By Stephen Dafoe
Sturgeon County – As a contractor, Maurice Chauvet has seen two things: plenty of useable construction materials ending up in a landfill and home owners having a hard time locating the right contractors to help make their project a reality. It was that combination and the desire to provide a service that would help people find the contractors they need while providing them with a better way to dispose of their left over materials that led Chauvet to partner with his neighbour, computer specialist Donovan Elder. The end result was the creation of MOEDO.com, a construction materials and services classifieds website currently serving Sturgeon County.
Chauvet said the site welcomes classifieds from those who are in building trades, including painters, drywallers, concrete and cement workers, electricians, plumbers and other building related trades.
“It was a good way of finding some service in the construction industry that you needed right away instead of spending hours scrolling through documents on websites trying to find what you were looking for,” Chauvet said, noting that the trades classifieds is a good way for contractors to find trades people for a project. “It’s a lot easier to see three or four companies advertising there and to jot their numbers down (or e-mail them) and be able to get quotes and prices for them.”
Additionally, the website has a category for building materials where people can list their surplus project materials for free and interested people can bid on the materials.
“A lot of people have lots of stuff that goes to the garbage,” Chauvet said. “It’s a way to reclaim stuff that could still be used for somebody else’s project.”
Chauvet said those wishing a little higher profile on the site for their services can opt to purchase one of several paid advertising spots.
The tradesman said the idea for MOEDO.com (an amalgamation of Chauvet’s nickname Moe with the first two letters of his partner’s given name Donovan) came about after spending many hours on a website and leaving without finding what he was looking for.
“I realized how disorganized it was,” Chauvet said. “So I just thought maybe I should build my own. I talked to a friend of mine and he came into partnership with me to build the website.”
That partner, Donovan Elder, provided Chauvet with the technical expertise to make his dream of a construction classified site a reality. The process took approximately two-and-a-half years from idea to finished product.
“We threw some ideas around after Maurice came up with the concept of an online construction materials web page that was kind of tuned towards the trade market, and because it was going to have advertising as one of the features … we tossed some ideas around [as to] whether we build our own website from scratch and then just custom tailor it to the audience we’re looking at or do we try and purchase a package for a website we can also customize that would also meet our needs.”
Elder said they opted for the latter path, purchasing a program bundle that gave MOEDO.com its basic look and feel as an advertising / classified web site. The IT specialist said the vendor helped them with some of the initial customization of the site, after which MOEDO.com went into a period of beta testing to make sure everything would work the way they wanted and needed it to.
Although online for the past 18 months, the site is by no means finished.
“The site is continually progressing,” elder said. I’d like to see a few more things on there. We’re continually being challenged by this idea and we’re hoping not only the public but the trade businesses throughout Alberta and beyond start to change their mindset and look at the Internet as a facility in the market place.”
Plans for expansion
Part of the sites evolution has led Chauvet and Elder to open their site to accept real estate classifieds for those buying, selling or renting. “I was a little leery at the beginning of putting it on, but in retrospect I think it ties into it quite well,” Chauvet said.
Although the entrepreneurs are not looking to expand further into cars and other classified areas, they are looking to take the MOEDO.com concept across Canada and into the United States.
“It would remain one site,” Chauvet said, noting that the program would be able to determine the user’s geographical location upon sign in, allowing the system to display the relevant information to those looking for materials or the people to use them. “If you advertise in Morinville, Alberta, somebody in Calgary or St. Johns Newfoundland won’t see it. It’s regionalized.”
For more information on MOEDDO.com visit www.MOEDO.com.