Ease-of-use for both field workers and management when it comes to scheduling, time-tracking and more
Scalability to grow a company from four to 180 employees distributed across several states
Customization to handle the intricacies of operating in different locals and aligning that data across disparate systems for various needs, including driving efficiency.
MakeSpace was founded in 2012 when co-founders Sam Rosen and Rahul Gandhi saw opportunity in their all-too-common experience dealing with self-storage solutions—unhelpful staff, bait-and-switch pricing schemes and the basic hassle of schlepping belongings to a unit and essentially playing a game of life-size Tetris to fit everything in.
With companies like Uber and Netflix setting the example, MakeSpace set out to bring the same type of technological advantages to the self-storage industry, offering a way for users to store their belongings without ever having to leave the house. Using a smartphone app, MakeSpace users can catalog their items, and request MakeSpace drivers to both pick up for storage or retrieve items from storage, without ever having to leave their homes—relegating traditional self-storage providers as obsolete as Blockbuster is in a Netflix era.
Initially, COO and co-founder Rahul Gandhi said the company used an Excel spreadsheet for scheduling and traditional paper punch cards to track hours. It was a clunky, time-consuming approach that was quickly prioritized for replacement. MakeSpace first enlisted the services of Gusto, which quickly suggested the addition of Deputy to handle scheduling and workforce management for its soon-to-be many employees.
“Being a technology company at heart, Deputy really lended well to the experience, not only externally, but internally to our drivers and our warehouse workers,”
said MakeSpace’s Rahul Gandhi.
“Previously, our employees had timesheet cards—they would come in and physically check-in to a punch-in system. There was nothing out there that had as simple and as beautiful of an interface as Deputy. Our drivers could hit a button, put in their pin, or if they forgot their pin, they could be reminded and have it sent to their phone—the entire experience was amazing and seamless.”
When rolling out a technological solution to a problem, it is imperative that it works for everyone who might use it—from the most technologically advanced to the least. While driving for MakeSpace has its own skill requirements, employees shouldn’t need separate on-the-clock training just to clock in and manage their schedules. With Deputy, MakeSpace found a solution that could accommodate its workers without any extra hassle.
“The entire user flow was perfect for our drivers. It was so dead simple that it was impossible to screw it up.”
“The big ‘Wow!’ moment really came when Deputy launched a kiosk feature. For our first four drivers, we had an iPad setup inside of our facility where they could clock-in and out when they came in and out of work every day. This delivered a mind-blowingly simple experience for them.”
In addition to an easy-to-use solution for MakeSpace’s numerous employees, Deputy also provides management with an accessible back-end that saves time and frustration when dealing with employee scheduling and management. The ability to serve both sides, management and workforce, is key. According to Gandhi, MakeSpace nearly faced a management and employee revolt when testing out an alternative solution.
“With Deputy, you put your schedules in, and you don’t think about it for two weeks. If someone needs to get off that schedule, the platform lets them trade shifts. If there are any announcements that need to be made, again it’s intuitive and direct.”
“For us, the simplicity of the model and the user interface, particularly for our drivers and our managers, has made Deputy an indispensable solution.”
In the modern world of technology startups, success is often synonymous with hyper-growth, and MakeSpace is no exception. As the company quickly grew, it needed to know that its workforce management solution could scale with it. In fact, Gandhi says that Deputy was the only solution from the company’s early days that made the cut.
“Quite frankly, we grew from four drivers to now 180 across four cities and Deputy was the only solution that scaled with us.”
“I’ve gotten rid of every other platform.”
As a company grows, it also runs into new situations that require new solutions. For MakeSpace and Deputy, this pivotal moment came when the company expanded into California, where labor laws and requirements differed drastically from its hometown of New York. This meant that integration between Deputy and Gusto needed customization, which MakeSpace achieved through the use of Deputy’s open API. Working closely with the Deputy team, the two companies quickly found a solution to allow MakeSpace to push into new regions with differing requirements while still making sure hours were correctly tracked and payroll issued.
“Payroll used to take us a day and a half to complete. With our customizations, now, it takes a half hour every two weeks.”
This sort of customization has also allowed MakeSpace to tag and use hourly data in new ways. With drivers constantly on the move, increased transparency into how they are spending their time can help Makespace discover new efficiencies.
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