Notify CEO Duncan Davies spoke to BDO’s plugd:in team about how and why he started the company and how our products are helping clients get back to work safely and COVID-secure.
BDO is an accountancy and business advisory firm with a global network operating in 164 countries with 1500 offices worldwide. plugd:in is BDO’s content hub for its tech and digital media community.
You can read the full BDO interview here.
Below are some excerpts from the interview. If you’re interested in finding out more about Notify and the benefits of using smart and efficient tech in Health & Safety within your business, please request your free account here and we’ll get you set up.
How did Notify come into being?
My co-founder and I wanted to bring the benefits of technology to the health and safety sector, which can be a bit of a dinner party conversation killer at times! Our backgrounds are in technology around autonomous vehicles, telematics and other similar sectors. We could see that the software for health and safety was not working as well as it could be. It seemed to have been left behind; there’s lots of software for HR and marketing, CRM systems and finance and HR systems, but health and safety itself has been a bit neglected.
What common issues do businesses encounter in terms of health and safety?
Many businesses don’t really know what a risk assessment entails, and health and safety has been seen as a bit of a dull and boring thing to check off, rather than something that is dynamic, changeable and helpful. I think the other main issue we see all the time is about engagement with employees. It’s really important. We have one client where they logged under 40 near-misses in the year prior to using our software. In the first 10 months of using us, they had 400 near-misses logged. That was purely because in the old days, employees would have to ring up and report something, or complete a paper form – moving from that process to quickly using an app meant that reporting was much easier and more appealing. Plus, they know that their report is going to be seen quickly and then followed up.
What impact has COVID-19 had on the business and your clients?
As we’re a technology business, homeworking hasn’t been a huge challenge, thankfully. For us, the key thing has been to understand what the impact has been on our clients. We’ve now got around 50 clients across a range of sectors, from those that will probably not be that affected all the way through to pretty badly affected indeed. Trying to figure out what we can do to support them and what they need has been our primary focus right now.
How do you think businesses will need to adapt in the aftermath of COVID-19 in terms of health and safety?
Even businesses that don’t believe they’re very risky, such as software companies like ours, underestimate the difficulty of getting the team back to the office. What sounds like quite a simple first step – returning to the office – has a 25-page government document covering things that companies should check and make sure happen. You need to consult with your employees and find out who feels comfortable about coming back to work, who needs shielding, or who’s worried about getting the virus outside of work etc. It’s not an insignificant task.