Employees at AdBank Network, a Collingwood-based tech company, are applying their skills to combat issues that have arisen in the wake of COVID-19.
With the pandemic producing new problems every day, Conor Watt, AdBank’s lead developer, started brainstorming a way he and his team could help.
“With all of our different skill sets and some of the technology we’ve built in the past, we wanted to find a way to solve some real world problems,” said Watt.
Lately, more often than not, certain items are out of stock and shoppers have no information for when they will become available again. Counterfeit and low-quality items have flooded the market and consumers find themselves constantly checking online stock levels, stressed about accessing these essential items.
Watt thought a simple SMS messaging system might be able to solve this.
“There are a lot of people who can’t get key items at the moment. They can’t leave their house or when they do go to the store there is nothing left,” said Watt. “This will hopefully help with that problem.”
Since last week, Watt and the rest of the AdBank team have been deep in development, preparing the new service to launch as soon as possible. The tech solution, called Essential Goods, will monitor Amazon’s online shop and send an SMS alert when an essential item is back in stock.
Once it’s live, people will be able to sign up for Essential Goods and select the product categories they want to be alerted to when they become available on Amazon.
Watt said the service will cost a small fee — approximately $3.99/month for 50 alerts — to cover costs and make the solution sustainable, but it will be free for frontline medical staff and senior citizens.
Five per cent of the profits will also be donated to the CDC Foundation and the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital Foundation.
Watt hopes the customizable service will be able to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety created by COVID-19.
“Essential goods are different for everyone,” said Watt. “It’s important that people get the stuff they need, especially at a time like this.”
The service is set to go live next week and will be available for anyone in Canada and the United States, with the United Kingdom to follow.