Bloodhound Technologies offers an industry-leading solution designed to ensure quality assurance at ground level within any organisation through the effective management of field workers. This includes a proprietary business intelligence platform called Observer and FILE13, a user-friendly mobile application. Bloodhound takes a specialised approach to next generation workforce management (WFM) solutions to deliver an end-to-end solution and a dedicated 24/7 support service.
Bertus Weyers, Operations Manager at Hungry Lion, is responsible for the overall management of personnel and to ensure that the highest quality standards are maintained at their 200+ outlets across seven African countries. He joined Hungry Lion in 2017 and has been using Bloodhound’s FILE13 for training, operations and new store builds since early 2018 because of the increased flexibility, transparency and productivity it offers. Bloodhound’s ability to create a solution to address the specific needs of the company, coupled with the dynamic flexibility of FILE13, made Hungry Lion’s decision to switch to Bloodhound an obvious one. The increase in efficiency and a cost saving of more than 30% were welcome added bonuses.
The need for personnel performance management
Collecting reliable data and providing accurate feedback have historically been, and remain, crucial components of performance management. Performance in this context refers to personnel performing in terms of their key performance indicators (KPIs) as well as the operational performance of the business. Feedback refers to the ability to measure the performance of employees and the business accurately. However, changing business needs and technological advances call for streamlined management and reporting processes that can provide continuous and real-time feedback. Bertus details below how Bloodhound’s FILE13 assisted Hungry Lion to overcome these challenges.
Implementing and utilising FILE13
The process from conception to needs analysis and rollout to over 200 stores in seven countries took approximately six months. The initial test phase was rolled out at 46 stores in the Western Cape (Phase 1). The aim of Phase 1 was to test the platform and stability of FILE13, to ensure the correct mobile handset was used, to set up geofencing (a location-based service that tracks employees within a predefined location or geographical area), and to develop the Hungry Lion dashboard. During these initial stages, Bloodhound’s services impressed Bertus who found the rollout of Phase 1 to be “smooth, without any hiccups and no complaints”.
FILE13 replaced the previous WFM system, with tracking being done via GPS except for two sites located inside shopping malls that required indoor beacons. Tracking was further refined through geofencing. Bertus points out that in the context of geofencing, “once an employee prematurely leaves their designated area, FILE13 will pause the Activity Plan, ensuring that the audit cannot be completed until the user returns to the correct work area. The system therefore holds them accountable”.
Ultimately, it provides “proof of presence” and “proof of service” – a major advantage when signing servicelevel agreements and one of the most important considerations, according to Bertus. It eliminates disputes between client and service provider as FILE13 is specifically designed to ensure that critical inspections, audits and other field activities take place at the correct location and at the correct time.
After completion of the test phase, followed the company-wide rollout, which commenced in mid-2018. Phase 2 saw the implementation of FILE13 at all Hungry Lion stores – 130 in South Africa, 38 in Zambia, 21 in Namibia, 12 in Angola, 6 in Botswana, 2 in Lesotho and 1 in Swaziland. This means that 210 Hungry Lion stores are now reaping the benefits of FILE13, Bloodhound’s field personnel management solution.
What distinguishes FILE13 from Hungry Lions previous solution, according to Bertus, is first and foremost “its ability to not only record real-time data, but to make this data available to Hungry Lion on demand”. He goes on to say, “the fact that it can provide me with immediate information assists greatly with transparency, accountability, responsibility and visibility. Personnel are where they should be and perform as expected in terms of their KPIs”.
Bertus notes further that since implementing FILE13, he has seen “increased visibility on new project implementation and better training audits. Trainers go to the store, conduct the audit, and submit their reports. The information is available immediately. This means that managers can manage more stores simultaneously as they have real-time data at their disposal”.
Bertus notes further that since implementing FILE13, he has seen “increased visibility on new project implementation and better training audits. Trainers go to the store, conduct the audit, and submit their reports and the information is available immediately. This means that managers can manage more stores simultaneously as they have real-time data at their disposal”.
Bertus currently oversees operations with various devices running FILE13 in the field and are distributed to various key personnel as follows:
• Regional Managers who conduct brand standard audits, product standard audits, measure customer service levels and monitor store cleanliness. The audit frequency is currently one store per month, which includes completing a marketing checklist with photographic support.
• Trainers who conduct individual assessments with a checklist questionnaire.
• Project Managers who oversee new store rollouts and that overall business objectives and targets are achieved.
When asked what distinguishes FILE13 from their previous solution, Bertus’ first response was noting the improved levels of efficiency across all areas of operations and the fact that more personnel can be dispatched to more stores than with the previous system.
He continued by listing the following benefits:
Price: Bloodhound was not only financially competitive compared to the previous system, but provided a more in-depth service with added benefits not offered by their predecessor.
Monitoring, usage standards and data: Bertus highlighted the amount of time Bloodhound invested in Hungry Lion to configure custom dashboards unique to the business. The dashboards were customised and Bloodhound was willing to adapt in order to service the needs of Hungry Lion. They offered customised data uploads to Bloodhound’s Observer platform, tailored to Hungry Lion’s specifications with the option of automating reports daily, weekly, or monthly.
Service levels: Service levels not only increased since implementing FILE13, according to Bertus, but “the constant development and enhancements to the solution made it more user-friendly resulting in accurate data being provided at the correct time”. Bertus was impressed with Bloodhound’s flexible approach in terms of addressing client needs. He confirms that “with the previous service provider, a development phase was required for every amendment, whereas Bloodhound already had the necessary infrastructure and could just run with new requirements like amending workflows or updating checklists”. A further benefit is the designated Key Account Manager assigned to us. According to Bertus “this fosters a closer and faster feedback loop, and it facilitates better communication. The designated account manager for Hungry Lion really goes the extra mile every time!”
Real-time reporting: As a manager, the real-time data recording and reporting offered by FILE13 not only saves time as it eliminates the need to manually collate data and compile reports, but it also gives one an accurate overview of daily operations.
Smart technology is arguably one of the most effective and accurate means of monitoring personnel. Combined with “smart” tracking methods and real-time data collection and reporting, it has a substantial impact on business efficiency. Bloodhound’s FILE13 application continues to be the leader in innovative WFM solutions in South Africa and on the African continent, providing end-to-end solutions that include hardware, software, support, and services to various sectors. Bertus says that “complete and real-time visibility ensures that customers get the highest standard of service and products of superior quality across our 210 stores across Africa. Personnel execute their daily duties as intended and, from a management perspective, issues can be identified faster, and exceptions managed timeously. Delivering on the Hungry Lion promise to clients is very important and with Bloodhound’s FILE13, we are doing just that”.
Bertus concludes that he will recommend Bloodhound without any reservations. “Hungry Lion prides itself on its tech-savvy approach to business operations and partnering with a company that shares this ambition is an obvious perfect fit. Having Bloodhound on board made sense from day 1 and has been a great experience so far”.