When entrepreneur and supply chain expert Greg White took a role leading task management startup Curo, the company was catering to one main customer: online retail giant Amazon. However, the founders of the startup knew it was time to grow into a broader customer base, which was where White came in.
“The founders created this application and started using it with a couple of companies, including a boutique hotel in Charleston, Amazon, and a company they own that does contracting services,” says White. “It really wasn’t much more than a product that was primarily used by Amazon and built to their specifications. What they were looking for was someone to get them into the broader marketplace and turn the product into a marketable entity.”
White had previously founded his own supply chain planning company and had successfully led supply chain teams at companies like Best Buy, Dell Computer, Staples, Newell Rubbermaid, and more.
Curo’s task management platform had untapped potential, shares White. The software allows warehouses, grocery stores, and hotels to assign tasks to specific employees through their web-based and mobile platform, clarifying the work flow and providing tracking to remove redundancies and inefficiencies.
“We have added GPS-based tracking so the manager can drop a pin within the application for location tagging and assign tasks to the right person,” says White. “Everyone involved in this particular hierarchy is notified of the task and when completed, it alerts the manager of the task of its completion.”
For example, imagine a scenario where someone spills something in the hallway of an office building. Typically, the employee will call the office manager who will relay the message to the property manager until the message eventually reaches the janitor. Depending on his workload that day, he may not remember what floor it was on.
With Curo, he’s able to double-check the location, remind himself of the task, and alert his manager when it’s completed.
“After speaking to customers about the platform’s capabilities, they’ve shared that they’re interested in more than those simple tasks,” says White. “For example, Amazon is building hundreds of fulfillment centers around the world and they have a mix of in-house staff and third-party companies working as project managers. Curo manages all of that communication in a centralized fashion and allows them to in-app message and call other employees within the warehouse.”
“The project managers may be handling multiple projects in three different states, but as long as they are connected, they can oversee and measure the tasks in any facility that they want to see. It allows them to be on-site 24/7 without ever being there.”
White shares that Curo is also solving another problem that is quickly growing. As baby boomers exit the workforce and more high-tech millennial employees take over, millions of skilled labor jobs like plumbing, contracting services, and more are going unfulfilled.
Curo’s platform allows new employees in these fields to access how-to videos within employer-provided checklists. A YouTube-like video can be attached to each step in the instructions, then the training can be reinforced every single time they do the task.
“Having a device that allows them to learn, operate and communicate in a way that they are already familiar with, it helps introduce the next phase of work facilitation for a digital workforce,” says White.
Only five months into his tenure as CEO, White prioritized the company’s culture and product road map before his first day.
“I spent a month or so prior to officially starting thinking about the vision of the company, the product, and how to communicate it to the current staff and ask for their input,” says White. “The founders put me in touch with everyone in the company so I had a good feel of where everyone’s head was, what their capabilities and strengths were, and how to position them to be successful in the company.”
His first week was dedicated to the team, starting with a four-day meeting where he brought their entire workforce, including those in other cities, together to discuss management styles, expectations, and the company’s values. “I’m a firm believer that culture comes from the top — the culture that is generated by the leader of the company is the culture of the company. Recognizing that, I decided to be very intentional and outspoken about it as the culture had been drifting since the previous leader,” says White.
Now that he has repositioned the startup’s website to blast their offerings and set up a marketing plan for outreach, Curo is ready for its “official” launch at this week’s 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit. While at the Summit, the team is taking part in the Veterans Initiative, a program that offers complimentary tickets to military vets and service members so they can network for supply chain/logistics jobs.
“There’s a need for a skilled workforce and we were thinking about how we get veterans involved in the workplace. They learn all the critical skills and they’ve got discipline, but the transition from camo to khakis is really difficult,” says White. As part of the initiative, attending veterans will be able to take a test and obtain a level one certification to get a credential for Curo and seek related jobs.
While their current pricing model charges per user, the company has also remained flexible on how to charge incoming clients depending on their needs while keeping their revenue goals in mind. The team is also looking into use cases in the IT and consulting industries as they continue to expand their footprint.