Community Servings prepares and delivers 9,600 meals weekly to individuals and families who are homebound and living with critical and chronic illnesses. Community Servings wanted to create one centralized data system for the entire organization in order to meet the increasing demand and complexity of services, while servicing clients expertly. Community Servings and 501Partners co-created a system that dramatically increases organizational and program efficiency, heightens client privacy for different staff groups, and offers a 360-degree view of client needs and services.
Community Servings provides medically tailored meals on a weekly basis to people who are homebound and suffering from critical and chronic illnesses. The nonprofit organization offers 17 different types of diets that become hundreds, if not thousands, of combinations, which are vital to clients’ health. Staff pride themselves on ensuring that the right diet always gets to the client, no matter how specialized. Since 1990, the organization has delivered more than 6 million meals in 20 cities, and continues to grow and service more clients every year.
Presenting Data Needs
To adapt to the substantial growth, Community Servings adopted a variety of information tracking systems, as needed, over the past 12 years. This sporadic adoption method resulted in a highly inefficient web of data, leaving Community Servings without a mechanism for sharing comprehensive data with its staff, and ultimately slowing down client services. According to Gavin O’Brien, Programs Data Analyst at Community Servings: “We were not able to customize our previous client database. We weren’t able to easily create reports and summarize our data. We also needed a system that could change over time to track new client information and program outcomes.”
Community Servings asked 501Partners for guidance to solve the following data needs:
- Integrate many systems of record across the organization.
- Show the impact of its work through data, specifically program outcomes over time.
- Maintain the privacy of meal recipients clients while still providing other users (such as meal drivers) appropriate permissions to see needed client information.
- Decrease client application and renewal wait time, and manage program wait lists more efficiently.
- Incorporate shadow systems such as wait list tracking and renewals into Salesforce in order to have a seamless, integrated system.
- In-depth, comprehensive meal tracking that incorporates certifications, delivery requests and logistics.
501Partners co-created a Salesforce instance with Community Servings to centralize the different pieces of information needed to process applications easier, onboard clients faster, manage client data securely, and automate ongoing operations.
The new system facilitates operational efficiency and growth, enabling the organization to grow efficiently and work at its most effectively, including:
- The ability to capture important information in one central, online repository. As a result, staff has a seamless view of each active process in every client record, including these complex operations: application processing and management, diet planning and communication, health tracking and meal deliveries. With this view, the organization becomes even more efficient, productive, and pro-active with its planning and operations.
- Scalability. This Salesforce customization enables the organization to scale as quickly as needed. It easily integrate planning, logistics, and coordinate communications between the kitchen, delivery and client services in a way their old systems were not capable of doing.
- Increased impact. Transparent, real-time data reporting enables real-time change communication, a required feature for increased impact. Before their Salesforce solution, Community Servings managed a list, but with the new application management system they are tracking the whole process from application to meal delivery, enabling them to know what services are needed for each client.
- Increased organizational and program efficiency. The time it took to communicate information between departments decreased from one week to one day and there is less food waste in the kitchen. Community Servings also realized additional efficiencies, such as the ability to print meal service plans directly from Salesforce, and to capture all relevant diet and health info on each contact page.
- More accurate and complete reporting. Funder and outcome reporting data is reliable and readily available. Community Servings is now able to accurately and easily report on all aspects of their services, which as not possible prior to the customization.
Community Servings and 501Partners co-created a Salesforce instance that helped to transform the entire organization. Having completed the hard work of an enterprise-wide implementation, Community Servings data now promotes efficiency, drives decisions, facilitates accurate impact measurement, and enables facile organizational growth to scale.