by Stephanie Faris
Published on 24 March 2014
A simple to use cloud based platform for scheduling workers, managing tasks, and real time reporting
The process of managing a distributed workforce is not only complicated but costly. Natural Insight takes this process and simplifies it into one easy to use, intuitive, cloud based program. It allows a company's most valuable assets, the managers, to get out of the closet and on the floor.
Natural Insight automates what is traditionally a very manual process, moving scheduling, task management, timekeeping, and reporting to the cloud, making life easy for both employees and employers.
Founded in 2005, Natural Insight is a cloud-based service that focuses on retail and merchandising workforce management. The software has a robust customer base, with such big-name clients as Godiva, DeLiA*s, Market Source, Western Digital, and A.C. Moore using it to manage their employees.
Natural Insight moves scheduling, task management, timekeeping and reporting to the cloud, providing real time visibility into retail execution at every level. Employees are able to login and see everything they need in one place, including: their schedule, their tasks to be completed, a calendar, and alerts. They can GPS Check-In/Out using any device, with hours worked automatically captured by Natural Insight and made available to Payroll systems. Survey data and photos captured by employees in the field are automatically available for managers to view, providing real-time visibility into project completion and compliance.
Residing completely in the cloud allows Natural Insight to have retailers, merchandising and product companies, up and running within 30 days. Available on any smartphone, tablet, or PC, managers can create and manage schedules and assign tasks from any location. Natural Insight takes care of the techie stuff and mobilizes staff, allowing employees to focus on the customers.
When a user first logs into Natural Insight, he is directed to a dashboard made up of separate sections, called "pods." In the top left corner is a pod that allows a user to access his calendar, update his profile, and see items that need immediate action.
Employee dashboard with schedule, tasks, calendar and action items
Clicking on the calendar icon takes the user to a view of his calendar.
Directly from the calendar (and from the dashboard) an employee is able to schedule work opportunities that have been sent to him. The easiest way to schedule all unscheduled work is in the To-Do's/Unscheduled Work pod just above the calendar. This pod displays the ten items expiring soonest, along with the length of time the work is expected to take. To choose an assignment from the list, an employee only needs to click on that item.
Unscheduled Work/To-Do's pod
Clicking on the item brings up a detailed page. To schedule the work, an employee only needs to click on the "Schedule" button and he will place that task directly on his calendar.
The work pod, located beneath the pod in the top-left corner, lists an employee's scheduled work by day. Clicking on the stopwatch next to an item lets a worker clock in, while clicking on the notepad icon lets a worker submit completed work. This pod will vary depending on the type of work a business is doing.
Work pod, listing an employee's scheduled work by day
Once a worker is at the store he can click the stopwatch to GPS Check-In and automatically capture timekeeping.
He can also click to enter all survey data, product information, and photos.
Worker completing a survey
Project Managers at home office have real time access to report on all data and visually verify work completion.
Visual Verification with Image Gallery
Natural Insight provides customer support through both a web form and a toll-free number.
Natural Insight provides both per-store and transactional pricing, so it's important that companies contact the company for a cost model unique to their business. Plans start at $2,500 per month.
Natural Insight provides businesses an easy way to manage their most valuable resource, their workforce. Natural Insight ensures communication from the home office is heard and followed through on at all levels. This customizable, cloud-based software gives employees one place to go to for all of their management needs.
Ratings: ease of use 4/5, features 4/5, value 3/5