Rockland firm has eye to future
BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
Such was the situation Frank O’Dea and Greg Dodge, veteran hospitality executives, found themselves confronting in 2013. As proprietors of a new hospitality firm, they did not want to be stuck using the same old arcane and inefficient scheduling system.
O’Dea and Dodge contracted Superior Technology Solutions in Pearl River, a firm that helps businesses solve problems using the latest in computer technology, to tackle the problem. Months later a new app was born: “Schedule Cloud by One Touch.”
Schedule Cloud is part of a wave of innovation changing the hospitality industry for the better. The Schedule Cloud app alone has brought several companies into the 21st century of scheduling technology.
What can be so difficult about scheduling employees you ask? Consider this. In the hospitality industry employees do not typically work 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., nor are hours and events uniform and consistent. Labor is allocated on a job-by-job basis, as events are scheduled at different days and times each week and no two events are the same.
Now imagine booking a weekly schedule consisting of numerous events and several hundred employees across the nation, as Superior Technology clients Wolfgang Puck, Restaurant Associates and Tres LA do. It’s starting to sound more complicated, isn’t it?
Superior Technology President John Luludis explained, “Prior to this program, they were using paper and phone!”
The paper and phone method was creating a lot of headaches and wasted time. Overtime costs were needlessly high.
The app created by Superior “helps locate labor to need,” Luludis said. It allows clients to schedule staffing for events from a national headquarters, instead of doing so locally, place by place.
The reduction of wasted time is leading to increase in company profits.
Dodge said his company turned a profit in its first year, not something a new company can bank on. In an interview back in November 2014 Dodge noted, “One year out, we’re turning a profit, and growing—very positive for a start-up.”
Superior literature explained that the app does some thinking for its users. “The tool allows employees to directly interface with the application — by entering their availability they are matched with upcoming events. The program also features business intelligence reporting and electronic event employee time sheets,” a press release on the company’s website said.
Luludis said the Schedule Cloud app is in wider use in the industry every day. Soon the app is expected to go beyond scheduling, enabling employees to declare tips for their shift.
He noted Superior is now working on technology that would allow employees to punch in for work with their fingerprints. “Bio-metric hardware,” he calls it.
It is clear Superior has secured a foothold in the booming market for apps, and the company’s corner of the business world offers a glimpse into how technology is revolutionizing our lives and modernizing our economy. The firm does more than just write ingenious programs that make clients businesses run smoother, the Superior team also has a full service menu of technological upgrades available.
Given its success with the scheduling app, it is fair to dream: will Superior ever stumble upon an innovation that takes the entire country by storm? Only time will tell.
The brain trust at the Pearl River firm sees potential for certain clients in the new Apple TV platform.
Apple has recently launched a new TV interface on their phones and Luludis said Superior is “getting in on the ground floor.” Superior is a “business partner” with Apple, a necessary designation to get an app in Apple’s app store.
If Apple TV takes off, Superior clients will be in great position to capitalize on the new medium.
Plus, who doesn’t want to be a TV star?
While he was at our disposal, the Rockland County Times took the opportunity to ask Luludis a question regarding the future of technology. Prominent scientists are on record predicting there won’t be as much use for humans in the coming decades because machines will not only do our work but a lot of our thinking, as well. Is artificial intelligence something to fear?
Luludis is not panicking. He said, “A.I. is not new. When I was in school we learned about A.I…input medical data into a machine and it would output advice.”
He said in the future people will still be needed.
After all, “machines break in different ways than people do.”