Daniella Degrace: 'I love these events.'

Daniella Degrace: 'I love these events.'

Daniella Degrace is not resting on her laurels after capturing top prize at the Fundica Roadshow event in Montreal  earlier this month.

The CEO of Saint John-based ProcedureFlow has been on the road, meeting with clients and potential investors. The company, which helps call centres improve their operational efficiency, has doubled sales in the past year and staff since December. There’s no sign of the growth slowing down.

A recent highlight for the company was its appearance at the Fundica Roadshow’s Montreal pitching session, where it was one of three Atlantic Canadian companies pitching. ProcedureFlow ended up winning the “Series A Track” (which features the most mature companies) in Montreal, and will go on to the national finals in July, at which it could win an investment of $500,000.

“It was great to be selected and to represent the region,” said Degrace in a phone interview from New York, where she was meeting clients before flying on to Chicago. “I love those events. As a startup, one of the things you’re always looking for is ways to accelerate your growth and your presence in the marketplace. And having all these great events to network at and meet people and investors, it helps you grow more quickly.”

ProcedureFlow – whose corporate name is Gemba Software Solutions – began in 2015 when it was spun out of Saint John tech services company Innovatia. It secured $2 million in equity funding from Innovatia and the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation and was headed by tech veteran Degrace, who had previously worked for such successful startups as Radian6 and Q1 Labs.

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The company’s mission was to sell a digital product developed by Innovatia that helped corporate clients simplify complicated procedures for employees. Some companies – especially those with call centres, or contact centres -- need their employees to understand hundreds or thousands of business procedures. ProcedureFlow provides companies with a series of flow charts and digital tools that help to train employees and let them find information more quickly.

Degrace said the companies that use ProcedureFlow have experienced a reduction of as much as 90 percent  in the time it takes to train employees and an increase of up to 50 percent in performance. Operating costs of these companies have fallen by as much as 5 percent. She added that contact centres have huge problems with turnover and ProcedureFlow helps to retain employees.

“We started with the contact centre market and within that we’ve seen tremendous success in healthcare, insurance and utility/telecoms,” said Degrace. “We have a very broad market across industries, across size of companies, and around the world. We’ve had really good relationships with customers in our region.”

The company, which was named to the Top 20 of the Canadian Innovation Exchange in 2016, is continuing to grow. Degrace is now raising capital (she declined to say how much) and expects to double her staff, now at 13, again in the next 12 months.

ProcedureFlow is also working on new features for its product, which it hopes to roll out in the next year. These include a “social collaboration feature”, which will enable every employee in a work force to contribute to the improvement of operational processes. The company is also working on a new reporting system that will tell clients how well their employees and teams of employees are using the ProcedureFlow product.