“When I get to my office in the morning or any one of my offices, the first thing I do is open 1map. And I can see where my mobiles are going. Have they started moving? Have they not started moving? If they haven't started moving, I start making calls. ‘Why are you not moving? What's going on? We've got an appointment. We need to be there’.”
- Glenn Gilmour, Shout-It-Now Operations Manager
By 2021, Shout-It-Now had expanded its mobile clinic network to operate on a rotational basis across two provinces. But as with any organisation, with growth came an increase in operational complexity.
They soon found themselves using a plethora of unintegrated systems to manage different aspects of their operations. With no consolidated view of where they were spending their resources, they had no way of knowing whether they were allocating these resources to make the maximum possible impact. Moreover, data being isolated in separate silos meant collaborating across departments was a major headache.
Their frustration was apparent when it came to sharing scheduling information for community visits. Various departments accessed these schedules in their day-to-day work but getting an entire organisation to collaborate over a spreadsheet soon proved ineffective. According to Shout-It-Now’s Operations Manager, Glenn Gilmour,
“Because we ran it on a spreadsheet, everybody would get access to the spreadsheet and either delete data or change data without us knowing. It was always a massive challenge for us to try and get everyone to understand how a specific spreadsheet works, how pivot tables work and so forth."
The result: their clinics often ended up arriving late or at a completely different time to when their clients expected them.
This evidently had a negative impact on the NPO’s operational efficiency and resources. But its lasting effect was more adverse. Not being where they said they’d be at the set time harms the trust-relationship they work hard to cultivate with their clients and which is crucial for them to nurture due to the sensitive nature of their work.
Glenn admits, “We've missed some clients in terms of servicing them and having them come back to us.”
The challenge stretched beyond their existing client base. They needed to not only retain the trust of existing clients but win it anew, and this required finding a way to fend off operational setbacks.
“Then we sat down and thought, ‘Okay, how can we go about this? How can we see where our mobiles are? How can we see our schedules at the same time? How can we see our historic stats? How can we see this? Can we see the weather? How can we see all of this information in one overall view?’”
They started to explore GIS technology as a possible solution but which, in practice, turned out to be more complicated than they had anticipated. The complexity of a GIS coupled with the lack of support for non-GIS professionals soon had them returning to their old systems and processes.
“The problem was that there wasn't really any support and so forth, and the whole system fell flat. Then everybody just left the system, because there was no one to maintain the system, there was no one to actually monitor the system and to develop the system.”
To curb operational messes and reach the greatest number of patients, the team at Shout-It-Now needed to consolidate all their data and systems into a single management platform. As 1map simplifies mapping for non-GIS professionals, they approached the web mapping company with their challenges.
The 1map team started by converting their field sites into precise location coordinates on their map. This enables the NPO to accurately map and track their location within the interface. As they make use of the What3Words system to help their clinics navigate the largely unnamed rural areas that they operate in as well as to make it easy for their rural client base to find them, the system shows each field site’s corresponding three words in the data table.
Their schedules were uploaded as a spatial layer in 1map to show the upcoming destinations on the map with detailed scheduling information in the data table. This helps the operations team to plan the most efficient route from location to location.
Their mapping platform was then integrated with Shout-It-Now’s fleet tracking system so the operations team can see whether their vehicles are moving or not moving in real-time. This eliminates the need for logging into a separate fleet tracking system - one that doesn’t have the context of Shout-It-Now’s other data such as their schedules.
Their map was also integrated with iShout, the mobile application Shout-It-Now built to facilitate greater communication with clients. Through a simple API integration, their schedule on the app is updated in real-time, and clients know exactly when to expect the arrival of a mobile clinic, allowing them to schedule an appointment in advance.
To further streamline their operations, their field team started using 1map’s own mobile application to capture data and photographs with every site visit. Their operations and management teams can access and analyse this data online from their head office to determine whether assets need repair, for instance.
Having lost valuable operational time and resources in the past due to poor weather, they are now able to prevent this by opening up a weather panel in the platform to see the forecasted weather in the same view as their schedules and mobiles. In Glenn’s words,
“We wanted to give a better experience to our clients. We wanted to know, ‘Should we go to that area on that site at that time, based on weather patterns?’ You know, the last thing you want to do is to travel a hundred kilometers in a bus and then get there and it's raining, then you have to turn back and come back.”
After uploading their organisational data, the census spatial data layer was added to their map to show useful demographic data for their target market. This serves not only to reveal areas with underserved communities in need of their services but empowers their marketing team to craft targeted campaigns that resonate with specific communities.
Once the map was customised to meet their needs, their operations manager set over 100 granular, flexible role-based permissions and restrictions across the entire organisation. The result is that different teams can sign in to the map to access information relevant to them without being able to change data that’s not theirs.
And as 1map is built with an emphasis on usability, a team member with role-based permission can upload any additional data they wish to view in the context of their existing data going forward themselves.
Since consolidating their data and systems in 1map, Shout-It-Now has seen a marked increase in operational productivity. They now spend less time on the road and more serving their patients. Glenn confirms,
“There is an increase in our hours that we work in the field, whether it be 45 minutes or an hour and 15 minutes.”
Plotting their routes in 1map led to significant cost savings.
“Because we've been able to plot our routes, we've actually seen a cost reduction of about 33% in terms of our fuel bill because now we're not travelling massively around the corner routes.”
They reported an additional cost reduction on their mobile fuel expenditure after the 1map team precision geocoded their What3Words site locations.
"We've also seen an increase in our appointments to service clients because obviously there's accurate information in terms of where we are.”
Removing the need for unnecessary travel and spreadsheets further boosted their operational efficiency.
“In the past the community liaison officer would have to go out to a site, select a site, jot down information on a piece of paper, and then come back to the office and then fill it out onto the spreadsheet."
Sharing information across departments no longer results in missing data.
“There are no changes in the schedules now anymore, and everybody can see it at the same time. So instead of us having to send out a mail with 500 people in copy, those specific people have a username and log in.”
They saw an increase in market penetration when their marketing team started using the demographics spatial data layer for customer research. Glenn expounds,
“We have seen a direct correlation to us looking at the data that is available to us on 1map in terms of the demographics and deploying a mobile to that unit. We actually tested it for a week. We said, “Okay, we're going to go to those places and penetrate that age category”. Then we say, “Okay, let's do it blindly now” and we would then send the mobile without any data, and you could see that the numbers were down. So, the week that we did it with the data, our numbers were up.”
And when they do find themselves short on their goals, they now target specific groups based on the demographic data by creating marketing material that is region- and language specific.
“We were never able to do that unless we had the data that we've got from 1map, and that has helped build that trust relationship with the client. Because now we speak the lingo, we speak their mother tongue.” Share
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