Appointedd not only takes the stress out of scheduling appointments for businesses but can also save them millions on their bottom line, says the company’s CEO and founder Leah Hutcheon.
Hutcheon came up with the idea in 2011 while working long hours as a magazine editor. She became frustrated that she couldn’t book independent businesses like a hairdresser outside of work hours.
Now her software can be integrated into any company’s existing system to help them schedule meetings, appointments and bookings.
“It’s about trying to stop the phone tennis with people so you can just pick a time to suit you,” she told BusinessCloud.
“There are some amazing anecdotal case studies – people have said they just wouldn’t be in business without Appointedd.”
Backed by a 14-strong team in Edinburgh, the system is built to be flexible, with one engine that powers bookings and meetings for a whole host of different businesses, including the like of M&S.
“What a freelance photographer wants to have as part of their bookings will be very different to what a multinational business does and we’ve got a whole host of everyone in between,” she said.
“It’s one social booking software that can be put onto any website, Facebook page, blog or app – we will put it wherever your customers are and it can connect with your existing calendar system.”
When arranging to speak to Hutcheon, for example, a link is sent out to access her Appointedd system.
It offers a 15-minute call, 30-minute call, meeting in Glasgow or Edinburgh, job interview or her services speaking at an event as well as the times when she’s free for the above.
The company also offers its own calendar system as smaller businesses use the software to run their entire business, from marketing automation to reporting and business intelligence to online payments.
“We’re taking care of the bits businesses don’t like,” said Hutcheon.
“For bigger enterprise clients we can literally save them millions of pounds on their bottom line if the business is full of highly paid professionals arranging appointments.
“Our recent research showed it took on average 15 minutes to make an appointment because times don’t work out when you’re trying to schedule a meeting.
“If the company saves 15 minutes across however many appointments in a year when a consultant is being paid £500 an hour, it’s massive. It’s amazing to see the impact and we’re really proud of how we’re enabling businesses.”
The technology also works across different time zones to take the confusion out of scheduling with someone on a different clock.
It compares the two calendars, figures out when both parties are free in their respective times and puts it in the diaries – even allowing users to book appointments in advance for different time zones on different days.
Hutcheon believes part of the reason she’s been able to be so innovative with her solutions is because she isn’t from a tech background and instead says she’s focused on getting the right people in.
“I think in some ways not coming from a tech background is a strength because I haven’t complicated the tech side of it,” she said.
“It’s all been about solving business problems. On the consumer side people want to make online bookings just in a simpler way. The business side is all about proving the bottom line and business efficiencies that can be made.”
Starting her business in Edinburgh has also helped the growing company, says Hutcheon, which is also where she managed to get the backing of Skyscanner co-founder Gareth Williams.
“Edinburgh is a really good place to start a business,” she said.
“People like Gareth really do go out of their way to help. They know how hard it is and are being very generous with their time and money.
“Because Edinburgh is a bit smaller than London it means if you don’t know someone who can help, you know someone who will know someone who can help. Everyone’s keen to support each other.”