One to watch – Irish HR software start-up Elephant

By: October 9, 2013
Linda O'Reilly, founder and financial controller with Sunil Kumar, I.T director of Elephant Smart Business Linda O'Reilly, founder and financial controller with Sunil Kumar, I.T director of Elephant Smart Business

It’s not often you see a start-up with software that is ‘disruptive’. The words ‘innovative and ‘disruptive’ are bandied about these days whenever something comes to market, but it is rare to find an Irish start-up that really could have the potential to disrupt a market.

Elephant, a new staff management piece of software aimed at SMEs, looks the part. It was developed over a five year period by Linda O’Reilly, an accountant by profession, with business partner and IT director Sunil Kumar.

It is a ‘plug & play’ system that’s as easy to use as a smartphone and can manage, on a 24/7 basis, everything from staff sign ins, staff breaks, reports on annual leave, appraisals, absences, payroll, N.E.R.A reports, rosters and staff budgets. It seems particularly suitable for retail businesses and firms that employ people for various shifts during the day.

So far, so good, but what really sets the software apart is it analytical ability. It can, down to the exact cent, tell a manager or business owner how much each case of staff tardiness, or staff absences cost the business. It can, to the most minute detail, inform a business owner as to who are the most productive people in their team and who are the ones not pulling their weight. Invaluable information when it comes to appraisals. Very little seems to escape the system.

“It’s like having a full time HR manager for your business. Staff get texts if they are late, they must report back to the system with their reasons and this allows the system to record, for the manager, precise reports around each member of staff,” says founder Linda O’Reilly.

It may sound intrusive to an onlooker but O’Reilly says it actually motivates staff. “What we have seen, when it’s applied to a working environment like a supermarket, is the system motivates staff to comply with company procedures, times and schedules. Staff that may have been more ‘liberal’ with their timekeeping now comply with the system and this makes diligent staff more appreciative that everyone is now pulling their weight.”

Elephant is aimed at the SME market – hotels, c-stores, supermarkets, factories, wholesale businesses etc. – and has plans to enter the UK market. “We built the company and software to this point ourselves, without VC funding, but to expand, our next phase is to talk to the likes of Enterprise Ireland and look to the VC sector for investment,” says Kumar.

Elephant Smart Business is a live, cloud-based software that’s hosted on Microsoft Azure servers.