StakOne is a start-up which has found an under addressed problem, one which has surprisingly not been catered to until this point, a niche problem, but one with an enormous and ready market – that of staff management through the monitoring of assigned tasks in the workplace.
While not consigned or limited to the hospitality industry, StakOne has developed their minimal viable product (MVP) with this industry in mind, building on the acumen and practical knowledge of the company’s Founder and IT and Business Manager. StakOne’s current primary product, their MVP, is iTask, a cloud based platform to manage and monitor staff in the hospitality industry. Through the iTask platform, tasks can be assigned to individual members of staff, or those within certain designations, and the completion of these tasks can be monitored in real time.
Through the iTask platform, the management and owners of hospitality businesses, companies and franchises can now monitor their staff and operations at the click of a button, staying abreast of any developing issues and problems in staff performance. The iTask platform monitors the completion of set tasks through tablet computers, which are installed in applicable establishments, the devices are connected to the iTask platform and staff use the devices to register their ongoing completion of set tasks. Managers and owners can log onto the platform from anywhere, and receive a breakdown of the performance of staff and their progression with daily tasks, at the push of a button.
Through the use of the iTask platform, management and owners of hospitality establishments are able to identify areas of concern, such as a few staff carrying the weight of many. iTask allows for quicker and more effective action than previously possible, without the need for constant in-store oversight and monitoring. The iTask platform, will also (following developments upon the MVP) allow staff who wish to express grievances to do so as easily as they register their progression through set tasks. This feature of the iTask platform will allow staff to overcome any impediments in voicing concerns, whether they be cultural, institutional barriers within the establishment, or the simple fear of being seen to speak ill of other staff. This feature, while allowing for a ready conduit between staff, management and owners, will in future be enhanced to allow for two-way communication between staff and management.
StakOne and the iTask platform has arisen and been developed out of something which many start-ups don’t engage in until advised to do so by mentors or advisors, market research. Before building the business, Founder and CEO, Raj Mann, StakOne, engaged a wide cross section of the hospitality industry, asking a myriad of questions pertinent to the development of both the business and the product.
Raj Mann, Founder and CEO, StakOne
Both Founder, Raj Mann, and IT and Business Manager, Geoff Whitfield, have experience in the hospitality industry, Raj through his work during his time studying, when he was preparing food and serving customers, and Geoff through his past ownership of several Subway restaurants, including one where Raj was employed. Raj and Geoff have put their industry knowledge to good use, developing a product which will alleviate some of the pains which staff, management and owners in the hospitality sector face on a daily basis. Through their industry knowledge and deep exploration of problems with research, they are well placed to further develop their start-up, MVP and future products.
StakOne has encountered interest from abroad, with access to the National Restaurant Association (the other NRA) becoming available through their engagement of an American based software development company Arcfix, to assist with the development of the iTask platform. So taken was the software development company with both StakOne and the iTask platform, that staff within the company have taken it upon themselves to introduce StakOne and its Founders to a variety of stakeholders within the American hospitality industry.
StakOne and the iTask platform’s expedited introduction to stakeholders in hospitality industries both abroad and nationally is due to the start-up’s focus on designing a solution for a niche, but widespread problem. What is surprising is that not many have focused on monitoring staff through such an appropriate indicator of progress; by measuring staff’s ability to complete set tasks in designated time-frames a lot of practical data will emerge. The monitoring of staff’s completion of set tasks has previously been almost the exclusive domain of the management and owners of establishments, with little overlay or utilisation of modern technologies. This reliance on supervision has meant that the underperformance of staff can often go unchecked. Given the nature of the hospitality industry, with its near instant time-frames and stress, the underperformance of staff can often become apparent in critical, busy periods, leading to confrontations and further stress.
StakOne is currently based in the Entry-29 Co-working space, which is based on the fifth floor of the ACT Government Health Building in Civic, Canberra, the same floor in which the Griffin Accelerator and CBR Innovation Network (CBRIN) are based. StakOne’s Founders have taken advantage of their surrounds, attending workshops held by the Griffin Accelerator and CBRIN’s Incubator, the KILN Incubator, as well as engaging applicable staff. Through these interactions, StakOne’s Founders discovered they had done something typical of start-ups developing technology based products, they had added too many features, leading to an MVP which didn’t not allow for the quick testing and iteration of core features. Learning from the advice offered, StakOne have further developed their MVP, relying on and refining core features and planning to integrate others at a later date.
The future is bright for StakOne, a start-up with a fantastic, wide ranging knowledge base, drawn from its Founder’s and IT and Business Manager’s years of experience, at varying designations, in the hospitality industry. The start-up is also complemented by the acumen and understanding of its Founder to engage with its customers from the offset and to include them in the development of its products.
More information about StakOne and iTask can be found over the StakOne website.