When you find a tool that makes your job easier, it gives you flexibility and time to focus on higher value activities. When that same tool makes things easier for your entire team, it increases efficiency, confidence and morale for everyone.
When the new tool your team is utilizing and loving is your own product, that’s special.
We’ve found by using our own product to manage workloads across projects and initiatives, it enables us to see the value, vision and improvement opportunities that we’re discussing with our customers on a daily basis. The ability to solve our specific business problems with our own platform fuels our passion to share our product with as many contractors as possible because we know first hand that it works better than any other option out there.
Trusting your own product to manage your own business is a real gut check. But if you’re serious about continuing to evolve and get better, it’s an enlightening step in the journey of continuous improvement.
The practice of adopting and using your own product to run your business is called “eating your own dog food” or “dogfooding”. It’s something that we do at LaborChart.
Definition: Eating Your Own Dog Food
In 1998, Paul Maritz, Microsoft manager, coined the phrase by sending an email with the subject line, “Eating our own dog food”, and challenged his team to increase internal usage of Microsoft’s product. The phrase stuck.
Sure, they could have used something tastier than dog food, but that’s the point. If your product is dog food and it’s so tasty that even you will eat it, then your customers will too. If you won’t eat it, then why should they?
By eating your own dog food, or using your own product, you’re proving, from your own experience, it’s a quality product that others should be taking advantage of, too. Dogfooding can happen before a product is launched or as an evaluation step mid-way through development.
As long as you’re doing a continuous taste test; your business, your employees and your customers will appreciate your commitment to living what you’re selling.
How LaborChart uses its own cloud-based workforce management platform
As the Director of Customer Experience, I want to know exactly how our product works. I want to internalize why we are encouraging others in the construction industry to trash their spreadsheets, whiteboards and legacy processes and practices. The only way to fully understand is to adopt and depend on the platform myself.
Like you, I had heard about the advantages of LaborChart, but it wasn’t until I adopted the platform myself that the value proposition became undeniable. Today, I have my entire team loaded into the system. I can see their past, current and projected workload and I have a firm grasp on what projects are coming, who is available and who needs help. As an advanced spreadsheet user myself, I can now objectively say no combination of spreadsheet formulas, functions and formatting can come anywhere close to the dynamic transparency and convenience unlocked by LaborChart.
At LaborChart, we eat our own dog food. Although our product was developed for the construction industry, I manage our Customer Experience onboarding operations in the workforce management platform. I have configured the platform to have clear visibility into the timing and requirements of current and future customers (i.e. projects) as well as line of sight to the availability and strengths of my team members (i.e. people). The convenient accessibility of project and people information helps me get the right person on the project at the right time.
Taking advantage of a holistic workforce management view
My team is responsible for knowing our customers, detecting how we can help them and partnering with them to develop and achieve workforce management milestones and goals. Our effectiveness is paramount to setting up our customers for success. That requires precise coordination, attention to detail and follow-through.
LaborChart creates controlled transparency for my entire team. I can analyze, learn and adapt our practice from prior busy workload seasons, keep track of current throughput and capacity and forecast ahead to see when I might need to hire more people. At LaborChart, we’re eating our own dog food and we like it.
We think you will too. Take a bite of our dog food and book a demo today.