The latest handy tech for SMEs

Need to source staff, improve workplace safety or digitise receipts? There’s an app for that!

While it doesn’t attract a lot of media attention, CeBIT Australia is a big deal in tech industry circles. 

It’s a satellite event of CeBIT, the world’s pre-eminent computer expo. The highlight of the event is a ‘PitchFest’ where ten start-ups showcase their products. See below for more on how four of the 2018 finalists have developed technology that could make life easier for many SME owners.  

Sourcr  

What is it? A recruitment platform for employers.

Pricing: No upfront fees or subscription charges. Recruiters hand over 20 per cent of their fee [which is paid by the business needing staff] to Sourcr.

“Every business has challenges when it comes to hiring the best talent. In recent years, there has been a shortage of skills, which means the talent pool has become even smaller.” 

The elevator pitch: “Every business has challenges when it comes to hiring the best talent,” Chris Almond, Sourcr co-founder told us. “In recent years, there has been a shortage of skills, which means the talent pool has become even smaller. Sourcr helps employers find, compare and manage specialist recruiters. Employers can post a job, set a fee to match their budget and have pre-vetted recruiters apply to take on the task of finding a suitable candidate. 

“Every recruiter has their own profile. It has their placement history and reviews from other employers that have used them. We also track performance metrics for every recruiter on the platform. This streamlined approach to agency engagement has resulted in a significant reduction in time to hire, as well as cost.” 

BenchOn 

What is it? A B2B subcontracting platform that helps businesses find staff for short-term contracts.

Pricing: No upfront fees or subscription charges. BenchOn takes 10 per cent of what the ‘Providing Company’ charges. 

The elevator pitch: Like Sourcr, BenchOn is trying to take some of the friction out of employers finding the talent they need. If Company A is going through a quiet period and is paying a widget maker good money to sit idle, they can rent him or her out to Company B using BenchOn. Company B pays Company A (i.e. the ‘Providing Company’) for the widget maker, with BenchOn taking a cut for facilitating the transaction. 

Tim Walmsley, BenchOn’s founder, told us “This is a ‘Future of Work’ start-up. One that is solving the problem of employee underutilisation where businesses have expensive employees sitting on the bench in between contracts eating into their cash flow. Now businesses have the ability to manage the peaks and troughs of the business cycle with either paid contracts for their staff in the troughs, or access to the hidden available talent inside Australia’s best companies in the peaks.”

Ping Data

What is it? A technology that replaces paper receipts with digital ones. 

Pricing: No pricing information is publicly available, though customers can choose between a professional and (presumably cheaper) standard plan. 

The elevator pitch: The archaic, time-consuming and environmentally unfriendly practice of printing out paper receipts has long been ripe for disruption. The three fintech veterans behind Ping Data have risen to the challenge. 

Ping Data’s product sends a notification (a ‘PingReceipt’) to a customer’s banking app following a transaction, obviating the need for a dead-tree record. Given almost everyone now has their banking app on their phone, customers can immediately check they’ve been charged correctly. They also enjoy the reassurance of having proof of purchase on the digital record (rather than a fading, hard-to-keep-track-of scrap of paper). Even better, business owners can forget about ever again needing to fix a paper jam in their EFTPOS machine as a line of impatient customers grows ever longer. 

Paul Weingarth, one of the co-founders, told us “We’re currently working with a number of Tier One banks and planning on going live in December.”   

KnowHowHere 

What is it? An app that makes use of GPS-related tech to make workplaces safer.

Pricing: Available on request.

The elevator pitch: Now everyone has a smartphone that broadcasts their exact location 24/7, it’s feasible to require staff to download a workplace-safety app. One that, in concert with other innovations such as geofencing and Bluetooth beacons, will warn them if they are approaching a dangerous machine, high-traffic area or noxious-fumes zone. KnowHowHere does just that, as well as providing workers with relevant safety tips when they enter risky environments. 

The app will likely be first taken up by businesses in the construction, defence, infrastructure, mining and transportation industries but has the potential to be adopted in a diverse range of workplaces.     

While technology continues to progress exponentially, it’s yet to deliver a risk-free business environment. No matter how efficiently they hire a worker or what cutting-edge systems they put in place to ensure their safety, business owners still need to prepare for the possibility that workers may be dishonest, become disgruntled or suffer an injury. Likewise, digitising the receipt process is all very well but what happens if a ransomware attack results in your business being unable to process transactions?  

If you want some expert advice on what kind of insurance cover is right for your business in the digital age, a Steadfast insurance broker will be happy to speak with you.

 
Important note - the information provided here is general advice only and has been prepared without taking in account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Steadfast Group Ltd (ABN 98 073 659 677, AFSL 254928)
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