Each month, discover a Sherbrooke company profile
Design of SaaS software for managing and communicating work schedules
- Creation: 2011
- Number of employees: 7
- Target Markets: Restaurants // Retail // Hotels // Maintenance and repair services // Caregiving // Various services
Agendrix is taking on a worldwide conundrum: managing work schedules. For many businesses, it is often a daily gymnastic routine, with flips for last-minute replacements, acrobatic feats for summer vacations, while juggling full-time and part-time schedules….
To simplify this whole rigmarole, the Sherbrooke business developed an eponymous application for planning, coupled with a user-friendly communication feature.
“Many businesses still use the classic–but obsolete–spreadsheet to organize the schedule for their employees. Agendrix, it’s like Excel on steroids! said President and Co-Founder André Gauthier. Our online software helps speed up the planning and communication of schedules, centralize and manage availabilities and holiday requests, eliminate scheduling conflicts, and even more.”
According to Agendrix, a business with 30 employees will save on average two to five hours per week, which can be devoted to more profitable activities.
A “living” app
To offer software that is perfectly in tune with the needs of its very diverse clientele, Agendrix relies on two main interconnected elements: the team is listening attentively almost 24/7 and is constantly improving the product.
“Even if each new feature is well thought out and fine-tuned, users give us invaluable field feedback. They can communicate with team members through live chat almost anytime, day… or night. Through their comments and questions, as well as our own observations, we can identify potential improvements and further develop the app in order to achieve the perfect product.”
However, this objective does not keep the business from launching new products. Agendrix relies on the product development strategy called “minimum viable product.” In essence, the company integrates new modules as soon as they are operational, to better improve the product in light of user experience.
Agendrix offers two versions of its web and mobile app, available in English and French—a free version and a version with additional and chargeable features.
With the free version, businesses have access to the schedule planner on a day, week, or month basis, as well as to the holiday and conflict manager among other things, with the option of printing in various formats.
The chargeable version offers more advanced features, including communication with employees. For example, employees may access their online schedule, be notified in case of change, submit their availabilities, and make holiday and replacement requests.
In recent months, the team at Agendrix incorporated a new Open shift request feature, which enables employees to apply for open shifts directly in their schedule, and a Resources module to assign to a shift the equipment required and available, a procedure, a client, and more.
Upcoming innovations: the business will soon launch a labour cost management module, as well as a time and attendance product (Temps et présence) in July. “Businesses will then be able to optimize their operating costs according to budgets and objectives, by monitoring and adjusting the distribution of their workforce in real time. With the time and attendance module, we will provide a comprehensive overview for management, who will now have everything they need to do payroll according to actual worked hours,” announced André Gauthier.
Behind this range of features, there is also smart assistance, which is capable of guiding users in their learning curve on the platform. It is basically a second layer of programming causing explanatory windows and help sections to pop up, based on the client’s behaviour.
A milestone year
2015 was a very busy and creative year for Agendrix, founded in 2011. The business launched the 2.0 version of its software, designed with brand new technology, and joined forces with new partners—there are now five associates, with Mathieu Allaire, Johnathan Chan, Samuel Roy, and Charles Vallières. “These are two of my best decisions at Agendrix,” said André Gauthier. “By merging with Lodgem and Wise Visions, I recruited four associates who were previously subcontractors. This has greatly enhanced Agendrix’s business intelligence.”
“The decision to create the current version of the software on a new platform meant starting over after three years of development, but with the advantage of this time knowing the end product targeted, and using technology that is more versatile, scalable, and customizable.”
Result: Agendrix 2.0 rapidly took shape and the marketing offensive, launched in the fall of 2015, has exceeded expectations with a monthly growth in clientele exceeding 20%.
Also in 2015, Agendrix revised its business model to adopt a “freemium” strategy and fair billing based on the number of employees; launched its iOS Android apps for employees; created a customer assistance platform and a blog; redesigned its website; and rejuvenated its brand image.
Building on experience and skills
To carry out all of these undertakings, Agendrix relies on an extremely efficient team. “The strength of our small team of seven people lies in our shared passion and commitment, as well as our expertise in our fields; we are extremely complementary. As a startup business, we also chose a horizontal hierarchy and participative management, in which collaborating and sharing knowledge, ideas, and tasks are prioritized. That’s what teamwork is all about!”
Agendrix is also the product of the 35 years of experience in food services and hotels of its president, who has an entrepreneurial spirit. “I drafted thousands of schedules in my former lives,” noted André Gauthier, long-time co-owner of the Liverpool Billard Nightlife pool hall in Sherbrooke. It’s when I assessed another software with a module specifically for schedule management that I had the brainwave of creating a tool dedicated to simplifying this complicated task.”
Growth potential without borders
The Sherbrooke business is currently focusing its marketing efforts in Québec. Already among its clients are Chocolats Favoris shops (100%), as well as franchisees of several major restaurant and pharmacy chains–including Thaïzone, Subway, Burger King, Bâton Rouge, and Pharmaprix.
But interest has already been shown worldwide, with active users in more than 20 countries–from SMEs in France to the Superior Court of Arizona. Agendrix is, in fact, patent pending in Canada, the United States, and Europe.
The company’s growth could soon become exponential: Agendrix recently became a certified integrated partner of Lightspeed, an all-star business in Montréal. Its point-of-sale system is used by more than 36 000 retailers and restaurants around the world, which will now have access to Agendrix among the complementary modules.
Over the medium term, Agendrix plans to expand its global presence by offering its solution in other widely spoken languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, and German, with future language partners. “The problems associated with work schedule planning and management transcend cultural barriers,” indicated André Gauthier. “There are several nation-based particularities related to the labour market and vocabulary intricacies, but nothing that cannot be adapted.”
779 Paul-Desruisseaux Street, Suite 300, Sherbrooke (Québec) Canada J1J 4L9
+1 (888) 982-9307
Photo credit: Sherbrooke Innopole and Agendrix
– – – – – – –