A Chat with Lindsay Forster, CEO at Smart Asset Checking Service: Shepper

At Shepper, we deploy people and technology to collect highly detailed data, insight, and customer experiences to better businesses, communities, neighbourhoods, and public services.

Businesses and public sector organisations use our nationwide community of Shepherd field researchers, who collect any data or experience to verify, protect, fix, or enhance an organisation’s brand. This is then reported digitally for the client to view and use as they wish. We currently have more than 80,000 Shepherds in our community.

Through our proprietary technology we are reimagining business insight and field research by creating communities of local and diverse people to collect hyper-detailed data and experiences from the streets, shops, and properties around the world.

We see ourselves as the ‘on-demand Tripadvisor’ that can cover every type of consumer experience.

We offer our “Shepherds” a fee to complete small tasks through the Shepper app designed to be carried out by members of the local area, whether it be in north London or South Shields. In this way, we can offer quality data, more quickly, with lower costs, and with a lower carbon footprint than traditional market research. In April we celebrated our fifth birthday with the launch of Shepper TV, a place for “Shepherds” to interact and discover new ways to get involved with the platform.


What do you think makes this company unique?

What makes Shepper unique is the community aspect that we have created and that we are looking to foster going forward. In a time of globalisation and outsourcing we rely instead on real people in their local areas providing genuine feedback and insights to our clients that are often invaluable.

We also offer people a quick and easy way to make extra income and provide training and experience to those who may find it difficult to find other forms of work. Our business relies on retaining a vast network of semi-volunteers, so we work hard to make sure that we are a company that is organically attractive to work both for and with.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

As for all businesses, Covid posed significant challenges for us. We were lucky, however, in that ours is a business that is agile to the needs of our customers. We adapted the jobs that we asked people to carry out and even developed checks to help businesses ensure they were meeting the new Covid health and safety guidelines.

The biggest change has been our growth, both our clients and within our community of “Shepherds”. At the start of 2020 we had roughly 8,000 and now we are standing at over 80,000. This has allowed us to expand our offer to customers rapidly, not only in new markets but also new and innovative services, resulting in over 300% more clients. We were able to achieve this growth by providing more flexibility, speed and efficiency in a world where clients are looking for faster, better, cheaper.

What can we hope to see from Shepper in the future?

Shepper is changing the face of field research, auditing and field sales, and crucially doing it at scale. The scale benefits community members by offering more choice and opportunities to earn and benefits clients by allowing the collection of real-time, lower cost, richer data. In order to expand this, we are investing heavily in technologies that will enable us to increase data points and market intelligence to help customers.

Aside from further growth and expansion of the community and the Shepper team, we want to make our tasks and jobs a go to way to earn extra income.

This comes down to not only offering work in more locations but also potentially expanding into the remote and home working spaces. A move such as this would allow us to capture a wider base of “Shepherds” and provide new services to customers, while helping to create a real community in areas across the world.