By Gustav Anderson
Dec. 3, 2021
In a rapidly evolving world-ecosystem, the power of proximity is becoming increasingly relevant. For REEF Parking, the key to achieving this power lies in parking lots.
“REEF brings the world to your block,” says HRIS manager John Serignese. “Our model is based on proximity. So what used to be a parking lot in an urban area, now contains our ghost kitchens, our healthcare or delivery sites. [Consumers] can then access our services in close proximity to where they are.”
Beginning in Miami as a mobile technology service helping people find parking spaces, the start-up eventually gathered a small portfolio of real estate which they used to launch a variety of ghost kitchens. REEF has since grown to 10,000 locations with 18,000 employees primarily in the US and Canada. Outside of ghost kitchens, they also offer parking, healthcare, last-minute delivery, and energy services.
With a high-speed and dynamic business model, REEF prides itself on expanding efficiently and without error. In the past year, the company has rapidly launched numerous ghost kitchens across North America, all the while having to keep up with countless operational, legal, and managerial challenges.
“Depending on the day of the week, we might be triaging a payroll item where we have to quickly act on the configuration of a new time-off policy,” says Serignese. “As we start up in new markets, we are constantly faced with feedback from our business.”
All of REEF’s locations were conducting scheduling and compliance manually through a complex combination of spreadsheets, texts, and bulletin boards. And with a support team solely based in the U.S., it was difficult to answer user questions and deploy critical configurations in a timely manner.
REEF needed an agile workforce management system that could match the speed at which they were expanding. “We have to act quickly, and the systems that we use, they have to be able to receive a change quickly, and then have it implemented across a large population,” says Serignese.
To satisfy a wide range of labor compliance laws they faced across all their regions, REEF required a system capable of in-depth configuration and adaptability. Moreover, the solution had to be easy to implement and simple for users to learn.
REEF found in Workforce.com a similar drive for creating dynamic solutions. “We’re looking to take over the globe with our business model – Workforce.com allows us to do that,” says Serignese.
The platform matches the agility of REEF’s rapidly scaling operations, quickly and confidently automating all scheduling, timekeeping, and compliance matters across a wide range of regions and markets. Via an intuitive cloud-based system, employees and executives alike have the visibility and functionality they need to quickly deliver services to consumers in metropolitan areas everywhere.
“We partnered with Workforce.com because it could be implemented faster than anyone else,” says Serignese. “The tool is scalable in an agile way where we could meet the demands of the business’ growth very quickly.”
With Workforce.com, REEF realized its potential to interconnect its thousands of different business locations in a streamlined fashion. Here are some of the results REEF has experienced since implementing the new platform:
REEF’s success hinges on quickly setting up flexible locations in close proximity to consumers. Doing this properly requires the presence of agile workforce management infrastructure. Workforce.com’s scheduling and timekeeping tools ensure REEF workers are ready and able to work anywhere at any time, fueling the growth of the company from the bottom up.
Workforce.com offers a highly detailed compliance engine capable of handling all kinds of specific labor requirements. It helps REEF account for fair work week legislation in Chicago, while also properly managing complex meal break laws in California. “So far, we haven’t come across a rule we haven’t been able to configure,” says Serignese.
REEF now has more oversight and control over variables impacting their highly decentralized business model, “It’s really helped us to align as an organization,” reflects Serignese.
The company uses Workforce.com’s reporting functionality to see if business is growing from a labor and scheduling standpoint. They can easily track overtime, nonproductive hours worked, and scheduled versus actual hours. All of this information is then summarized into dashboards for the executive team to view.
“Workforce.com solved our disjointed use of systems and manual processes across different business applications,” says Serignese. “By bringing the business into one platform we became more efficient from a data quality standpoint, from a system governance standpoint, and security standpoint.”
Via the system’s intuitive user experience, all REEF locations, employees, and executives were able to quickly learn the new technological tools at their disposal. This ease of use is critical in assisting REEF’s continued high-speed growth worldwide.
“The user has a very clean and concise front-end experience,” mentions Serignese. “The simplicity is elegant because the user does not need to read a 50-page manual in order to build a schedule.”
With access to in-depth permission levels, languages, and pay differentials, REEF is able to tailor the software to the specific needs of any of their locations. Deploying these system configurations in a timely fashion is key to the success of REEF’s support team as well as the operations of every ghost kitchen and parking service.
At the time of implementation, REEF had just acquired a company with 8,000 staff that needed to be paid on time. They immediately got to work with Workforce.com to rapidly implement an efficient timekeeping system that would integrate flawlessly with payroll.
“Workforce.com was able to deliver a system in a matter of days for the HRIS team to then configure by region,” reflects Serignese. “Items like overtime and sick leave and scheduling were set up all in a matter of weeks, which I have not ever come across in my experience.”
Together, REEF and Workforce.com are reinventing how, when, and where people consume.
“Without Workforce.com we wouldn’t be able to enter new markets as fast as we do,” reflects Serignese. “Traditionally, entering a new market would take months and our business ultimately doesn’t operate that way. Because Workforce.com allows for an agile deployment, we can start the work within days.”
From ghost kitchens to emergency care services, parking lots hold unlimited potential; this potential is only realized through optimized workforce management.
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