15.04.2020, by Tom Jaisle
Time is precious, if you are looking for a short summary that is available here
Stafflist and its origin
It happened about eight years ago. At that time I had my own agency, employees and many clients. And at that time one of my clients came up to me and told me about his problem he had with one of his own clients and whether we could help him there.
My client was a temp agency. And he had been given the assignment to supplement the missing personnel for one of his own clients in the health sector. In technical jargon this means that he was to take over the outplacement for his client. And then it just started:
An Excel list was sent out with the requirements for the coming month. Which shifts were linked to which requirements, which should be in which department. It worked well: more departments were added, the list became longer, new needs arrived at short-notice. As a result, the temporary employment agency needed more staff to meet its obligations – and brought in more companies. It became the main supplier, the Master Vendor, working with its co-partners. Together they now supplied the customer with employees. But the complexity had changed compared to the beginning with the simple list: there were more and more jobs, so there was more demand, more contacts were added, everything changed.
Long live Excel until...
But there was still the Excel list. In this list it was entered which employee would fill which position. There were employees who became ill and had to be signed out again. One position was no longer needed, the other was suddenly changed into two positions with the same qualifications, which had to be filled as soon as possible. The temporary employment agency handed over some of the jobs to the other affiliated suppliers and sent them a slimmed-down list. Then came the answers – each supplier sent its suggestions. These had to be put back into the big list. And as that was not enough movement in the list, the controlling department wanted to have daily updated evaluations in the future.
It was not the icing on the cake. But by now it dawned upon everyone that another solution was needed. The interaction between e-mail, Excel list(s), calls and text messages no longer worked, the quality and the staffing of the shifts suffered considerably.
...other solutions are coming
The burnout threatened on the side of the temporary employment agency. They searched the web for a solution, contacted various software providers, found none. Which is why, in the end, it was up to us to program a solution. We developed the predecessor of Stafflist. And the solution to all the problems that had arisen in all directions:
- Transparency: Everybody knew what was going on every single shift, where the staff came from, what was still open
- Traceability: Everyone could see who had changed what and when
- Shift plan for the employees: One click, and for each employee the shift plans were available, always up-to-date
- Report generation: The software automatically generated reports for each department, eliminating the need to collect information from all other lists once and for all
- A single version, not 10 different versions with different states, none of which was final
And with that the solution of the Excel list was over, the burnout averted. In fact, the original effort had been reduced by 70%. But Stafflist was not born yet.
Bring it into the world
At that time I thought that this was an individual construction. There were already many temporary employment agencies, just as there was software for temporary employment agencies, and I never gave it too much thought. In addition, business with my other clients continued. But the software had to be maintained and extended and so the software always came back to me.
I started to look around to see if there was a comparable software available, but I found nothing. Neither on the German nor on the international market. Something similar yes. But then always with limitations: too rigid, only suitable up to a certain size, an operating system, and so on.
At the same time, I started to find similar patterns everywhere in the working world: Company A needs temporary shifts or positions and asks Company B if it has staff for them. Company B may have staff, but it also gets support from Company C. I had never really thought much about this before, but eventually I realized that this happened pretty much everywhere. The issue of temporary employment also came up, of course, with the AÜG (German Act on Temporary Employment), Equal Pay etc.
But basically the topic remained the same. The interaction of several companies, so that a shift, a job, a vacancy, a position can be filled with a suitable employee, no matter whether he or she is employed or free. And so I started to plan Stafflist, put together the team who are now my partners and friends and created Stafflist.
The solution we had first built was already good, but it was only made for an individual case. Moreover, we had taken many shortcuts so that we could deliver results quickly. This solution now had to be broken open. So that in future everyone could assemble the software in the way that their very own workflow needed it. We began to redesign and reprogram the software layer by layer. With an internationalized approach, API-based, highly flexible, as a SaaS solution that can also be set up in cloud structures or function as an on-premise solution.
And now? Yes we are done, Stafflist is done. And then we're not. For one thing, software is never finished. On the other hand, we have so many plans and thoughts and are already looking forward to expand Stafflist, making it an even better product than it already is.
We will report here in the blog, on LinkedIn or Twitter about new features, thoughts and everything else we can think of.
Good to know
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