ReThink Productivity Podcast

Secrets to Optimised Business Operations with David Rogers from WorkJam

September 10, 2023 Season 14 Episode 2
ReThink Productivity Podcast
Secrets to Optimised Business Operations with David Rogers from WorkJam
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

 Get ready to unlock the secrets of optimized business operations as we converse with David Rogers, VP of Sales and Marketing, EMEA for WorkJam. This episode covers how WorkJam is revolutionizing industries, with its applications spanning retail operations, logistics, and supply chain. David offers his insights on how the platform simplifies deployment and uniquely targets audiences, reducing noise in corporate communication. We also delve into the value WorkJam brings to efficient store operations, the culture of continuous learning, and task management.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to the productivity podcast. This is number two in our series of three episodes with our friends at work jam, and today I am joined by David Rogers, vp of sales and marketing, emia for work jam. Hi, david.

Speaker 2:

Hi Simon, how are you?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm good. Thank you you well, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I'm good. Thank you All. Good, very busy, very good.

Speaker 1:

Good, always a way to beat time moves faster when you're busy. All that kind of stuff. So thanks for taking the time out to chat. So this is episode two in our series of three. We spoke to marketing episode one. We've got yourself in episode two, and then yourself and Rachel, who's a special guest from our marketing episode three, which will be good. Today we're going to have a chat about a number of things. I think you've got some business case information to chat through which will be good for the listeners, and then we'll look at kind of simplicity of deployment and some of the benefits that brings from work jam. Before we dive into that detail, though, just give us a bit of career background, David. What were you doing before work jam? How did you arrive there?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, long history, probably longer than I want to remember now. But yeah, really started as a business analyst in retail. So I've been around retail and hospitality for kind of over 20 years, working predominantly in kind of retail operations in store technology, some logistics, supply chain manufacturing as well, which led me really to working in the kind of workforce management space with Reflexus for a few years and then they were acquired by Zebra, worked there in North America leading their kind of software go to market for a number of years, which is very interesting. And then I've known of work jam for quite a few years and the guys there they convinced me to come over and help scale the Amia business, which we've done over the last three or four years. I've been here for nearly two years now so I enjoyed every moment of it. Very interesting value proposition and taking that to market has been really well accepted and I'm working with a lot of the vendors and suppliers that I'd previously worked with as well, so being very complimentary to the sector that I've been around and the solution providers that I've come to know and love over those years really. And now just really leading the go to market predominantly in Europe, although we are being pulled into other areas like the Middle East and Eastern Europe as well. So very interesting times and a nice converging point of kind of market readiness and value proposition. That's a little bit about me. Yeah, that's me.

Speaker 1:

Brilliant, so good credentials in the industry kind of grown up around all this stuff and, as you said, that evolution on from workforce management into frontline engagement and trying to get in touch with the teams and the colleagues that are quite difficult to reach or rely on a hierarchical cascade process which is only as good as the person that has the time to deliver it or the people around at the time to take that information off them. And Mark touched on some of that in episode one. I think you've got some recent kind of business case crystallization of ROI stuff that you wanted to share.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think it's all derived from a couple of things really, where I think retail and retail is really focused on kind of providing solutions around, you know, in store, logistics, supply chain, omni channel and I guess you could probably say that they were a lot of those do a great job but they work in isolation of each other somewhat and I guess you could call them point solutions and they offer a value. And I think, you know, people have invested and focused very much on that over the last few years and I think maybe they've left the front line behind. I think COVID probably illustrated that point that you need to kind of touch your front line as much as you can to kind of communicate, enable, motivate and develop you know. So I think we've seen that real convergence of you know front line being left behind a little bit and I think that, as I talk to retailers around Europe, that's fairly consistent. There's also still a lot of manual process in place where people have focused on perhaps some of the you know, the bigger systems to automate and, you know, in an attempt to kind of, you know, drive down their costs, improve their sales and engage with their customers in a better way. So that kind of leads us to. You know how do you release some of, realize some of that benefit and you know it does come down to the business case at the end of the day. And I guess when you start talking about work, jen, you can blow people's minds very quickly because it is multifaceted, is made up of multiple modules that can be deployed in isolation of each other but work very consistently in an orchestrated way together. So one of the key features in the ROI is, you know, target audience. You know, going back to my earlier point around kind of point solutions. You know people have tried to develop things in the past, but I think now with work, jen, you can see starting very simply. You know a lot of our customers start with comms, you know so immediately they can engage with their front line. The front line only ever see what is relevant for them. So their skills, their attributes, their interests, their development path is presented to them. So they we remove a lot of the noise through having to access multiple systems but we bring those point solutions together in a very orchestrated way. So you know, just talking about comms, and obviously that leads into task management which you know gives you 100% visibility of everything that is going on in your store. Obviously a lot of ROI around that, which I will cover in a second, but really putting your finger on the pulse of the store operations. I think people are seeing real value in that. And then, obviously, you know learning in the flow as you go. You know, instead of having to do classroom based trainings and learnings, you can open up those kind of learnings in the moment as you need them through one single app. And then, laterally, you know, being able to link out to, you know, the current workforce management systems to exploit those even further and have real value through being able to, you know, have one place to go, one app to go. So some of the business statistics that we're finding really kind of centre around two or three kind of key areas and around my point of front line being able to free up managers time, which I think is often one of the biggest challenges where managers typically develop through the business, that often the best sales people, the best operators, the most credible people. But they often get consumed in the back office juggling multiple things, often admin, often manual. So freeing up time for the manager is a big number, you know, and I think we found with one of our customers that we can give back 15% of time to the manager and in this particular case that was 61,000 hours per year. You know, and then it's okay. Now I can focus on mentoring, motivating and engaging with my customers as well as doing, you know, those simple things around, perhaps task management of wastage, my core through routines, my markdown routines, my promotional compliance, all adds value to the business case. So you know, obviously freeing up hours is one thing, but then maximizing what you do with those hours is that is an extra challenge. So that's been a, that's been an eye opening kind of number for us. And then, obviously, in the same same customer, we had 35,000 hours going back to the front line. So that means that they're able to do tasks and a lot quicker and you know, into the app, do the task, read the communications, do what they need to Get out and actually spend time with their customers and improve that, that customer experience. And one of the biggest ones we found was in today's kind of hiring market, hiring and retaining people was one of the biggest challenges that retailers have, particularly when they're they're seasonal and they need either part time or seasonal workers, and we found that we were able to improve retention by between one in five percent, one being a very conservative number, five being more of the reality. You know, and when you've got, you know, many thousands of users, front line workers, in your business, that's often a very big number and you know, within that number comes, you know, I can now develop my people better. I can give them the tools that they need. They can have some fun with it as well, you know. So there's a certain amount of gamification, learning from your peers. You know, we've got one customer that's got a channel for, you know, table football leagues, you know, and it just it starts being a lot more fun and gets people more engaged. So, and then other things, like, you know, product recalls, able to reduce product recalls from days down to minutes, which is often a very big, big number. And I think I mentioned the other. You know in my previous points that affecting wastage, even by a small amount, is all to the bottom line. You know you're not throwing away anymore, you're, you're being able to sell it, particularly when you factor in, you know, markdowns and automated markdowns through the WorkJam app, then that adds a huge amount of huge amount of value. So you know, and you're also turning your people from, you know, shelf stackers and to more, you know, evangelists of the brand. You know, and I think that's a big thing for retailers at the moment, where you know perhaps consumer confidence is is low due to, you know, trust, and you know the rising food costs doesn't help. So having people that are on hand, able to communicate, engaged, adds a huge amount of value to the business case. So then, for the main finding, simon, you know there's there's a lot of peripheral things around. You know savings in the business case and for a company like ours, you know we really do like to start with the business case and not functions and features, and I think that's you know, and focusing in on the front line, where there's a kind of a bit of a gaping hole really is, is really important and and that's essentially what we're doing- Absolutely, and some, some really big numbers there in terms of putting hours back into, I suppose, more customer focused or, from a manager's point of view, colleague focused activities, which is is good to hear.

Speaker 1:

Mark touched briefly in episode one around quick deployment and I think we we touched on this isn't something that should take months and months and months and maybe even years to deliver and slow down the realization of those benefits. So can you kind of talk us through at a high level Is this something that takes weeks to deploy and I know there's always a reliance on or are you working with to get you some data? But is it a a typically a weeks type of deployment, months? How does it work?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think we are. We generally start with our comms module and that's really weak. So as long as we've got access to a hierarchy, then we can. We can start building that in in weeks, even at scale, and I think that's one of the, you know work jam was set up by individuals that set it up for scale, flexibility, robustness and security, you know from day one. So and, and multi language as well. So a lot of our customers you know are spread, you know, across multi country, multi region, multi language, all of which you know is done in the moment. So you know, one of our newest customers started with comms and from start to finish they were up in money in six weeks and they really saw that as a change kind of enabler. They were going through a workforce management and digital transformation program and putting comms in the hands of all of their workers really gave them that platform to say this is coming, to be able to communicate with them regularly around training aspects, remove a lot of the manual effort in the run up and in readiness for those other systems that were coming in place. So you know, weeks rather than months or years. You know task management is generally relatively quickly deployed. On top of that, I guess the only complexity is, as you say, access to other systems, and one of the things that we're really good at now, and I think we're seeing a lot of value from, is integrating into those IoT systems, which again can be very quick. So one of our customers we're integrating into their fridges and freezers and sending auto alerts through tasks and communications If temperature thresholds are reached, all of which has been deployed in six to eight weeks. So I think retailers have been they're probably a little fed up with the over promise and under deliver of some of those big systems, whereas we've really focused on being very lean, very focused and get value in the hands of customers as quickly as possible, and then obviously layer in other components and value on top of that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think it's back to that not trying to solve all the problems in one go, isn't it? So you talked about there somebody starting with comms, but ultimately you could also start with, maybe task or integrating into WFM or the IoT stuff. So I suppose it's that building the layers of the cake, isn't it? So not trying to do everything all in one go and getting bogged down, but getting in some real tangible return and then layering on top.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think there's a lot of retailers that are going through that whole either unified comms, digital transformation, where they put a lot of systems in place and there's often no way to join those up into one unified way of working. And we kind of use the word orchestration. So that one app to go to to do everything that you need is really important, but also sweating and exploiting those current systems that you've put in place. You wanna maximize that. And also you know people that perhaps have got you know they want to sweat a particular solution for another two, three, four, five years. You know WorkJam can allow them to do that by having an integrated app to their, you know, as a front end to their existing system. You know whether that's ServiceNow, whether it's Cornerstone, whether it's, you know, ukg. We've done multiple integrations into all of those kind of vendors to ensure that we offer a real intangible value.

Speaker 1:

And just talk us through, because you've got some unique bits. We've got the task automation, haven't we in the target audience? So again, Mark touched briefly on target audience, but it'd be good to understand how that works and the task automation.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so you know it's been built. I'll start with target audience, because that's kind of the foundation and the building blocks of everything we do. So I'm David, I'm a user, I'm set up with my core profile but as I do certain things, so if I do a set of tasks you might be a promotional end of aisle for a particular brand, I earn a badge, I gain a recognition. That all builds my profile automatically. So everything I do, if I do a training or learning, I get a badge for that and a recognition for that. So if I express an interest in being a manager or assistant manager, again that's embedded into the target audience. So you know what it really does is build my profile through a level of AI and automation. So I only ever see what's relevant for me and I can help develop myself by the trainings or communications or just that overall development within the app. And you know the task automation is really. You know we've got this really sophisticated engine that allows you to either have tasks you know generated by into those target audiences. So, for example, I can only see a task if I've taken a, if I have a particular profile. So again, it only I only get to see what's relevant for me, which is very unique in the marketplace, and the automated engine that we've got also allows you to go out to those other systems and have tasks generated by. It. Might be a service now ticket that goes to a particular individual within the target audience. It might be a shift that's become available and integrated into into WorkJam and I then see a pool of shifts that I can apply for and get extra hours for. So you know, it's all that kind of engine and task plays a big part within that.

Speaker 1:

So lots of complexity, kind of, with that thinking and all those bits that are going on behind the scenes and all the processing, but ultimately all in the spirit of keeping things targeted to you, certain types of people, by user group, job group et cetera, to keep their comms streamlined to only actionable points or information points that are applicable to them.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. Essentially, I only ever see what's relevant for me and I can just remove the noise and get on with my day job, and that's really what you know. Having that one single app, which is WorkJam, allows you to do so, I think it's very unique. The target audience is certainly very, very unique, and you know people. You know we come across customers that are either looking to you know work and buy something, or build something you know. So the fundamental difference is that you don't have to go looking for anything. It's only ever presented to you through WorkJam.

Speaker 1:

Amazing, amazing, brilliant insight, david, really really interested on those kind of big numbers in terms of the business case. So I think that brings us to a close of episode two in this series and I will see you for the recording of episode three with Rachel from Aramark soon. Appreciate your time. Yeah, my pleasure, simon. Thank you.

Work Jam's Engagement and Business Case
Targeted Communications and Task Automation
WorkJam Benefits for Customer Engagement

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