A Brief History of TempBuddy – Rod Smyth – Part 1/3
Skip past the “How do I currently do this process?”, and ask the question “What is the best way to achieve higher, faster growth and profitability?”, it lets you look at the business itself, where the efficiencies and opportunities are, and then focus on just doing those things. Tackle the really big wins.
This is part one of my three-part talk to Roderick Smyth about the history of TempBuddy, techniques to develop better technology, and improving personal productivity. Rod is the CEO of TempBuddy.
Steve: Tell me how TempBuddy come about?
Rod: We founded the business three years ago – coming off my own need to do something in the time card space, eventually coming to the thinking of changing process and changing the outcome as well, rather than just fixing or building a product that does what other products do.
The first 12 months were about building the MVP and getting the team together. We launched in February 2015 whilst also juggling two businesses… until October 2015 when this became my entire focus.
Steve: Do you think the CRM market is too crowded?
Rod: It is very crowded – and for me there’s not just enough differentiation. The products out there are designed for data input and data capture. They are not designed to help business outcomes. A key lesson I learned through the process of TempBuddy was focusing on the client business outcome – and aligning what you’re building to meet that outcome. Not on how they do stuff but meeting the outcome. It gives you much better product direction.
Steve: Can you expand on what you mean by “outcome”?
Rod: The majority of businesses want to grow their profitability, their revenue, or their quality – to better serve their clients and meet their objectives. When you skip past the “How do I currently do this process?”, and ask the question “What is the best way to achieve higher, faster growth and profitability?”, it lets you look at the business itself, where the efficiencies and opportunities are, and then focus on just doing those things. Tackle the really big wins. One of those was the in the Temp side of the business, the vast majority of the recruiters time being taking up by managing availability and admin task-related time sheets.
If I look at product build, typically the CRM approach has been: I avail the products to do all parts of the process. So, I transfer what they do at the moment on the screen, which doesn’t really improve the process, it just puts them in a different place.
When you focus on business outcome, you say “Okay, one of the big barriers to growth is I can’t hire 100 new recruiters because they’re not easy to find etc. So I need to change my process to be more efficient… What’s the biggest bottle neck in my process? It’s in the availability and management of those time sheets. So you build a product that focuses on fixing those problems and does it really well.
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Steve: Do you have a WHY of TempBuddy?
Rod: Absolutely. We want to change people’s lives for the better. We want to make flexible work easier and more rewarding. I want to empower agencies to provide a better level of service and a better employment environment for the workers.
When you think about what causes stress in life… getting married, moving house, changing jobs – one thing that’s often forgotten is that a temp worker changes and adapts practically daily. They’re going to new places of employment all the time. The consistent part of their lives is the agency that they work with. For quality of life, you need to have some balance, and the agency should be able to provide it.
They can’t provide it running around doing inefficient admin tasks. They need to be able to focus on the wellbeing of their employees; of the quality of work their employees are giving their end clients. And if they focus on those factors, they will attract more employees, they will provide a better quality of service to their clients, and ultimately this is what the end-client wants.
They want to have quality people who will produce quality work because that makes all of their businesses more efficient. Focusing on the wellbeing of their employees leads to a better outcome for everyone. We want to make the technology that gives them the tools and capabilities to do that. That’s what drives us.