The year 2020 will be a year that we will all remember. The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted every person and organization in our country. The stay-at-home orders required organizations to rapidly transition many of their staff to work from home. This created many new operational challenges. This is especially true for Community Action Agencies and non-profits. In addition to these challenges, the needs of their clients were increasing dramatically. I thought it would be interesting to find out how has this shake-up impacted their ability to service the needs of their clients.
So, I sent a survey to over two thousand employees of CAP agencies and non-profits across the country, hoping to find some answers as to how Coronavirus affected their services. Here are the questions I asked and the answers I received.
What Percentage of Your Staff Worked Remotely During the Pandemic?
Interestingly, 14% of organizations had all their employees working remotely, but 24% had their employees working in the office. About 48% reported that 60-79% of their staff work remotely.
How does Your Current Ability to Deliver Services Compare to a Typical Year?
42% of the organizations reported that they are operating at less than 60% of their normal capacity. From the chart, you can see that Coronavirus affected services in some organizations significantly. And yet, 19% were working at 100% of normal capacity.
How is it possible that some organizations are able to be running at 100% capacity during this pandemic? Well, 24% of the organizations have their staff working in the office. And, I also talked to a number of my clients that have implemented our paperless solution, Laserfiche, and they all said that they are running at near-normal capacity, even with most of their staff working remotely.
What Impedes Your Ability to Effectively Deliver Services to Clients During this Time?
Nearly 50% of the responses indicated that accessing paper documents that were stored in the office, receiving applications from clients, and processing them were the greatest challenges they had working remotely.
What are You Glad that You did that Helped Prepare Your Organization to be Able to Service Your Clients During this Time?
- Implemented technology that allowed their staff to work remotely.
- Moved to a cloud application that is easily accessible from home.
- Sent some form of communication to clients before the stay-at-home orders.
- Added on-line application capability.
- Created policies and procedures to allow working from home securely.
- Developed a list of resources essential to dealing with Coronavirus.
What do Want to do to Prepare for the Future?
The responses to this question can be summarized in seven categories. Here they are in order of importance.
- Have the ability to accept applications and signatures online.
- Improve remote access ability to systems and data stored in the office, including information currently stored on paper documents.
- Move to cloud applications.
- Update technology to allow staff to work remotely more efficiently.
- Create a strategic plan for an event such as the Coronavirus Pandemic.
- Improve the ability to communicate with applicants.
- Continue to have a focus on meeting the needs of the less fortunate.
As you have seen, COVID19 has significantly affected services supplied by many Community Action Agencies and Non-profits. Many of the goals are certainly necessary to prepare for another pandemic. But, maybe even more important, is that many of these goals will help Community Actions and non-profits meet the surge of needs caused by COVID19.
Help Meeting Those Goals
If you are interested in meeting some or all of these goals, we would love to help. For nearly 20 years, we have been helping Community Action Agencies and Non-profits go paperless with our Laserfiche solution. Here are some of the things we can help you with:
- 1. Accepting online applications
- 2. The capture of electronic signatures
- 3. Convert paper documents stored in the office to digital and make it securely accessible from anywhere including the Cloud
- 4. Automate processes such as application approvals, accounts payable, reporting, expense reimbursement, and many more
We have worked with nearly every department of a community action agency and non-profit such as:
- Energy Assistance
- Head Start
- Employment services
- Family services
What Our Clients Say
“I cannot even begin to express how elated I am with this product!!!!!! It is so painless and intuitive and easy that it is absolutely a JOY to work in the system.”
“I cannot even begin to express how elated I am with this product!!!!!!
It is so painless and intuitive and easy that it is absolutely a JOY to work in the system.
This has been the best software rollout experience I have ever had —- and I have launched a LOT.”
“Our use of electronic document imaging (Laserfiche) has made our department’s ability to work remotely extremely effective.
There is virtually no chaos in our offices now. Nobody is looking for information, it’s all right there. My staff is able to instantly access files regardless of who last worked on them.
By digitizing applications and automating the approval process with Laserfiche workflow, we have significantly improved crisis response time.“
“We increased productivity in our Energy Assistance department by 129% in one year using the Laserfiche Workflow Hemingway Solutions created for us.”
“Laserfiche reduces stress in our office. If we find need any information, we can find it immediately. For us that is awesome.”
“Files were everywhere. People’s desks were piled high. Underneath their desks were piled high. A misplaced file could take hours to find. Now with Laserfiche we have no paper files and finding a file takes just moments.”
“One of the great benefits of Hemingway Solutions is its institutional knowledge of our agency and Community Action Agency processes. They know the CAP programs’ language and we don’t need to spend a lot of time playing catch up on what’s going on if updates are needed.”
“We reduced the staff count by 25% without sacrificing the quality of our service. And we were able to find positions for them in other departments.”
Do You Have a Question?
Feel free to contact me if you have a question.