reach out to vaporware's cofounder, Dan Moore.
After a brief introductory meeting and a requirements session, it was clear that vaporware and Sweeps were a great fit. Morris wanted people that were not only able to do the job, but also people that he would have fun working with.
Over the course of four months, vaporware developed four different iterations of the Sweeps application:
- The first iteration focused on the most critical piece of the Sweeps workflow; the process for posting a job. Removing an outdated User Experience for the simplistic process in place today, now customers can quickly and easily post a job from any device.
- The second iteration focused on the much needed external marketing content, including static informational pages, an external blog, and dynamic SEO landing pages specifically designed for specialized search targets. With this content in place, the system was launched as an minimum viable product. There was no real "system" yet -- just a backend database that centralized the data before further improvements could be made.
- The sweeper management backend was introduced in the third iteration along with a customer portal. With the old systems, customers never had a login or any way to follow up on their jobs outside of email. Now they could see their entire order history with Sweeps all from the same system.
- Finally, the last iteration had the capability to process payments, invoice the customer, and provide analytics for financial data all at the same time.
While there's still plenty of work to be done, Sweeps was now armed with an excellent application and groundwork to hire internal talent to continue development. While vaporware and Sweeps were sad to split ways, a smooth week of training and transition has enabled the app and continued development to prosper.
Since 2010, over 500 college students have used Sweeps to work over 3,000 jobs. And job posters on average give a 98% satisfaction rating to the Sweepers.Hundreds of hours have been donated and volunteered for an assortment of worthy causes.
Morris is very happy with the work that vaporware has done with Sweeps:
"It all starts with quality... We are pleased with the results of our project with vaporware and learned and improved as a company as a result of the partnership."