Beavercreek-based business creates tool to alert when customers on way to get order

Woolpert ‘GeoAwareness’ ties businesses and customers on the go.

As the global pandemic upends traditional walk-into-the-store business models, Beavercreek-based Woolpert is offering a new way for businesses to connect to customers on the move.

Woolpert, an architecture, engineering and geospatial firm, has created what it calls “GeoAwareness,” a tool that lets businesses know when customers are on the way to pick up products or services.

As Woolpert describes it, GeoAwareness couples a customer’s real-time location to his or her order to nail down an accurate time of arrival, enabling businesses to prioritize and prepare orders, minimizing wait times.

Customers will have to download a businesses' app or go to a business' mobile web site, and click on a button indicating they’re on the way to pick up an order.

Woolpert Director of Cloud Sales Rick Bennett said he can’t name companies that have been using the technology. But he hints at some familiar names.

“Customers who would be the ideal customers would be your McDonalds, your Chipotle, your Paneras, those types of businesses,” Bennett said. “And also your big retail teams — Walmart, Best Buy, the Targets. Those would be the ideal candidates."

Woolpert is an increasingly national and even global architecture, engineering and geospatial firm.

It also has been a Google Cloud partner and re-seller since 2015. In April, Woolpert celebrated a 2019 Google Cloud Specialization Partner of the Year award for location-based services, which is a Woolpert specialty and not its first Google award.

There’s a reason Woolpert went through that process of building a relationship with Google.

“We have over 50 years of geospatial expertise in house,” Bennett said. “We understand mapping, we’re skilled at solving complex mapping challenges and problems. And we saw that a partnership like that would align with the greater Woolpert but also find a new niche or new area within Woolpert where we could excel.”

The partnership has grown “exponentially” since 2015, he added, growing from two staffers initially to more than 20 overall supporting the partnership with Google.

Customers benefitting from that partnership include start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, retail chains, food and beverage companies, logistics firms and more.

Customers can license the Geo-Awareness technology (and other technologies) through Woolpert or the local company can directly build a solution for a customer, building a tool on top of Google Maps or Google Cloud, using a customer’s data.

“That’s why they have partners,” Bennett said. “And that’s what we’re here to implement.”

Online ordering and tracking have been growing since before the pandemic, and in an era in which social distancing is an ongoing concern, this approach may be here to stay.

Founded in 1911, Woolpert has more than 1,000 employees in 39 offices across the U.S. (including Cincinnati and Columbus), as well as in Canada and South Africa. The firm has about 250 at its headquarters in the Dayton area.

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