Meet the team: Dan Harding

What started out as a passion project between two business partners, is now one of the world’s leading visitor management and staff sign in solutions. Today, we speak to CEO and Co-Founder of Sign In App, Dan Harding, to learn more about the journey of how the app got to where it is today and his thoughts on what the future holds for the workplace and the visitor management space.

Tell us a bit about the background of Sign In App

In 2013, my business partner, Chris, and I, left the business we were working at to set up All Things Code together. At our previous business, Chris, my now business partner, had developed a sign in solution on an all-in-one touchscreen PC. Ever since the iPad was released, we always had a keen interest in using mobile devices to benefit businesses. So when All Things Code was created, it felt like a natural step to replace the somewhat clunky all-in-one machine with an iPad and iOS App.

Sign In App V1 was created back in 2014. It was very different to today's version but it did the job. We actually never planned for it to be a commercial part of the business. Interest and demand just kept growing which led to us investing serious time, money and development hours into it. Now, Sign In App is the business.

We’re now on V4 of the iPad app, V2 of our mobile companion app and have signed in more than 40 million people across 6,000 sites in over 50 different countries around the world.

Why did you continue investing in Sign In App?

The visitor management market was increasing (and still is), and so was our passion for Sign In App and providing tools that are simple to use and great value for money.

We’ve always had the belief that when it comes to building software, people need to get it; it needs to be easy to set up and easy to use for every type of user. If you need to book a day's training session for the users of your new software system, we’d say you’ve probably made the wrong choice of software. To add to this, we believe that users should love using the software. Your stress levels shouldn’t hit the roof when you use it, the user interface should be intuitive and everything should just make sense. Finally, we’ve always believed that a software solution doesn’t need to break the bank and should be accessible for all budgets.

Our passion and building a brilliant team at Sign In App got us to where we are today and it’s the reason we continue investing and growing the business. We’re enjoying what we do and who we’re doing it with, so why look at doing anything else? The best thing about what we do at Sign In App is that we’re never done with evolving the solution. We’re always thinking of new ideas for features and functionality, and that’s what makes it exciting and keeps us innovating.

What do you think the future holds for the workplace?

As millennials and Gen Z started taking over the bulk of the workforce, the workplace as we traditionally knew it was already starting to see changes with more organisations embracing new technologies and ways of working to satisfy the needs of this generation. But, it’s definitely clear that since the COVID-19 pandemic, the workplace has been forced to accelerate change, and in my opinion, this will all be for the better.

Flexible, hybrid working is without a doubt a concept that is here to stay. If you want to retain and attract new talent, the traditional 9 to 5 in the office is no more. Businesses will be forced to embrace the modern style of working, allowing their employees to work the hours that fit with them and have more of a choice around where the workplace is. As a part of this, I think you’ll see less need for big corporate offices and co-working spaces are likely to see an increase in demand.

Don’t get me wrong this isn’t going to be right for every organisation or industry. Manufacturing, for example, is going to be difficult to do from home; so how flexible working evolves within certain sectors will be really interesting.

As the workplace evolves, so will the visitor management space. We’re already seeing a shift in how the solution is being used more for staff sign in as organisations welcome the new hybrid workforce. Visitor management systems will need to evolve to provide a solution that makes it simple to manage the workforce and office space as a whole. Technology will be a huge player in enabling organisations, big and small, to reimagine the workplace, so not only will visitor management systems evolve, so will the use of technology in all types of industries.

What is important to you about running a business?

Without sounding predictable, it is all about the people - the team is everything within a business. Having a great product and an average team will give you average results. We are lucky to employ a brilliant team at Sign In App. Everybody has a part to play and they play it so well. We get just as much feedback about our quality of service as we do about the product itself.

The team shares our values and respect each other, and this leads to providing a brilliant product and great customer experience. Building a business where your team and customers want to work with you gives Chris and I a huge amount of pride; we just have to stay on our game and continue to work hard to keep it this way.