In December 2003, David Ossip, the president and CEO of Workbrain Inc., led his company through a very successful public offering. It was the first time in more than three years that a technology company had gone public in Canada. “It was surprisingly easy,” says Ossip, who graduated from the University of Toronto with a BA in 1988 and was selected last year for The Caldwell Partners list of Canada’s Top 40 under 40. “We were a software company that was generating profits and cash and had an impressive list of very large-enterprise accounts.”
With British Airways, L’Oréal USA and the Toronto Police Service as clients, Workbrain generated $34 million US in revenue in 2003. Profit magazine ranked the company that Ossip founded in 1999 as the second-fastest growing business in Canada in 2003. What fuelled Workbrain’s rapid rise? “Our emphasis is on saving large companies money,” says Ossip, 38. Workbrain’s software forecasts the demand for labour, schedules shifts based on employee skills and availability, and accommodates vacation requests.
“Companies save 10 to 15 per cent of labour costs by scheduling people more efficiently,” says Ossip. Workbrain is primarily focused on the North American market, but its international reach extends to the United Kingdom, India, Japan and Australia. With software available in 15 languages, it’s clear that the concept of cutting costs loses nothing in translation.