Adam Smith and Adam Long—the Co-Founders of new Durham-based startup Wrangle—thought there must be a better way to handle workflow management.
They saw the issues companies face firsthand while working at their last startup Automated Insights, a world leader in natural language generation that was acquired by Vista Equity Partners in 2015. Smith was the Chief Operating Officer (and a GrepBeat Q&A subject) and Long the Chief Product Officer.
As Automated Insights grew from 10 employees to more than 80, the Adams saw challenges arise in middle management and communication. So, like true innovators, they built a better way.
“At the end, we want to make decision-making faster,” Smith said. “We want to make accountability more trackable within the company, so everybody knows who did what and when it happened. And we just want to help companies perform better by maximizing their processes.”
Launching in March of this year, Wrangle made its beta debut just in time to help companies moving into the sometimes unknown territories of work from home. With around 60 companies using Wrangle in beta, the startup served businesses ranging from consulting companies in finance or software development, to manufacturing and construction companies, to large software and enterprise corporations.
As of August, the fully bootstrapped Wrangle has left beta and is charging customers $12 per person per month using the software, though it is still free for up to five users. The startup’s software automates the workflow by connecting various apps and pinging employees when their step is ready. Wrangle seamlessly syncs with more than 2,000 workplace apps, including Slack, Salesforce, Zendesk, Hubspot, Quickbooks, GSuite and Docusign.
“It turns out when you don’t have your operations and your processes documented and organized and thoughtful and controlled, you get a lot of difficulty in being an employee there,” Long said. “It feels chaotic to be an employee there. It feels chaotic to be a manager. You feel strife with other teams. You feel frustrated that communication isn’t happening.”
Smith said that many times when turnover occurs in a company, it comes down to frustration. Many employees don’t have the tools necessary to do their job and they’re waiting on other teams and lack total transparency on the process.
As Covid-19 has propelled so much remote work, communication can become even more difficult, and many companies have undergone self-reflection over how they can improve. Wrangle just might be the answer.
“All of a sudden these organizations have to adopt technology to make their communication better,” Long said.
Offering a tool like Wrangle that is made for organizing your work and aiding communication across teams is suddenly even more compelling now than it was in January when the duo began discussing the idea, Long said. The pandemic has digitized work in a way that could have a permanent impact.
“I don’t think that the work-from-home environment is going to go away,” Smith said. “Hopefully this is all over soon. But even when it is over, I think companies have realized they can work remotely, that there are benefits to having employees in other places.”