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Skip everything but the welcome . . . A members' tale

July 30, 2020
Member News
Merton Chamber

New Premier Member, Skip Technologies - The touch-less way to check into offices, events and more - was born and bred in Wimbledon, founded by Andy Young.

Andy and his family had just returned to London from having worked abroad for the previous 10 years. On their return this time they had two little boys in tow aged 6 months and 2 years, both of whom had trouble sleeping. Andy had forgotten how many people came ringing in the evenings in London, selling or collecting for charity. The loud doorbell in their rental in Alwyne Road caused the children to wake up and got him thinking… Shouldn’t we be able to have a doorbell which ‘rings’ directly to our mobile phones and doesn’t disturb the entire household?

His friend, the CEO at a software development firm agreed and they set to work building the idea into reality. This coincided shortly after with the birth of Ring’s video doorbell which while a slightly different concept already had traction and indeed ended up in Amazon’s stable. On top of all that, Andy had a day job to hold down and not a lot of sleep to go around for the whole family. There was little time and even less retail enthusiasm for the idea, and they decided to pivot.

They would focus on office receptions; the entire process of queuing up, scrambling for ID, signing a book or fumbling with an iPad in order to check in was and is out-dated, full of hassle and now in the age of Covid - arguably unsafe.

They’ve come up with a solution which provides a completely contactless entry and check-in process for employees and visitors. The entire thing is directed via people’s smartphones - they can simply walk into a building and check in, no queue, no smudgy tablet screen, complete ease and security via their own phone. They get their ID badge and access codes where appropriate on their phone too. On top of that there are other ideas abound.

Occupancy management has become a pressing concern post-Covid and Skip offers solutions for that, as well as things like cameras to confirm whether a person is wearing a face-mask, the ability to answer health questionnaires and deny entry if necessary, the provision of safety procedures prior to a guest’s arrival, and so it goes on, all with the requisite data tracking and back-up software.

“We want to build around a customer’s location per their own requirements,” says Andy. “It’s kind of a bespoke service in the beginning, and when we gain enough customer traction, we can funnel all this into a product people actually need. This means we can avoid ‘recency bias’ and all the big predictions people are making about how office life will be after Covid - we can be agile and flexible with our software so we can learn how this all plays out, as our customers learn too.”

Andy sees opportunity from the Covid crisis, but it’s also a win-win situation. “We are determined to help businesses persuade visitors and customers it’s safe to come back into the ‘built world’,” he says. “What began and remains a question of convenience, cost cutting and excellent customer experience has morphed into also being a mission to help open up the economy after this terrible virus.”