DETROIT — Ford Motor Co., in partnership with Salesforce, is launching a field service tool for businesses that it hopes will help differentiate its new Ford Pro commercial unit and help generate recurring revenue.
The new tool, called Viizr, is meant to provide business owners with software to do everything from digitize work quotes and invoices to schedule, dispatch and coordinate field technicians.
While such customer relationship management tools exist today, Ford cited a study showing just 10 percent of small and medium businesses are happy with those services, and feels its tool can appeal directly to those unimpressed with today's offerings.
"We realized very quickly that this market was being underserved," Jian Wei Hoh, head of the Viizr team, told Automotive News. "That's where the focus has been. We've gone out there and tested it and have talked with a lot of small businesses and know that it's something that will really drive value."
Viizr will cost $39 per month, Ford says. The service is not tied to any one vehicle, although it is launching as the automaker prepares to introduce its E-Transit electric van in the coming months, as well as the F-150 Lightning electric pickup next spring.
Ford claims the service can reduce "back-office work" by more than 40 percent for businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
Ford is currently looking for businesses to pilot the program for free and expects to launch it by mid-2022.
"For more than 100 years, Ford has been the backbone of commercial business," CEO Jim Farley said in a statement. "Salesforce is the global leader in CRM and together, Ford is excited to bring advanced digital tools to the trades to help drive the productivity of their business."