How Nomah manages complex room and cleaning Operations
Nomah replaced Google Sheets, WhatsApp and Pipe with jestor, saving 40h+ hours per month and turning operations into the heart of Nomah’s growth.
About Nomah by Loft
Nomah is creating a new definition of home through technology. You can rent a residential apartment for 1 day or live in it.
Nomah is part of the Loft group. Loft was founded in 2018 in São Paulo, Brazil, and is backed by leading global VC investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive Capital and Monashees.
When everything is about to break
Nomah’s operations team faces one of the most common challenges among growing startups: the tools used in the early days can’t keep up with growth anymore, so things can start to break. There are three main reasons for this:
1. Every startup has a unique operation.
In contrast to sales and accounting, operations is a company-specific area, so one-size-fits-all software doesn’t really help. That’s why Google Sheets is so popular for operations, it’s the fastest way to solve a short term problem.
2. Each team in a startup uses its own tool.
Operations receives data from all the other areas of the company. By definition, it’s the most integrated area in a startup. Startups are known to have tons of different apps and operations needs to work with all of them at the same time.
3. Automations need data reliability and are time consuming.
If you’re managing your processes with tools that don’t scale,such as spreadsheets, WhatsApp and Kanbans, it’s really hard to add simple automations without breaking everything. Engineers are usually overloaded with core tasks and cannot be effective if the data and processes aren’t well defined.
Doing things that don’t scale can help you achieve product-market-fit (PMF). However, after PMF it can actually hurt your startup.
Nomah’s team knew they could not keep the growth pace with non-scalable processes and compensate it by hiring more people to do manual work. This was when they reached out to our team to understand how jestor could help them grow, and help them fast.
”Nomah, recently acquired by Loft, uses jestor for its own operation (room and cleaning management). Jestor helped us replace manual work previously handled by spreadsheets, Google Docs, WhatsApp and Pipe. We’re able to build a scalable process, ensuring data reliability. I highly recommend the solution :-)”
Founder at Loft
Building processes for a high-growth startup
The first challenge we solved with jestor was the cleaning staff management. As all ambitious startups that want to change how things are done, making it a reality is not easy. It involves lots of complexities that are hard to predict.
The cleaning operation by itself has lots of different processes running at the same time and 50+ people on the cleaning staff. On top of that, hundreds of clients need real time information about rooms conditions and availability.
Daily communication with the cleaning staff was handled by groups in WhatsApp
Every day, the operations team needed to communicate the rooms that needed to be cleaned via WhatsApp groups with all the 50+ cleaners. The cleaning team used to send WhatsApp messages for lost items, broken objects and others.
The team had to manually update, room by room, the Property Management System (PMS)
Every time a room was cleaned and ready for rental, the cleaning staff would report it using WhatsApp. The operations team would organize it on a Google spreadsheet and later manually input the data on the PMS. Once the data was in the PMS, the room would become available for a new client.
Multiple unconnected spreadsheets, paper documents and kanbans were used to manage data and tasks
Towels and bed sheets were managed by the cleaners and laundry suppliers using pen and paper. Afterwards, it was all organized in a spreadsheet. Lost items and broken objects had a similar end, being recorded in Trello-like apps. With a growing number of spreadsheets, kanbans, Google Docs, papers and notes: complexity was growing fast.
The cleaning staff uses a customized App built inside jestor
Nomah built a simple app using jestor. The app allowed the cleaning staff to automatically know the rooms that needed to be cleaned, report lost items and record performance data. It is easy to use and mobile (jestor is available on iOS and Android), saving many hours and minimizing communication noise between teams.
Guesty (PMS) is 100% integrated with jestor and automatically updated
Nomah integrated jestor with Guesty so the rooms would become available instantly. No more manual work needed. Data is automatically shared between both platforms, informing the operations and cleaning team when a client needs a room cleaned or has just left it.
Data is reliable and ready to connect with Nomah’s data lake
The cleaning app, PMS and all other processes previously handled by non-scalable tools (spreadsheets and kanbans) are now automated and organized by jestor. All the data that flows through Nomah’s operations is organized in a relational database logic. It means that it is possible to build new automations, save data in a data lake shared by the organization and scale the operation.
TLDR: Nomah saved many hours of both the operations and engineering teams, helping the company keep up with a fast paced growth.
The product point of view
As any successful startup, Nomah worries about how jestor would impact its main product and what would happen when it grew. Jestor is a back office tool that helps startups to build scalable processes and grow faster. It’s an easy way to help growing startups to focus on what matters.
Product and engineering teams have total control over jestor. They can build permissioning rules and can oversee everything that is being built in it, so business teams can be free to solve their problems fast by creating their own automations. Whenever the product team decides to integrate this process or data to the main application, it’s ready to be done. No extra effort needed.
For BI and Analytics teams, jestor solves the pain of having to manually create processes with reliable data. Even though jestor is easy to use, it’s a relational database. When a non-technical person builds a process in jestor, it can be easily consumed by BI applications.
”At first, I was skeptical about how jestor would handle complex tasks. However, it exceeded my expectations. The technology offers many possibilities and it’s fast to build new integrations and other tech processes.”
Head of Product & Tech at Nomah
Why technology and data reliability matters
Technology teams need applications that can keep up with the complexity and new demands that come with all high-growth startups. Jestor has an easy to use interface, but is built with robust features designed for developers. It allows developers to build anything they want. Nomah coded inside jestor to overcome industry specific challenges that other software were not able to do.
A huge worry of any tech leader inside a startup is how much is their company dependent on a platform. Jestor eliminates this problem by being completely open. Nomah is able to send all the data to a data lake, saving a copy of everything that happens inside jestor. Also, it’s possible to download reports or change jestor’s configurations to better suit the company needs.
”I was surprised by how flexible the software is and how much we could build in a short period of time. I’m able to manage any process and build automations with ease.”
Product Manager at Nomah