As companies implement innovative apps to automate and enhance their operations, decision-makers need to make sure that the new solutions are intuitive and easy to use for every employee.
The sudden arrival of the pandemic induced a rapid digital transformation and forced companies around the world to digitize various business processes. While organizations that primarily operate online began adopting various digital tools like VPNs and password managers, businesses specializing in hands-on physical work have also started incorporating the latest technology.
To talk about the innovations in the field work landscape, we invited Igor Stjepanovic, the Founder and CEO of Gruntify – a company providing a platform that makes field workflow management a breeze.
How did the idea of Gruntify come to life? What has the journey been like?
The idea for a platform which today is named Gruntify emerged from an innovation competition that took place some seven years ago. The problem we pitched to solve was the problem of reporting and remediation of vandalism and graffiti incidents in Australia. Our initial solution was extremely simple – a very simple mobile app, that enables users to submit field reports, and a web portal with a map showing the locations of field reports. Despite the simplicity of the solution, the customer loved the location-centric approach to problem-solving… and the rest is history!
Can you introduce us to your platform? What are its key features?
Today, Gruntify is a sophisticated cloud and mobile software platform, delivering powerful field workflow automation services to many clients around the globe. Gruntify empowers managers and staff members in any organization with better control of their field service planning and delivery. Some of the key capabilities in the platform are the drag and drop workflow builder, powerful mapping and location intelligence function, and rest API for integration with third-party applications.
What are the most common issues organizations run into nowadays when managing their field teams?
Delivering field service has traditionally been done using “daily run sheets” which are produced ahead of time for field staff, usually on daily basis. But there are many issues with that approach. If a worker calls in sick, or some urgent work arrives, sticking to a pre-populated daily plan could create many challenges for operational managers. Instead, Gruntify provides real-time awareness of the precise location of all field workers, the ability to prioritize jobs in the queue in real-time, match jobs to the nearest available crew that has required qualifications, and carry the right equipment.
How do you think the recent global events have affected the way people perceive work?
Passing masses of paper between the office and the field is not only inefficient, but in today’s world, such old school practices could pose risks from a health and safety perspective. Organizations today are looking for low-touch / no-touch work management solutions, that improve health and safety, productivity, and customer satisfaction, all the while saving money. Gruntify delivers in spades on all of those promises.
What are the most common issues organizations run into on their digital transformation journey?
From our experience, technology adoption among the workforce can be (and usually is!) the main challenge.
Picture yourself, you are in the field, doing physical work, it is hot, you’re wearing protective gear, sweating… the last thing you need is a piece of clunky (and typical enterprise) technology that makes you jump between bunches of screens, featuring small buttons, or UI with small text that is difficult to read in full sun.
Our team fully understands why some field workers are not big fans of moving to mobile app-based technology. Luckily, Gruntify is very different. We have designed and built Gruntify mobile apps using human-centered design, with a simple and user-friendly interface, that makes it easy for users to do what is needed while requiring a minimum amount of steps and taps on the screen.
In your opinion, what cybersecurity measures are essential for companies with teams based all over the world?
Without any doubt, platform security and data privacy are the issues that keep many IT managers awake at night. And because we don’t like working with sleep-deprived customers, we decided to invest in the development of a reliable and secure platform! Gruntify is built using the best-of-breed available security practices and features strong end-to-end encryption.
Nevertheless, on top of the cybersecurity aspects, a set of standards and policies around data management exist aimed at giving confidence and comfort to customers that their data is managed with utmost care at all times. And that is why Gruntify embarked on ISO 27001 certification and GDPR compliance journey – which we expect to complete by July 2022.
What other aspects of our daily lives do you hope to see automized or enhanced by technology in the near future?
Not everything can, or even needs to be, automated. However, automation can be very useful when applied correctly, commonly resulting in operational efficiencies and budget savings. Gruntify team currently works on some really cool, next-generation IoT technology features. We use proximity sensors and location-based services available in Gruntify to exchange useful and important information without the field user’s intervention (ie lock/unlock doors/gates for authorized persons, check-in and check-out of job sites…).
What do you think the average workplace is going to look like in the next few years?
It is evident that today workers are becoming more mobile, and are spending more time in the field, and less in the office. With that shift that is emerging in front of our eyes, the push for mobility and smart software and hardware technology solutions is only going to intensify.
Just like many of us embraced Zoom, Teams, and similar applications during the pandemic, in the post-pandemic world, we will start using more great technology for work. In the past, that may have been a very boring enterprise technology, but the workers of today and tomorrow expect to see beautiful and efficient software in their workspace that is similar in appearance and function to the social networking apps.
Would you like to share what’s next for Gruntify?
As per above, at Gruntify we hope to be part of the wave of next-generation technology that empowers the workers in the post-pandemic world. Our aim is to continue building a platform that delivers the right information, to the right worker, at the right time and location. We lead the field in applications of location intelligence and digital twin capabilities. And there are so many exciting AI and ML capabilities that we are adding to Gruntify.
Despite seven years of development so far, we know that our journey has only just begun. We can’t wait to share some great news in the near future!