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“Doing Client Information Better: The Springvale CAAB story”

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Presentation on theme: "“Doing Client Information Better: The Springvale CAAB story”"— Presentation transcript:

1 “Doing Client Information Better: The Springvale CAAB story”
Presentation by Rebecca French, ICT Project Officer, Springvale Community Aid and Advice Bureau

2 Introduction and summary
Organisational Context My role Gathering of requirements Client Information: Current Situation Discussion task – situation Findings and Recommendations Proposed solutions Discussion task – solutions Lessons learned Next steps Questions

3 Organisational Context
In operation since 1971 2 main sites: Springvale and Noble Park, plus out- posted workers 31 EFT paid staff and 50 + volunteers 16, 000 client services per year Majority of clients from CALD backgrounds Services: Information, Referral, Advocacy and Support Service (IRASS) financial counselling, Employment services, Youth housing support Settlement services for new arrivals. Community development and Outreach

4 My role Consultancy in records management
Initial focus on client information, became broader Records management policies and procedures now part of role, as well as advice on ICT Focus at the moment on moving forward with ICT, including client case management and CRM

5 Gathering of requirements
Requirements: analysis of flows of client information, data and reports Importance of requirements gathering Need to fit into other initiatives (e.g. management of groups, membership list) Implications for practice – don’t just implement technical solution, need to look at people, policy, training and process factors

6 Client Information: Current Situation
Client information in paper and electronic (in many systems, spreadsheets, individual’s hard drives) Difficult to get picture of SCAAB as a whole Difficulties with tracking basic client information and data across sites, and generating reports SCAAB is still reliant on a paper index for its client registration. Difficulties completing and tracking referrals to internal SCAAB programs. Some teams do not have access to an electronic case note system.

7 Discussion : Problem Situations
Before talking about CRM solutions, I would like you to turn to the person/s next to you, and have a quick discussion about a problem situation you have encountered when dealing with client information in your organisation, or where you have seen it in other organisations In the discussion that related to this question, some of the comments included: Many government departments collect a variety of data about clients, in many different databases (i.e. issues of interoperability) Using combinations of different databases, and not all data and reports and data from these databases accessible Skills of staff variable in terms of ICT and databases Data in many different formats, including electronic and paper Privacy issues: some services provide services anonymously Problems with defining what you mean with particular data types

8 Findings and Recommendations
Need for a system to manage client information and data (contact and case information, case notes, reporting) Need for systems to support both paper and electronic information Separation of client and operational information Need for careful analysis and testing of solutions before purchase Need to consider low-cost options

9 Proposed solutions A client case management solution e.g. InfoXchange SRS: record-system A free/low cost CRM, which can be customised e.g. Sugar CRM: es/sales/contacts.html CiviCRM: A CRM template on Sharepoint: nt-crm-info.asp

10 Discussion Task: Solutions
Talk briefly to the person next to you about useful CRM or case management solutions which you have encountered. Note we talked about appropriate and inappropriate solutions, the following is a summary: There is no “one size fits all” system, each organisation is different – it is important to look at your requirements TCM care manager being used by one organisation, which meets needs well, but fairly costly (above $50 000) Some organisations have bespoke systems, which meet organisation’s needs, but need to be supported (including with appropriate policy) Training and communication very important when implementing systems Salesforce referred to: see Nicole’s presentation Challenge to find one single system for an organisation when there are multiple pathways into an organisations, multiple databases and multiple funding bodies: may need to use multiple systems. Difficulties in not just finding the right database, but also ensuring reporting is appropriate (e.g. may need to use reporting tool like QBL reports or Crystal Reports) Pointed to difficulty when you have different levels of clients i.e. some may just need limited support, and some may go on to be registered and long-term clients. Also need to pick up those you can’t help. Solution may be to keep limited stats on limited client contacts. Recognition that not everything will be kept electronically, paper is still important. There are some organisations that are trialling shared solutions, with several organisations pooling funds and sharing system (e.g. Neighbourhood Houses) There was a recognition that change management needs to be kept in mind – change can bring on anxiety for some people. You may not get a database that is a good match for everyone in the organisation. Some people will need more support than others.

11 Lessons Learned Define requirements Short-list solutions
Test solutions with staff Have a decision-making process in place before you start Remember the need to change policies, procedures, to train staff etc Careful with timelines

12 Next Steps Decision will be made early next year
Implementation over several months Need to integrate the CRM with other reporting systems in the future

13 Questions?? Any questions can be addressed now, or if you have further queries, please contact me via e- mail on

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