Nine months ago, Jamie Rood and Jonathan Kingwill set out to achieve a goal: use technology to help businesses manage and incentivise their staff, and ultimately, change the way we view the labour market. In March 2017, they launched their innovative mobile application, ClockWork, which helps companies organise, incentivise and analyse their workforce.
Q: What inspired you as entrepreneurs to start your own business?
Jonathan: I fell victim to South Africa’s unemployment trauma when I graduated from Varsity, and although I did manage to eventually find a job, I’ve always wanted to start my own company. Hopefully, ClockWork will assist with reducing unemployment.
Q: What is the main thing you’re trying to achieve with your company specifically?
Jamie: Companies who employ large fleets of labour staff often struggle to really understand them and identify the level to which they’re performing. This can have detrimental effects on productivity and although many businesses don’t realise it, they are falling short of their full potential. We therefore want to make life easier for managers by allowing them to manage their labour staff all from one platform, in terms of organising, time-tracking and measuring of performance.
Jonathan: Put simply, we want to quantify the labour market. We know that big data is the new currency for companies to make decisions, but nobody has looked at this from a staff performance perspective. I’d like to see our ‘ClockWork Score’ become the new buzzword – a universal metric that is used to compare labourers. In turn, this will assist jobseekers to find future employment.
Q: Has the new technology been received?
Jamie: The response to the app has been great, with many business owners expressing their delight for how much easier their lives are being made. It’s never easy introducing new technology to an industry but once people make that transition, they don’t want to turn back. Many companies can’t believe that they were previously using paperwork, or Excel spreadsheets at best, when a product like the ClockWork app is out there and readily available.
Q: Exactly who is it for and how can they get it?
Jonathan: Specifically, companies with large fleets of labour staff on the move will benefit the most. We have seen good responses from companies in the events and construction industries, although also within industries where staff are static, such as restaurants and manufacturing. The beauty of it is that anyone that employs staff is able to use it.
Jamie: The app is readily available on both the App Store and Google Play Store where companies can download a free trial of the product. We will work closely with them throughout this period to find a deal that can fit their needs. Since we are selling software as a service (SAAS) then our aim is to maintain an immensely close customer relationship throughout the duration of the contract.
Q: What are your goals and ambitions for ClockWork the company?
Jonathan: We are already in the process of developing our web platform, which will be launching in May or June this year. This will allow managers to integrate what happens in their workplace with office based activity and provide them with visual data dashboards of staff performance.
Research has already been done into developing an in-app payment feature, which will allow managers to conduct payroll all from their mobile device. As mentioned earlier, we also want to use the data collected to expand into the world of recruitment and allow jobseekers to be discovered.
I once heard that you should set unattainable goals then fail well. Therefore, I hope that ClockWork will be a household name for all things work across the whole world in 5 years’ time.