Small Business: App creators - Grant Broadbent

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Grant Broadbent, managing director, Stellar Consulting Group, an independent business intelligence (BI) consultancy

Grant Broadbent, managing director, Stellar Consulting Group.
Grant Broadbent, managing director, Stellar Consulting Group.

What is your company app?

We've developed an app for our own use that shows staff productivity by any available measure at a glance. We can see revenue, margin and other metrics by time period, individual project and individual employee and many other dimensions that are important to us.

It quickly shows how the business is doing and allows us to just as quickly remedy any areas of concern. This app is very modular so could easily be adopted by any other services providers such as legal, accounting or consulting practices using timesheeting apps such as WorkflowMax.

Why did you decide to create an app for the company?

We wanted to identify our highest performing projects and individual staff members so we could replicate this success across our entire business. As a company specialising in business intelligence, we also felt it was important to "eat our own dog food"; in other words, to use cutting edge analytics to improve the performance of our company.

What has it done for the business?

It has directly improved our profitability and increased staff satisfaction.

Who helped you create the app?

Because we specialise in this field and have the in-house expertise, we did it ourselves, using our analytics experts.

What did it cost to create?

The real cost of what we developed for our own use is probably $50,000 to 100,000 but it could be made available to other organisations for much much less through a cloud-based subscription model.

Any tips for other businesses thinking of creating an app for staff purposes?

I would strongly recommend that any business thinking of implementing such an app should employ the services of a specialist supplier. A good supplier will save money in the long run because they will correctly analyse your requirements, design, build and deploy a robust, maintainable solution that is professionally documented so it's easy to use.

No matter who builds the solution, we think it's really important that as key stakeholders, your staff should be involved in and contribute to the project for its whole duration.


Next week: New Zealand has a vast number of one man/woman bands - people happiest working on their own, doing what they do best - piano tuners, software developers, electricians, plumbers, artists. They don't have staff to hand over to during the year so they tend to soldier on for the greater part of it without a break. Most of them at this time are counting down the days to the summer holiday when they get to relax for a change. Tell me your stories, how do you cope with up to a month of no invoices coming in?

- NZ Herald

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