AG5 raises €6 million to save the manufacturing industry from Excel

AG5, the SaaS platform used to map and track employees’ skills and qualifications, has raised €6m in a new round of investment. Last year, the company received €1.2m from tech investor Peak. AG5 has since grown exponentially, and its annual revenue has tripled. Now, together with SaaS experts Headline and Acadian Ventures, Peak is investing in AG5 again.

What does the new funding mean for AG5?

AG5’s SaaS solution offers the first interface firms can use to track employees’ skills that is directly linked to production lines. It delivers scalable capacity planning and insights for audits and training programs that still rely on Excel, or pen and paper. AG5’s plug-and-play software solution simplifies skills management with appealing and sharable skill matrices. AG5’s clients report an 80% reduction in audit preparation times and 15% savings on employee training.

With offices in Amsterdam and Berlin, and a workforce of 31 employees, AG5 addresses a global market potentially worth €28 billion. The new investment will therefore be used to further internationalize the platform, starting in Europe’s manufacturing powerhouse, Germany. Over the next two years, the company aspires to double the size of its team, triple its customer base, and become the European market leader in skills management.

Why is the skills question crucial in manufacturing?

In manufacturing, skills are often associated with specific pieces of equipment. It is then determined whether employees possess the right qualifications to operate them. Odds are, however, that these skills and qualifications are still being tracked using overly complex Excel spreadsheets. These are often not kept up to date, with multiple versions floating around an organization and only a few individuals knowing how to fix formulas when they stop working.

Neglecting to map essential skills of front-line workers properly and in a timely manner will result in myriad problems on production floors. It can lead to reduced productivity, safety violations, and a lack of insight into valuable information that is necessary for audits.

Qualified staff shortage is increasing every year thanks to rapid technological developments, increased turnover, and an aging workforce. A 2022 ManpowerGroup survey shows that 76% of manufacturing employers report difficulties finding the required skills. The problem is so severe that the European Commission has named 2023 the European Year of Skills, marked by an €85bn investment into digital skills development on the production floors.

To navigate this challenge, organizations like Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Air France-KLM, Tata Steel, and Toyota Boshoku are using AG5 to map and track their employees’ skills. AG5’s platform targets factories with 200 to 40,000+ employees, is available in 14 languages, and offers technical integrations with HRM and e-learning platforms, planning systems, and training management systems, like SAP (as a certified partner), Moodle and Cornerstone.