Bitrix24 at Sri Om Foundation

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As small organisations grow over time, the data stored and information shared between the employees grows exponentially over time. There is generally little emphasis placed on developing processes to manage the large quantities of data. Technology is rapidly growing and now there are more tools than ever to make your jobs easier. The real challenge is to use the get the right tool for the right job.

Email is used as the “mother of all tools” to small organisations and seen as the right tool for the right job. With unlimited storage provided these days and allowing users to gain access to it anywhere from any device, it is seen as a one stop tool for all the organisation’s needs. After all, you can use email for

  • Storing documents
  • Sharing information to one or more employees
  • Managing tasks

This tool works for a lengthy period until the organisation grows to a level where there are 100s of emails being shared on a daily basis. At this point, the trusty email processes starts to have a negative impact on the organisation.

  • Employees begin to lose key information.
  • Management spend a lot of time organising their mail rather than getting work done.
  • Time is wasted searching for information
  • Time is wasted sharing information that should be available within the organisation
  • Employees and management miss deadlines.

This is where management come to realise there has  to be a better way to handle the information overload. My experience with Sri Om Foundation, and the non-profit sector in general, has shown that unfortunately, very little is actually done. The members of the small organisations understand the challenges and know something must be done, however are reluctant to change. They do not want to take the bold step to changing the process that had worked for so many years. The fear of losing information due to the change, creeps in.

The all too common questions and concerns were raised at Sri Om. Then the suggestion of change was brought up at the board meeting. We took the bold management step to take the risk and commit to a radical shift in our tools and processes. We had to make the decision to help us get a solution to the management and operational challenges.

What we needed?

  • Management of employee files that can be accessible by employees and management
  • Storing and retrieval of employee time sheets and payslips
  • Sharing or information within the organisation
  • Collaborating on files within the organisation
  • Keeping track of tasks and projects
  • Storing important information that can be searched and retrieved easily

Bitrix24

It was clearly evident that what Sri Om needed was a cloud based intranet portal. There was several tools trailed over a period of time before deciding on Bitrix24. We first trailed it amongst our working committee to see if it satisfied the needs of Sri Om. The team were happy with the usage of the tool and it was officially rolled out throughout he organisation.

Today, Bitrix24 is used by our employees, management and working committee where it plays a pivotal role in keeping Sri Om moving. As the organisation grows, the employees are able to easily adapt to changes as our IT system is ready for the challenges.

Bitrix24 for management

Prior to Bitrix24, The management and board of directors had many difficulties getting an oversight of Sri  Om’s day to day operation. There had been no centralised location of key documents. Project management was getting very difficult. Employee and client requests were taking lot longer than they should.

But now, with the implementation of Bitrix24, there is a massive shift in the way our management do business. Currently, the tool is used for

  • Storing of important files
    • Accessibly by all board members so any one of them can gain access to it as required
    • Clearly placed in appropriate folders with searching mechanisms for easy retrieval
  • Managing employee tasks
  • Use the built in task and calendar function to raise tasks and follow up on them
  • Allow one or more employees to take control of the task. Enables us to choose the right person for the right job.
  • Easily feedback on progress to the required personnel
    • Manage projects
      • Creation of specialised groups to handle each project
      • Each project contains its own set of file folders and collaboration tools to encapsulate the project information in one easily accessible location
      • Calendar for the project to handle milestone dates
    • Share information to company or groups
  • Status updates to individual employees or groups to broadcast information.
  • Collaborate with employees
    • Built in wiki pages to share information that can be edited by any user.
    • Document sharing that can be commented on and updated as required.

Bitrix24 for employees

Sri Om had transformed the way it handles employees needs and requirements. The introduction of Bitrix24, saw a large reduction in emails and simple requests from employees. With Bitrix24, employees now

  • Manage their personal files
    • All HR documents for each employees are stored in their personal folders and accessible as needed
  • Maintain their Calendar and share their schedules with others within the organisation
  • Manage their pay slips, time sheets and leaves without having to make requests to management for the information
  • Easily contact the entire management team through broadcast messages
  • Share their thoughts and ideas within the organisation through wikis and file sharing
  • Create tasks and collaborate with their peers until it is closed out

Whenever and wherever

Working in today’s fast paced environment when mobile is an absolute necessity these days. Working efficiently when mobile is the real challenge. The amount of information we have at our fingertips is enormous. If this information is not streamlined, working becomes frustrating and very inefficient.

Sri Om staff and more importantly, the management team are generally mobile and not situated in a centralised location. We used the cross platform, mobile capabilities of Bitrix24 to ensure the team is just as efficient on the go as they are when situated in front of a desk. Bitrix24 application on smartphones, tablet devices and desktops has been utilised to allow staff to be contactable and informed at all times. The team is able to keep track of progress of work at all times and can easily continue working where they have left of from their desks.

Impact

With the usage Bitrix24 in full flow at Sri Om, we have noticed some real positive impacts on the organisation. Some of the key impacts include

  • Staff are able to get information they need when they need without relying on another person
  • Large reduction in the number of emails being sent
  • Increased efficiency and outputs of our staff
  • Increased sharing and collaboration within the organisation which has resulted in positive growth
  • Reduction of time spent on back end tasks
  • Decreased training costs for new employees

More info

If you would like to know any more information about Bitrix24 and how we implemented it, feel free to contact me.

Srini Vasudevan
Director – Learning and Development
srini@sriomcare.org.au

Sri Om Care – Sri Om Foundation Limited
http://www.sriomcare.org.au

 

 

Saleforce CRM for Sri Om Foundation – success story

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Working with a fast growing not-for-profit organisation, I have come to realise the importance of having some systems in place for everyday activities. When your e-mail starts to grow, endless message chains, and you lose focus on the tasks ahead of you, that is the time your mind starts to think…

Surely there must be a better way to do this?

This is the time when powerful IT systems come to play. I have been lucky and privileged enough to work with Salesforce (http://salesforce.com) for Sri Om Foundation. As an executive member of Sri Om, and having a good understanding of our processes, I have had the opportunity to put in place certain systems to streamline our work flow. Off course, having a software background and a passion for these kinds of tools does always help!

It has probably taken a bit of time to adopt, and as an organisation, we are still facing challenges, but the platform has been set for us to only develop and making it easier for us to tackle these issues head on.

The use of Salesforce in our organisation is a true success story of embracing technology in taking the organisation to new levels. Highlighted below are the ways we have been able to utilise the cloud based platform.

Cases for requests
When we get a request from the general public calling out to us for assistance, we need to log their request and take appropriate action.

This could off course be done by logging an email, and saving details to a file which is then stored on a machine for later use. We have instead created a streamlined workflow for cases on the Salesforce platform. Each request that comes through is logged into our system. Any comments from the requester, or internally are logged under the case for traceability purposes.

Further to that, we assign tasks for the staff who will be handling this case.

Some examples of the types of cases we log include
– Request for home care or domestic assistance
– Assistance for an elderly in attending day centres
– Community engagement activities which require Sri Om’s participation

Traceability and history data of cases
As mentioned above, all details of each case are logged in into the system for traceability purpose. This provides an excellent overview for the management team at later dates when we want to understand what was done about the case. The historical information is highly useful for our organisation when we need to report our activities for grants and tenders.

Tasks
One of the most powerful features of the system is the ability to add and assign tasks. This feature has enabled our staff to keep track of what work needs to be done and its due date. Tasks are assigned under the various cases and allow due date/times to be set. Our “open” cases would have tasks assigned to individuals up until the point that the case is closed.

An example of where the tasks are used is in a home care request case. A task is assigned as a reminder of what to take when the staff sees the client next. We would raise a new task on the case
Assign To: Joe Bloggs
Description: “Take board games from storage with you when attending next client session”
Due Date:  30th June 2014
Reminder: 29th June 2014 at 10 AM

A reminder pops up at the designated date and time so that Joe Bloggs is aware of what he needs to do

Staff and volunteers
The platform is excellent for managing contacts. We have used it extensively to store all details about our staff and volunteers who work for Sri Om. We have logged in their details, work experience and availabilities to help us in managing our operations.

Use of documents for the staff and volunteers plays out very well as a HR tool. Important documents are stored for safe keeping about the staff or volunteers. These documents include, but not limited to
– Police checks
– Resumes
– Employment Contract
– Superannuation and other financial documents
– Training certificates

Important Documents
One of the hardest parts of any organisation is keeping important documents in an accessible location. Small not for profits struggle with this approach as the work is very ad-hoc and it is not feasible to set up a document server at a centralised location.

This is where the documents feature in the Salesforce platform becomes very useful. This is used extensively by Sri Om to hold our important documents so any of our staff are able to access it as needed. Some of these these documents include
– Insurance policies
– Registration papers
– Awards and recognitions

Complaints management and feedback
It is imperative we have strong policies around complaints management and feedback. Sri Om has always been very proactive on this subject to ensure we do the best we can for our clients. The process however had a lot of scope to improve. From excel spreadsheets and E-mails, we have moved to Salesforce. Our complaints and feedback are managed as cases with the priority levels being set to “High”. This ensures our staff are working on them as a priority to ensure that we are doing all we can for our clients.

Final notes
As our organisation matures and takes professionalism to new levels, we are constantly evolving our platform to be on top of our activities. There are many other very useful and powerful features which we are yet to completely utilise, such as dashboards and reports. As the organisation is coming to terms with the technology, the results have been very positive and only time will provide key measurements of its success.

If you would like to know any more information about the technology or its implementation, I would be more than happy to arrange a time to go through it.

Written by: Srini Vasudevan (Sri Om Foundation Director – Learning and Development)
Contact: srini@sriomcare.org.au
Twitter: sriniv85
LinkedIn: http://au.linkedin.com/in/sriniv85


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