Reviewing StaffAny – the labour optimisation app

I first got to know about StaffAny when they were still in stealth mode. I can’t exactly recall when but I chanced upon Eugene’s LinkedIn (one of the co-founders) and that is exactly what it said in his latest experience – “stealth mode for an upcoming HR tech”.

Occasionally I would check in whenever I remember but the news came in before I can find out first-hand over a public announcement a few months later.

The premise of StaffAny may not seem revolutionary but anyone in the F&B industry can tell you the pain point StaffAny is trying to solve is real.

That industry usually has to be open over a long number of hours over any given day to capture maximum traffic. The right staffing over the entire day is the key challenge.

Too many staffs and your costs go up. Too few and you may have to turn business away.

On the back of their Series A funding in January led by GGVC (the guys who invested in Grab and Mei Tuan), the Forbes 30 under 30 awards and the locally respected Spirit of enterprise award, they were kind enough to extend a trial of their highly sought after product for my road testing.

And I did not hesitate to grab the opportunity.

First impression

Truth be told, I have seen many HR tech apps over my lifetime. To the point where I would pass almost immediate judgement within 2 seconds of looking at the UI.

Superficial much but my judgement has not proven me wrong even when I dive further into any of them.

Consumer-grade apps are not just a good-to-have but a must. Just look at how quick we install (and uninstall) apps that do not meet our expectations.

The last thing any organisations want is a big white elephant because learning how to navigate the interface requires reading (and memorising) a one-inch thick user manual.

StaffAny clearly spent lots of effort in getting their UI right. From the appealing colour to the clean and flat vectors that are the hallmark of well-designed apps.

These are important factors as their target users would probably be in the early 20s mobile natives. They don’t have the patience to spend 20 seconds on how to move around on the app.

Another thing that they included is something I wish ALL apps would have but it boggles me why many don’t.

And that is the guided walkthrough.

Since new users would be unfamiliar, showing them everything from the get-go and expecting them to figure things out take too much friction.

A better way is to guide them the first time around on a linear journey to do x or y. That is a friendlier way to welcome users to a platform.

Although I must highlight the app looks intuitive enough even without the guided tours. It does not feel intimidating at all. 

No wonder they are working with customers such as LiHo and Cedele!


Business impact – Cost

One thing I realised quickly on the StaffAny Application is the focus on cost optimisation. 

Throughout the app, there are nuggets of features to help with that. 

An example of this is on the scheduling tab, it tells you your labour cost in real time. 

Power features also include bringing in your forecasted sales, to see how your productivity ratios are in real time. 

This is powerful in this day and age where labour cost is rising due to inflation, and this empowers businesses to trim unnecessary headcounts. 

I was told this is the key reason why Salad Stop and Flash Coffee came onboard as users of StaffAny 

I am sure they are able to get those cost savings and tap on their part-timers faster and better than others!

Business impact – Productivity gains 

Translating these rostering schedules to payroll is still the most important item. 

StaffAny reconciles work done via matching scheduled hours, and punch cards to generate a timesheet that is live! 

This information contains the history and audit trails of all managers, which can prevent most internal trust issues, and helps with shortcutting the payroll process. 

With open API, they can be linked to other software such as Talenox, Payboy and HReasily to facilitate the seamless transfer of rostering data to payroll for pay run calculation.

Integration with BrioHR, Swingvy and BIPO is currently in the works.

Business Impact – Optimising Manpower at hand

While efficient rostering and cost reduction is the pillars of any F&B business, the post covid manpower crunch we are all facing is a living pandemic of its own and is the third piece in the operational puzzle for F&B’s.

This is where I was really impressed by StaffAny’s ingenuity. They created 2 levers for supervisors which allow them to champion this issue with the existing staff instead:

  • Multi-outlet scheduling so businesses can now share the same pool of casual labour across their outlets and 
  • Creation of ‘mass grab function’ for part-timers where you don’t have to worry about filling up your last-minute shifts (With 1 click, the system sends out a request to the staff pool to grab the shift) 


This is a feature that is extensively used by the likes of Kiosk Collective and Ippudo Ramen to name a few and is here to stay in my opinion

This is a great way to deal with the manpower crunch by building an internal pool of workers, and adopting the gains of a more variable workforce that is nimble to requirements!

Forward-looking HR professionals will know how this would lower overheads and be a powerful recruitment tool for full-time employees!

Areas for improvement 

Here are 2 pieces of feedback I would like to give to the StaffAny team!

And this is perhaps because I’m used to the iOS environment. I feel the setup of shift timing could be done in the way the Sleep schedule is currently.

You show an analogue clock and you swipe around it to define the parameters instead of toggling two separate elements now.

Another thing I could think of is a Leadership board that perhaps incentivise employees who turn up timely and other behaviours that employers wish to drive so as to align to an optimal operation.

Given how young employees enjoy games, a gamified app may drive behaviours in a positive way.

Firstly, I think we could work slightly more in the areas of performance management!

I think that with the shifts you guys have, it’s really easy to go into the areas of getting staff feedback, and peer review and that really would help HR with the performance management of staffers! 360 feedback in hourly workers is not strong, but I think you guys are in the best position to do so! 

Conclusion

In conclusion, I think that HR leaders should consider digitalising your HR Ops so that we can optimise labour costs and focus on what matters in the current HR climate of rising labour costs and manpower crunch. 

StaffAny is also kind enough to render a 20% discount for my readers (promocode: SA_Adriantan).

And StaffAny is entirely free forever for all businesses below 25 headcounts!

Because they are confident they will help you grow to more than that and the payback can happen happily for both parties then.

Let me know what you think and if you agree with my commentaries! 

All the best team Staffany!

It is great to have a Singapore-based HR tech firm flying our flag high in the region 🙂

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