Five minutes with Tristan Rogers, Quinyx CSO
Our chief strategy officer Tristan Rogers’ varied career has centred around tech and retail innovation: in the early 90s, he embarked on the UK's first masters degree in electronic media, then set up a web design business with Diageo and Royal Mail as customers. In 1998, he bought The Oxford French Car Company as a side project, restoring and selling Citroen DSs.
Tristan went on to launch Concrete, an employee task and engagement platform for retail, with customers including Tesco, Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret and many more. Concrete was acquired by Quinyx in March 2022.
As we launch Frontline Portal, Quinyx’s new, industry-leading retail platform, we grabbed a quick chat with Tristan to talk service, the future of retail and why an all-in-one solution for engagement and scheduling is essential.
The biggest learning from my career to date? It’s all about the product. Regardless of your business, if you are “product led”, which means investing in making your product the best it can be for the customers you serve, you will do well. The marketing and sales are just there to help make it a little bit easier for your customer to know about you. For me, it’s all down to the product, and making sure it’s the best it can be.
At Quinyx, our product and our service go hand-in-hand. Yes we're a software company, but we’re a Software as a Service company, and so service is also very important to us. We are there to help our customers, and encourage them to think ‘what's next?’ for their workforce management and employee engagement. So you've got the software as it is, and hopefully you like it, and that's great. But what's the next area of value we can help you with? You're paying a subscription, and our job is to constantly invest in making our offer better. I got involved in ‘Software as a Service’ very early on. The problem with calling it ‘SaaS’ is you don't really talk about service. As a company, we need to be making sure we’re considering how our customers can get better use out of the software. We must consistently think about how the software is evolving and what that will deliver for them.
Bricks and mortar stores won’t ever disappear completely. Ecommerce is 30 years old and it’s far from perfect – it’s still fraught with expense, due to packaging and returns, and horror stories of fashion brands thinking it’s the cheaper option to send products to landfill. People will always want to buy new things, and I believe seeing and buying things in the real world takes some beating. I don’t envisage that going away, but we do need to be better in how we support it. The evolving role of retail staff – supported by apps such as ours, which provides employers with the intelligence and ability to create optimised staff schedules, and staff with an all-in-one app to help them deliver great customer service - is key to this.
It is crucial for employers to really think ahead when addressing employee engagement and workforce management needs. There are apps out there that do employee engagement really well, but they’re not equipped to truly handle the regulated needs of hourly workers. At present, we are seeing some vendors claiming they can do all this, but they are really a veneer sitting on top of a workforce management solution that manages the shifts and the time clocks. They are also often one of many apps the frontline worker needs to access. It results in a poor user experience and overcomplicates the process of managing when a worker should have access to what information and when. Not having a solo, streamlined solution means that companies are likely at some point to face a situation where they fall foul of labour law, or at least an overtime claim, and they will realise they will need to completely overhaul their approach to employee engagement. With Quinyx Frontline Portal, we’re able to deliver a quality user experience, and we also have the fundamentals sitting beneath it to ensure full compliance.
Find out more about the new Frontline Portal and how it can transform your business.