EDP Software Simplifies Complex Workforce Management in Big Industry

EDP Software simplifies the enormous complexity of workforce scheduling to a one-button solution, leading to leaner staff scheduling while reducing overtime, ensuring coverage, and managing fatigue.

For EDP Software clients such as Ford, Shell, and the Province of Quebec, ‘complex’ is not hyperbole when it comes to workforce management.  Union agreements, state, federal and industry regulations, and best practices in fatigue and performance may all need to be accounted for in these industries in which regulatory compliance is necessary and the stakes are high where safety is concerned.

EDP Software CEO Sachin Agrawal claims that many scheduling software vendors provide standard solutions, but they are not customized to the needs and regulations of specific companies and industries.  This is especially true for regulations at a local level in the nuclear, automotive, manufacturing, corrections, health care, and petrochemical industries.

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SchedulePro is EDP Software’s SAAS solution to complex, idiosyncratic scheduling needs.  It offers customization, employee self-serve, and compliance features, and automatically generates schedules based on a company’s rules.  The software’s dashboard reveals rule violations in real-time, and a user is able to produce instant audit reports as needed.

Speaking of the services that exist in the market as a whole, Agrawal said, “The biggest difference is our intelligence in understanding the way our customers actually do business.  We have the capability so that even though everyone has a different set of rules, we have one common engine that is able to optimize your resources, all while maintaining compliance with the strictest of regulations.”

Agrawal continued, “We’re able to optimize and reduce costs, follow unique business workflows , and automate it so you’re in compliance right now with one button.”

Economic Downturn Spurs a Cloud-Based Solution

The company started as a consulting firm performing custom development for government clients, with an early version of SchedulePro being a side project.

The 2008 economic downturn, however, spurred a reset for the company and a re-evaluation of its core value proposition, as clients’ slashed consulting budgets, thereby shrinking the consulting services arm at the software company.

Agrawal said, “In 2008, we thought, ‘What are we now?’  We were no longer a consulting company, but we had this scheduling software and this know-how.  We thought, ‘Let’s repackage this for the web’.  Everybody wants web-based services.  At that time, all the big players hadn’t converted their services to the web yet.”

“We’ve been steadily growing since then, and have been able to sign up some big marquee clients.  Because we have such differentiated value in this scheduling space, we’ve been able to win these big clients.  We’re the company that comes in and solves those problems after the establishment either gives up or fails to deliver.”

The upside of the 2008 downturn was that it provided the impetus for companies to examine how they deployed resources and where they could save on expenses.  With that motivation, along with the proliferation of cloud-based services, companies began to search for vendors instead of maintaining expensive in-house IT departments devoted to this kind of software.

Agrawal said, “Companies in the automotive sector, for instance, know how to build great cars.  They know how to engineer automobiles.  They’re not experts at software.  They just want a solution, and it’s much cheaper to purchase a solution than to build and maintain that expertise in house.  We’ve been able to take several people managing an in-house program and turn it into just one IT manager, who really is just managing a relationship.”

Compounding the need, older workforce management tools designed in-house a decade or more ago may be becoming obsolete or increasingly burdensome to update.  This has presented an opportunity for growth for EDP.

Agrawal said, “Legacy tools built in-house need to be replaced, and so these companies don’t need a team of IT professionals when the company’s core competency is, for example, manufacturing.  The downturn precipitated the kind of spend to get rid of these resources internally.  People realize it’s expensive to build their own software.”

This simplification and reliability is a huge benefit to industries for which compliance is becoming more complex, especially in the aftermath of large-scale accidents with fatal or disastrous consequences.  Agrawal said, “In the oil and gas field, there’s ever-increasing knowledge of fatigue management and rules.  New management is coming into play, and these new regulations are causing the impetus to deal with these.  So their compliance and regulatory burden is increasing.”

EDP has partnered with Vancouver company Fatigue Science, bringing an additional safety aspect to their business.  Fatigue Science, pioneers in commercial fatigue and performance consulting, “quantifies the source and extent of fatigue in the workplace and helps mitigate risk related to that fatigue.”  They have worked on peak performance with the Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Mavericks and Vancouver Canucks.

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“Once you start really understanding the body, the biometrics, and the deep research that these tools are based on, you may think, ‘I’m in compliance with these rules, but now I’m really going to reduce my risk, really understand how I can schedule my staff in the most effective way, based on science,” said Agrawal.

Participation in HyperGrowth

EDP Software has recently been accepted into the inaugural cohort of BCTIAs Hypergrowth program, a second-stage accelerator aiming to rapidly ramp up earnings for companies that have already achieved product-market fit and revenue.

For the near term, the team at EDP wants to continue its growth in industrial fields and key markets where they can help with complex scheduling and compliance burdens.  In the long run, they see a huge potential in the workforce management space.   Other vendors, Agrawal claims, do not focus on workforce management in and of itself, but instead only address it as a way of getting business in HR and payroll processing.

Agrawal said, “None of these companies going after payroll are thinking, let me understand in depth the way petrochemical works or automotive works, and the types of interactions among people, process, machinery, and inventory.  We look at how all of these things are interacting, and build a solution that really helps these companies optimize talent, workforce, and cost so they can not only reduce their payroll costs, but increase efficiency, increase quality, increase delivery, and increase safety.  We want to make manufacturing more effective, more efficient, and safer.”

“The needs of large organizations are changing.  They don’t just want a tool that works.  They want a tool that can provide deep business value, and so there’s a huge opportunity,” Agrawal said. “There’s a huge opportunity for us to disrupt the establishment, provide a lot more value to our customers, and really change the expectations that people have of B2B software.  It seems wide open to us.”