PWI UPGRADES LEGACY FILEMAKER SYSTEM TO GET BUSINESS RUNNING AT PEAK EFFICIENCY WHILE EMPOWERING INDIVIDUALS TO REALIZE THEIR TRUE POTENTIAL.
“We didn’t realize the massive opportunity costs associated with maintaining our old systems. It was really crippling our business. By partnering with Geist Interactive to upgrade our FileMaker systems, we can now take advantage of all the features and functions of FileMaker to run nearly every aspect of our business more efficiently than ever.” Mark Berger, President/CEO
Partnerships with Industry (www.pwiworks.org) was established in 1985 as a non-profit organization providing employment opportunities to adults with intellectual and/or developmental challenges in San Diego County, CA.
Each day, PWI serves 750 individuals with disabilities, including Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, the autism spectrum, hearing and/or visual impairments, physical disabilities, traumatic brain injuries and mental illness. PWI has partnered with more than 230 local businesses, opened three additional offices, and has helped 12,500 individuals find employment where their ABILITIES, not their disabilities, are recognized and nurtured. PWI’s programs include Work and Training Centers where product assembly is performed for businesses nationwide, as well as community-based employment at local businesses in groups of 3-4 people with a dedicated job coach or individually placed with minimal job coach support.
PWI’s funding sources require extensive reporting and are dependent on a reliable, comprehensive outcome measurements system.
PWI may have been on the cutting edge in the early 2000s when they installed their first FileMaker system. After years of funding freezes and budget cuts, they found themselves with outdated technology and computers that were too old to upgrade.
They knew they were spending way too much time and money on consultants to keep the old systems hobbling along, and worse yet, they were missing out on so many new features and functionalities. They especially lacked the ability to use iPads for remote workers and were still processing many paper forms that they knew could be digitized and filled out electronically.
“Because our systems were so old, each remote worker drove to their regional office to turn in their paper timecards each week, which was then approved by a supervisor and faxed (yes, you read that right) to the main office. Then, they were manually keyed into a FileMaker system for processing. With 300+ individuals working each week, we were spending way too much time on data entry that could be better spent elsewhere. We knew there had to be a better way, and FileMaker with iPads was the ideal solution.” Joelle Verbestel CFO
Geist Interactive stepped into the upgrade their outdated FileMaker system, and went to work to solve two key problem areas:
- Deploy iPads to mobile workers for processing of timecards
- Digitizing forms so they could be filled out electronically
To address the timecard issue, they utilized GoZync—a tool designed by Geist Interactive and SeedCode—to allow mobile workers to submit their timecards back to the main office via iPads. By recording time spent on iPads, which are then synced to FileMaker Server via GoZync, PWI has eliminated the need for workers to drive to regional offices to turn in the timecards, eliminated the need to fax cards into the main office, and eliminated the hours of manual data entry required to process payroll each week.
To modernize the automation of digital forms (i.e., MS Word, MS Excel, PDF), they partnered with 360Works who provided a charitable software donation. 360Works Scribe allows data from FileMaker to populate digital documents and forms instantly. The resulting automation of forms has eliminated manual entry processes and helps to ensure accurate and timely submission of service updates and billing
Next up, Geist will be integrating PWI’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS) with ZipRecruiter’s WebHook API to streamline PWI’s recruitment efforts.
PWI loves their newly updated FileMaker system which streamlines nearly every aspect of their business, but the top benefit that they are experiencing is the mobile time and billing app. It has saved them more than 2500 hours this year by eliminating manual data entry (more than one full-time person). In addition, workers no longer have to spend time and money driving to and from regional offices, in congested San Diego traffic, just to turn in time sheets.
PWI is now poised for long-term efficient operations and will be able to grow to touch even more lives of individuals with ABILITIES so they can thrive and contribute to their community.