7Shifts Inc raises $10mn from US investors
Saskatoon technology startup 7Shifts Inc announced this week that it has raised US$10mn in venture capital from a consortium of four US-based investors. The funding represents more than double the mount previously raised by the company, the Saskatoon Star Phoenix reports.
7Shifts is the developer and operator of a business organization solutions application that saves business owners time and money when scheduling employee shifts. The app has been used to schedule nearly 100 million shifts for the 16 million restaurant workers in the US, and collectively saved restaurateurs over $200 million in labor costs. The rapidly growing platform is used by more than 250,000 restaurant professionals and 10,000 restaurants, including large, growing franchises such as Bareburger, Panera, Honeygrow, &pizza, and Smoke's Poutinerie.
The funding was provided by Napier Park Financial Partners, with participation from Teamworthy Ventures, existing investor Relay Ventures and former CEO of Snag (Snagajob), Peter Harrison.
“As someone who grew up in a family of restaurant operators, I know first-hand the pain points restaurant managers face in managing staff,” said Jordan Boesch, CEO of 7shifts. “From the beginning, 7shifts has been intently focused on delivering innovative products to make life easier for restaurants, managers and employees alike.”
He continued: “It’s one thing to predict labor needs, but it’s another to fill the shift with an available and qualified worker– both need to be met for restaurant operators to be successful. Our predictive scheduling algorithm leverages machine learning to enable managers and operators to automatically create data-driven and labor-optimized schedules that exceed the accuracy and trustworthiness of manually generated schedules, while also adhering to state-wide labor regulations. By leveraging POS integrations for real-time data, 7shifts can accurately project future sales with up to 95% accuracy given historical sales, seasonality, weather trends and other external factors. From there, we use machine learning to accurately predict future labor needs and create optimized schedules.”
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.