When managers are dealing with hourly employees, it can be a hassle to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to schedules. Chad Halvorson and his team of designers at thisCLICKS, a St. Paul, Minn. based app development company, saw a need to solve this scheduling riddle. So, they created an app called WhenIWork.
The intent of WhenIWork was to help businesses work smarter. What started as a small venture has turned into a revolution of sorts in the way companies communicate scheduling solutions for active employees. Using a blend of Web, mobile, text messaging and social media, Halvorson’s app has helped companies in a wide range of industries — restaurants, retail, health care, and medical device manufacturing — become more efficient, but his team won’t stop there. They hope to continue to deliver affordable solutions that play off simple, easy to use platforms.
Halvorson is a tough guy to pin down. He’s always on the go, and when he’s not working, you can find him with his head in the clouds flying R/C planes. Thankfully, he put the remote aside and touched down for a few minutes to talk with Tech Decisions about mobile integration in his own business, and how mobile technology is making him a better boss.
Tech Decisions: You obviously understand the importance of mobile in the business world. How has mobile technology made you a more valuable part of your own company?
Chad Halvorson: Mobile is making everyone more valuable and flexible, not just me. Ubiquitous access to software and apps means anyone in any organization can be more productive, accessible and responsive. We’re no longer at the mercy of the telephone or 9 to 5 work day. In my book, this is a major stress reducer and allows me to manage my attention much more effectively, without interruption.
TD: You’re in the business of selling mobile to companies that might not have played in that realm before. Are you seeing push back from companies who might not understand the value of mobile?
CH: We see some. Our focus is on companies that are actively pursuing mobile or cloud-based strategy with employee scheduling. We’re not out to convince people that mobile is the future; we’re out to convince those that already believe in mobile that they should work with us.
TD: Why do you think some companies are resisting the mobile movement?
CH: Change. Reluctance to change is natural. The good news, though, is that mobile isn’t a fad.
TD: Obviously, mobile is woven into the fabric of your business. What’s the one thing that makes an app work well for someone who needs mobile access?
CH: I find the more ubiquitous an app, the more likely I’ll use it. If I can use an app on my desktop, laptop, tablet and phone, I’m much more likely to use it for daily use.
TD: What sort of counsel do would you have for businesses who still might be on the fence with mobile?
CH: Don’t force it. Mobile is the buzz right now, but if an application is best suited for the web, then by all means, focus your product development on the web. However, just because a product is “web first, mobile second” doesn’t mean your marketing strategy can’t be “mobile first, web second”.
Tech Decisions asked Halvorson about the mobile apps that make his life easier. He praised four apps that keep his fingers active while he’s on the run building his business.