In 2011, Building Impact’s 349 different service opportunities generated over $600,000 in value for the community through volunteerism and donations, which represents a 100% increase from 2003. Since 2004, the number of individuals in the companies BI works with has increased from about 4,000 to over 20,000. The need for donations and volunteerism has increased greatly over the last several years, and there is enormous opportunity for BI to grow and expand its reach. With few staff members and no formalized event processes, it has become essential for the organization to become more efficient in its use of limited resources to continue this growth.
Building Impact requested that the George Mason University Consulting Team review who its clients are and what its products are. BI wants to have a clear vision on how to focus its resources going forward to improve its products and provide the best services to its clients. BI specifically asked for assistance regarding streamlining communications, execution of events, and coordinating event planning.
Problem Statement & Objective:BI has not clearly defined its clients or products so they are hoping that our project will help them define that. They want us to figure out how to best focus their resources so that they can provide the best service to their clients. We will be examining their processes for inefficiencies in order to streamline communications, execution of events, and coordination of event planning.
We worked with BI to develop best-case scenarios, sub-processes for tasks, and worst-case scenarios. We used these business process models to create models in Bizagi Process Modeler (http://www.bizagi.com/) and develop recommendations on how to improve the processes.
Our list of recommendations included the following (note that some information has been omitted due to its proprietary nature):
- Standardize communication response wait times
- Improve task management via Asana (http://www.asana.com/)
- Designate a staff member for each task
- Utilize checklist capability, deadlines, smartphone application, and MS Outlook calendar integration
- Provide backup activities for certain events in case volunteer turnout exceeds expectations
- Utilize VerticalResponse for all feedback and integrate with Salesforce
- General website redesign changes
- Change Upcoming Events page to be more user-friendly
- Change Event Details page to show more information and leave sign-up for open by default
- Create an Event Status page showing the capacity of events and current sign-up numbers
- Entirely automate event sign-ups through the website and utilize automatically generated e-mails
- Create customer portal for Corporate Partners
- Allow Corporate Partners to post offers of volunteers to be matched to Non-Profit Partners
- Allow Corporate Partners to sign up for volunteer events that Non-Profit Partners have posted
- Create customer portal for Non-Profit Partner
- Allow Non-Profit Partners to request for volunteers to be matched with Corporate Partners
- Utilize route optimization software to determine the most efficient route for picking up donations (OptiMap: http://www.optimap.net/)
The Way Ahead:
We broke down our recommendations into two phases and provided a Gantt chart for Building Impact’s planning. We provided guidance on how to obtain software developers to implement our website recommendations, as well as a System Requirements Specification document with detail on the requirements a web developer needs to follow in order to implement our recommendations.
We also provided a spreadsheet containing fields for all of the information BI will need to collect in order to have a future group perform a simulation of how BI handles events and tasks. This future project will be quantitative in nature and will be able to identify bottlenecks and optimal resource (BI staff) allocation.