From their first-hand experience with nurseries, Quentin de Madre and Jonathan Kindermans spotted an opportunity. They realized that communication between parents and nursery caretakers was not managed efficiently. As IT and tech professionals, they knew an app could be the solution. And that’s how Camie was born.
by: Joséphine Anselin
photo: Kaori Anne Jolliffe
featured: Jonathan Kindermans and Quentin de Madre
Listen to article (Part I)
Can you briefly explain what Camie is?
Camie is an app that helps nurseries manage their processes more efficiently. This includes daily communication between parents and caretakers on staff management, monthly reporting and invoicing.
In the same way that restaurants have recently switched from taking orders manually to using an app, we realised that nurseries could gain a lot by digitalizing their processes. And, that is how the Camie app was born.
What are the main benefits nurseries can gain from using Camie?
One of the main benefits is time. If you’re a parent and have stepped into a nursery you will know that nurses rarely have time. Having a tool that helps them fill out daily reports more efficiently means they can spend more time doing what matters: looking after the children. Nursery managers also save time by using Camie because they can create monthly reports and manage staff scheduling more efficiently.
Another advantage is that the Camie app makes it much easier to access information. Storing paper reports (which is what most nurseries currently do) not only takes up a huge amount of storage space but also makes it difficult for nurses to find the information they’re looking for. Getting rid of paper and storage rooms also ensures greater cost savings.
“We’re constantly improving Camie by adding new features and functionalities. I think the app will always be ‘in development’!”
And, what’s in it for the parents?
Camie is a game changer for parents. It is less distressing for them to leave their child with someone else because they are getting real-time feedback on how their toddler’s day is going. Through the app, parents can receive updates on the activities planned for the day and on their child’s eating and sleeping patterns. Camie is also an efficient way for parents to update their child’s nursery on important information like schedule changes or absences due to sickness.
Once you had the idea for Camie, how did you go about developing the product?
Our main goal is to create a tool that is as convenient as possible for nurses to use. Getting constant feedback from nurses and tweaking our product based on their inputs has been immensely valuable.
What’s interesting is that we started off by creating an app aimed at digitalizing daily reports as that was the most obvious area of inefficiency we had identified. But the more feedback we received, the more needs we discovered. So we’re constantly improving Camie by adding new features and functionalities. I think the app will always be ‘in development’!
“Parents can use Camie for free and nurseries pay for the app based on a SaaS business model.”
Listen to article (Part II)
Did you build app in-house or outsource?
Within our team, we all come from a tech background. We’re used to managing IT projects and have the technical knowledge required in order to develop an app. We wanted to maintain full ownership of our product so, outsourcing was never really something we considered.
Building the app in-house means that we can take an agile approach to product development. It gives us the ability to react efficiently to new suggestions and feedback from our users. That is one of our main competitive advantages.
Can you briefly describe your business model?
Parents can use Camie for free and nurseries pay for the app based on a SaaS business model. Regarding pricing, we initially considered having a price that varies based on the nurseries’ size. But, during our research we realized that most nurseries tend to have a very similar amount of staff and children. So, we settled on a flat rate to keep things simple.
“Our 2020 goals are to launch new interfaces that will allow the app to be used not only by nurses, but also by parents and nursery managers.”
What has been your biggest challenge since launch?
The hardest part has been the onboarding of the nurses. Switching from pen and paper to using an app sounds simple but it’s a big change for them. Even though they understand the benefits of using the app, many still find it difficult to change their habits.
We quickly realized that if the nurses weren’t using the app correctly then our solution was basically worthless. We often rely on the nurses to input quality data into the app. That’s why we have been spending a lot of time with the caretakers, showing them how to use the app and answering their questions and concerns. For the first few days, we’re physically present. After this initial training period, we stay in touch with the nurses to support them through their transition period and get their feedback on the tool.
What are your goals for 2020?
At the moment, we’re focusing on improving the parent-nursery communication flow but our long-term vision is to become the go-to app for nurseries. In terms of app development, our 2020 goals are to launch new interfaces that will allow the app to be used not only by nurses, but also by parents and nursery managers.
In terms of business development, our objective for this year is to expand beyond Luxembourg and into other European countries.