For many workers, a 9-to-5 office job is a thing of the past — if they ever experienced it at all.
A large and growing number of people work remotely or out in the field, at least some of the time.
Managing such a decentralized workforce can be a logistical nightmare, particularly as the number of remote workers a company employs grows larger. But a San Francisco startup has created a service that’s designed to ease managers’ pain.
Skedulo offers an online scheduling service that allows companies to manage remote workers, keeping track of their hours, directing them to particular clients or customers, and providing them a means to send information, such as electronic signatures, back to the home office. The company offers a version of the service that corporate administrators can use back at headquarters and a mobile app for the remote workers themselves.
“For most people, we’ve become the operating system for their day,” Matt Fairhurst, Skedulo’s CEO, told Business Insider in a recent interview.
Skedulo’s service is replacing paper and white boards
Although the remote workforce has been exploding in recent years across many industries, there haven’t been many good technological solutions for companies to manage their off-site workers, Fairhurst said. Many companies that have adopted Skedulo’s service were previously using Excel spreadsheets, calendar apps, custom software they created themselves, and even white boards and paper, he said.
“This is a brand new category from a technology perspective,” Fairhurst, who also cofounded the company, said. “It’s actually rarely the case that we’re going in and ripping out alternative applications that were used to manage this process.”
Skedulo helps managers match up remote workers who have particular skills with customers in need of that expertise. Its service can do that automatically for certain companies or industries where that’s a good match, Fairhurst said. Or it can just make it easier for managers to manually make those pairings in cases where automation isn’t the best solution, he said.
“We’re not assuming every company can deploy full optimization or automation all the time,” he said. “But it is a really important part of what we do.”
Skedulo’s service, for which it charges customers a monthly per-user fee, hooks into other kinds of enterprises and management software and services, including Workday, ServiceNow, and Salesforce. It also can be customized and configured for particular industries.
It’s being used to schedule insurance auditors and clowns
The company, which was founded in 2013 in Australia, has about 60,000 people using its service in countries and areas including Australia, the US, and Europe, Fairhurst said. Although Skedulo’s service is used across several different industries, it’s found particularly strong uptake in the home healthcare business, he said. Such companies represent more than 30% of Skedulo’s customer base, he said.
But the company has also seen strong adoption in the business-services sector and in training and education, he said.
“We’ve done everything from help companies schedule clowns to go into a hospital to juggle for sick kids all way to insurance auditors doing claims management in the field,” Fairhurst said.
With the remote workforce continuing to grow, the company sees a big opportunity ahead of it. And investors do, too. Earlier this month, Skedulo closed a $28 million Series B funding round that was led by M12, the name of Microsoft’s in-house venture fund. The money, which brought the company’s total funding to $40.5 million, gave it a valuation of more than $100 million, according to PitchBook.
Skedulo, which has about 120 employees, plans to use the funds to bulk up its sales and marketing teams, which are mainly based in San Francisco, and its product and engineering teams, which are in Brisbane, Australia, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Fairhurst said.
“We want to make sure we’re building a team to support the demand we’re seeing in the market,” he said. Skedulo has an “audacious mission,” he continued, “of touching every desk-less and mobile worker.”
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