Woven is growing in more ways than one. Since its inception in 2017, Woven continues to add features and improvements, and new Multi-Unit Franchisees at a rapid pace. Woven also has a new member of the family. Founder and CEO Matt Goebel and Multi Unit Franchisee and partner, Cristina, have welcomed baby Kensington and we thought it was a great time to introduce her to the Woven extended family, and check in with Matt.
Woven - Woven is a workplace management platform, but at the macro level, it was created to give users back the greatest gift-time. Can you explain how Woven does this?
Matt - Woven crushes and alleviates the “administrivial” burdens of operators, managers, and franchisees by relieving the trivial and administrative work that bogs down the day to day and distracts from focus on customers, team, and advancing goals. There are fewer logins, fewer siloed placed to manage your business, so fewer things to keep track of. The platform enables the user to see more of their business at once, in one place. This simple concept compounded over 20+ different functional areas of the business, ranging from employee engagement to facilities management, gives back time.
Woven - So Woven enables companies to make time for people, by streamlining the things they have to manage. When you refer to 'people', you are referring not only to the people they manage, but also, referencing back to our first question, making time for the people in their lives as a whole. In your own Multi-Unit Franchise business, what do the managers tell you they love the most about using Woven?
Matt - Our first feature was liability management for our massage franchise. This took so much off the Managers having to track licenses, insurance, background checks, and immediately automated that. This allowed them to be less administratively heavy and focus on culture, growth, goals. Woven just grew from there.
If I were to try and summarize all of their comments over the last few years, I would say that they love Woven because a) it provides them work-life balance and b) reduces or eliminates many of the job frustrations that come with managing an hourly workforce. This is why Woven was built at its heart. The world of Multi-Unit operations and managing hourly employees is difficult enough. When Woven is able to give quality of life back to these hard working people, it is awesome.
Woven - What is the number one efficiency issue potential customers come to Woven looking to solve?
Matt - Broadly, people come to Woven because they're trying to solve 1, maybe 2 pain points. They adopt Woven because they learn it solves the pain points, and so much more. Once they realize that the inefficient “status quo” of 6+ different systems is obsolete and there is a better way (Woven), it's like watching a light bulb go off their heads.
They may come for a scheduling need or auditing need or communication need, but then they realize they can solve problems with Woven they previous didn’t know there was a solution for.
We've actually never lost any Woven customers.
Woven - Do you think those who have adopted Woven have been able to get additional growth and new locations sooner?
Matt - Absolutely! We primarily work with multi-unit organizations that are actively growing – through acquisition or new openings. Woven is a key piece to enabling the scalability of systems, processes, and tools across locations effortlessly.
We have one specific customer that comes to mind that has been opening a new location up every week and has been doing that for close to a year. That type of hyper-growth isn’t possible without having scalability built in.
Organizations trying to scale locations using 6+ different systems quickly find that the inefficiencies of all the siloed tools, data and complexities in training start working against them as they grow larger. That just isn’t the case with Woven. If anything, efficiencies only get better with Woven the larger the organization gets.
Woven - What feature do Woven customers say they like the most? Why?
Matt - Location audits. They say it's easy to use, that it is powerful in terms of insight, but affords lots of flexibility to customize. Competitors in that space don't give as much ability to build their own templates or restrict how many they can build. There are no limits with Woven. It's clean, simple, and built as a coaching tool versus a slap on the wrist tool. It's contextual, gives relevant feedback versus nonchalant 'what's wrong' and affords the opportunity to improve.
Woven - What feature do you like the most and feel most proud of?
Matt - Definitely Shift Scheduling! It's robust, provides labor planning, saves the franchise money, it's easy to create and fill open shifts, cover shifts, and deal with call outs. This feature makes the manager's life so much easier. It is also the most robust user interface within Woven and fully supported on our native apps.
Woven - What do most of your customers tell you after using Woven for a few months?
Matt - That it is so easy to use and is intuitive. This surprises most people as software is often not all that intuitive and easy to use, especially in the Franchise industry. We built software for this industry for ten years before we built Woven. Working with the unique user base found within the Franchise industry has given us a lot of insight on how and how not to do things.
Woven - Your life changed significantly this past month with your new baby. Given you have created a platform to make businesses more efficient, and given back the greatest gift-time, can you describe how this major life change has shifted some of the ways you have to remain productive?
Matt - Woven for babies in 2023! Just kidding.
I'm in the midst of figuring that out right now. I now wake up feeling torn between spending time with her, vs being at work. That's a major change as in the past I was eager to get into work. It is difficult to figure out, as a type A workaholic, where this new balance fits in. But balance has always been a driver of what we were trying to create for people. I see this even more clearly now, but am honestly still figuring this out.
In general, if people are happy at home and at work, it's win-win. Both sides of life are better. I've always been supportive of family time, and now I find myself doubling down on those beliefs.
Woven - What are some of the newest features and how did they come about. Woven has a really customer-centric process for adding features. Walk us through that.
Matt - We release 1-2 new major features per year, while at the same time, continuously enhancing and touching every feature within the platform. Business is always evolving and Woven needs to stay fresh, right at the edge of what is possible to always adding new value for our customers.
This year we released Shift Scheduling in June, and are in process of rolling out the File Library feature now. The File Library features is special for us because it straddles both Franchisor and Franchisee needs, more to come on that. But both are major new features.
The number of enhancements and frequency in which they come is also not common for this industry. And this is all based on our customer feedback loops. Revamping preventative maintenance, to make it more robust, improving the incidents feature, work orders, team members, all features got major improvements and enhancements based on feedback from our customers this year.
We do a release every week and are always moving the ball forward for our customers.
Woven - What's next for Woven?
Matt - Woven is the most robust Franchisee / Multi-Unit operations platform used at the tactical level to run a Multi-Unit business. We will never lose sight of that and will always be investing in making those tactical tools better and more robust. In 2022 though, we are turning attention to the Franchisor / Franchisee relationship. We’ll first be focused on solving the problems in industry on how a brand disseminates and shares information within their system.
This means Woven will be adding functionality that allows a brand to communicate down to those frontline workers that are the face of the brand, all without violating joint-employer rules. That's our major 'what's next' focus.
This new focus will initially see the release of the File Library for file sharing and also a one-of-a-kind Learning Management System built specifically for franchising.
In the end, franchisors will get a higher degree of control of information flow and maintain compliance. But in a way that's congruent with, and beneficial to franchisees and operators versus creating additional side work they resist.