[Colawork Active User Interview]#2 NEXTLab

Please note that this post is written through an interview with a company that actively uses Colawork Slack app. The second Colawork service user interview was conducted with NEXTLab, a company specializing in automation technology that converges deep learning and image processing technology.

Q: Hello, thank you so much for taking your time for the interview. To begin with, could you please introduce yourself?

A: Yes, hello. I am Sungmin Kim, COO of NEXTLab. I am currently in charge of two business divisions at NEXTLab.

Q: Could you briefly explain what NEXTLab does?

A: NEXTLab is a company that provides innovative inspection and measurement solutions with AI and Vision convergence technology. Currently, we are conducting business in three markets. In the Networks & IPTV business, we are supplying IPTV/STB automated quality testing and network quality measurement solutions to domestic and foreign telecommunication companies. In the smart factory business, we are supplying differentiated foreign material inspection products based on AI+ X-Ray. In addition, we are supplying AI+Vision-based vehicle recognition and exterior damage detection solutions in the automobile sector.

Q: Wow that sounds amazing. Can you tell us how many members are currently working at NEXTLab?

A: There are 21 members at NEXTLab, including me.

Q: I’m a little curious about the working environment of NEXTLab. Do all employees work in the office right now?

A: Yes, in the early days of the pandemic, we implemented a hybrid remote working environment. But since there were delays due to lack of mutual communication during the development process and seemed to reduce concentration, we are now working in the office following the quarantine rules. Other members prefer to work in the office as well.

Q: What do you feel about online communication using collaboration tools such as Slack and Notion?

A: We use Slack and Notion and they are great communication tools. However, they can’t cover everything. We have to rely heavily on enterprise software for remote working, but it just doesn’t seem to be enough.

Q: If so, are there any other tools NEXTLab uses besides Slack and Notion?

A: Among developers, GitLab is being used. For all members of the company, we use functional unit-oriented services rather than ERP such as attendance management HR solution, corporate card management service, and Colawork.

Q: Thank you so much for using Colawork throughout the company! Then the important question is, why did you decide to use Colawork?

A: In fact, we first developed our recognition bot to boost company culture a long time ago. It was a simple bot that used Google Spreadsheet and we tried to keep track of which team members were most recognized in a given period. But since it was developed on our own, we did not have an admin tool for data management. It was not used very well either. Then, we received an e-mail from Colawork Team, and as we already knew that a culture of giving and receiving recognition is beneficial to the company, we decided to use it.

Q: How are you using Colawork within the company?

A: NEXTLab is using Colawork company-wide, and it is added to all channels in Slack for all departments and teams. But to be honest, I still sometimes forget to use it every day.

Q: We just updated Colawork so that it sends reminder notifications once or twice a month to promote usage. Just enough reminder, so that it doesn’t become noise. In addition to the Colawork features currently available in Slack, we provide analytics data for paid users that allows viewing overall recognition activities within the team. Analytics includes data such as monthly trends, recognition distribution, usage rate by users, rank by core values, and in-depth relationship data between users. What do you think about these features?

A: For the reminder notification, as long as it is not too often, I will find it useful for sure. And the analytics feature is amazing. I think it will be very useful for HR management. If you’re an HR manager, you can’t help but be curious about these kinds of data. Even if it does not get reflected on the personnel evaluation, I think these kinds of data can be used in with the actual personnel evaluation. When we used the recognition bot we developed, the data from recognition and the personnel evaluation data came out to be very similar. And if you have analytics like this, it helps a lot in managing company culture, because it can be used to reduce turnover, improve employee immersion, and get an idea of which employees are close together.

Q: It’s very rewarding to see that you like it. Thank you so much for providing us with your precious time today. Is there anything else you want to comment about Colawork?

A: We currently use a Remote Work Voucher offered by the government to pay for the attendance management software. It would be great if Colawork service is also selected for the voucher program as well. Colawork is a great service, so I am sure you guys can apply for it.

We would like to thank Sungmin Kim, Director of NEXTLab once again for taking the valuable time to interview with us.

Thank you very much.
Colawork Team

Colawork helps companies build cultures based on core values by providing tools to incentivize employee recognition and engagement.