Building a business from the ground up takes a great deal of resourcefulness and flexibility. Jason Gates and Ben Chehebar, co-founders of San Francisco based waste management data company, Compology, are getting the most out of the resources available to them by using the KUBI telepresence robot to connect their team.
Compology uses sensors placed inside waste containers to provide analytics that help waste management companies become more efficient. The data gathered can be used for a number of purposes, such as routing trucks to full waste containers and predicting capacity for disposal sites. Their business is growing, and they are in the early stages of building installations at sites all around the country.
One of their software architects, Mike, is responsible for data processing and analytics, tasks which are vital to daily operations at Compology. Jason and Ben would prefer to have all of their employees working in the office, but due family reasons Mike works almost entirely from home. Mike is a highly skilled worker, and Jason and Ben value him as an employee, so they are happy to allow him to work from home as long as he is productive and they can keep in touch with him. Being a new father with a wife and two children, workplace flexibility is very important to Mike, and he appreciates the opportunity to do his work from home.
While it may seem case specific, their situation is a common one. More and more companies are hiring from talent pools outside their local area and managing these employees remotely. For a growing company like Compology, managing a remote employee presents a challenge, one which Jason and Ben were initially reluctant to take on. Their main concern was being able to stay in touch with Mike during key business hours, and being able to have his immediate attention should anything urgent come up. Using telepresence with KUBI has allowed the team to bridge the communication gap and work effectively on a daily basis.
“Mike is an essential member of our team, and these new tools allow us to create a situation we can all benefit from”.
Due to the small size of their team Compology only needed one KUBI, which they leave connected to an iPad on a desk in their open workspace. They use Zoom video conferencing software, which gives them the ability to run an open telepresence meeting all day without having to send and receive calls. This way, Mike can pop in and out throughout the day with questions or updates, and they can do the same with him. The audio can be muted, or either party can leave the meeting at any time should they need privacy. At home, Mike uses his laptop for video conferencing and has a separate window open to control KUBI.
KUBI works for Compology as part of an entire “virtual collaboration” solution. In addition to KUBI, Jason and Ben take advantage of other supplemental tools to help manage a remote employee. They use Asana to assign and manage tasks, and use Google Docs and Google Spreadsheets to work together on projects. Jason is enthusiastic about this system. “Mike is an essential member of our team, and these new tools allow us to create a situation we can all benefit from”. By combining these tools with KUBI they feel he and Jason feel have developed a very efficient and productive workflow with Mike.
“KUBI makes him [Mike] feel like he’s part of the group”.
The Compology team has been very pleased with how KUBI is working out. From a management perspective, both Jason and Ben feel much better knowing that they have an open line of communication with Mike. “I don’t know what it would be like having Mike as a remote employee without a KUBI”, Jason commented. They use KUBI for a more formal meeting in the morning, then leave it on throughout the day so they can communicate openly. “But it isn’t all serious business,” Jason mentioned “I would say 40% of the interaction is purely social”. Because the KUBI is on all day, it makes Mike feel more included in the team. “If we are chatting and he has something to add to the conversation, he turns the KUBI and chimes in. The movement catches your eye so you know he has something to say”, Jason added. “And we can always get his attention. KUBI makes him feel more like he’s part of the group”.
“Using KUBI would help us stretch our dollars by not having to open up multiple offices”…
As Compology grows, Jason and Ben see plenty of potential for integrating KUBI. They already have deployments across the country, and with more on the horizon, they will need a way to manage remote installations. With rapid growth across multiple cities, Jason sees KUBI working well as a communication tool for their remote managers to check in on a daily basis. “Using KUBI would help us stretch our dollars by not having to open up multiple offices, and limit the amount of travel Ben and I would have to do”, added Jason.
At a critical time where every penny counts, KUBI is helping Compology make the most out of their time and money.
To learn more, visit the Revolve Robotics website
Demo a KUBI and experience video conferencing in motion!