Anyone who hears the word 'employees' thinks of admin. And those who think of doing admin dread the mountains of paperwork. Precious hours that you cannot invest in your business or your client. bookU comes to the rescue: the West Flanders-based company's handy software tool clears administrative chores in a jiffy.
About seven years ago, bookU saw the light of day. Soon the company outgrew its infancy. Today, it has a customer base stretching from the coast to Genk.
"Originally, bookU was founded from a hospitality perspective. I have experience in the sector myself and know the administrative challenges all too well," says Dieter Vanthournout, founder of bookU. "The retail industry experiences the same difficulties: piecing together work schedules, drawing up contracts, communicating with the social secretariat ... Add up all those hours and you have a full day a week passing you by."
The solution? A tool for personnel planning and management that centralises and automates all that hassle.
"We developed specific features for supermarkets together with Colruyt Retail Partners. And these are catching on. They are also enthusiastic at Delhaize, Albert Heijn and Carrefour."
Why bookU's tool is a lifesaver?
"It minimises your admin burden and makes plans clear," explains commercial manager Simon Sintobin. "Dimonas, for example, you no longer have to enter them manually: the system generates them automatically. Just run a check and click ... the data reaches the social secretariat directly!" Practical!
Temping work is also fully integrated into bookU.
"We maintain partnerships with Accent and NOWJOBS, among others. Flexi-workers and student workers easily integrate into the system. That collaboration with social secretariats and employment agencies gives us an edge over competitors: such integration is unique in the market."
"Piecing together work schedules, drawing up contracts, communicating with the social secretariat ... Add up all those hours and you have a full day a week passing you by." (Dieter Vanthournout - founder bookU)
Registration errors and give your company a modern look?
"You do that with our time tracker app," Dieter adds. "The old-fashioned badge system and - more and more cumbersome - the classic spreadsheet are a thing of the past. You simply hang a tablet on the wall and each employee logs in through a personal PIN. Optionally, a photo can be taken as additional verification. The software labels clock-in and clock-out times as normal performance, night or overtime."
In addition to the time tracker app, bookU developed an employee app, which lets you view work schedules, communicate and request leave from the comfort of your own pocket.
User-friendliness is high on the priority list. The system is straightforward and self-explanatory.
"Still, we will not leave users to their own devices," Simon says. "Anyway, we help set up the environment: establishing links with NSSO, setting the right performance codes, learning how to create templates ... Our software consists of several modules that can be switched on or off. In this way, we fully customise the environment to each customer's taste and needs. This is extremely fast, by the way: our turnaround time is one to two weeks."
Even after the configuration moment, bookU faithfully keeps an eye on it.
"We offer training and refresher courses. Our support line is always open for questions and concerns. We also put a strong emphasis on follow-up: the first month we spontaneously call every customer to hear how the first service processing went. This allows us to make immediate adjustments if necessary."
The company is brimming with ambition.
"We are in full growth," Dieter says with satisfaction. "Both geographically and in terms of partnerships. Besides Acerta and Liantis, for example, we may soon add Partena and Randstad to our list."
The common thread in the bookU story today and tomorrow? A big heart and listening ear for retail's administrative needs.