Hopelink Process Improvement and PowerApps Solution.
Hopelink is a nonprofit in King and Snohomish counties that provides services to low income families, children, seniors, and those with disabilities. Some of the main services that people can access are food banks, transportation, housing, education, financial assistance, and more. Hopelink’s successful programs help people achieve stability in their lives which can mitigate the effects of homelessness and poverty.
Hopelink's Transportation Program
The transportation program provides rides for people to their Medicaid-covered medical appointments. This widespread and highly successful program serves thousands of people across the region with hundreds of rides occurring daily. Hopelink hires Service Providers and individual taxis to take the scheduled clients to their appointments. At Hopelink, the Partner Relations team ensures that the drivers and Service Partners are acting according to Washington state’s HCA rules by conducting regular vehicle and driver inspections. Hopelink engaged Seattle App Labs to help automate the Partner Relation’s inspection process.
Process Improvement Methodology
At Seattle App Labs, we use what is called the Brown Paper Method as our primary process improvement tool. This method allows us to deeply understand an organization’s core inefficiencies and work with clients to provide valuable solutions. Through a series of in-depth meetings with all team members, we can glean each person’s responsibilities, and where there are areas of improvement.
Through the brown paper exercise, we learned that Hopelink’s process for managing the performance of the drivers and Service Partners had areas that needed streamlining. The Partner Relations team conducts inspections on at least 10% of the Service Partner’s drivers and vehicles each year. This entails random inspections where they intersect the driver along the route and conduct the inspection. Previously, the inspections were recorded on paper, requiring the Partner Relations team to attach multiple scanned documents to the Salesforce accounts. This process was a time consuming and inefficient way to keep track of documentation.
There were also inefficiencies with the management of Service Partners. An overarching problem was the inability to see which Service Partners or drivers had infractions, failed audits, or other issues needing attention. Some of these problems that burdened the Partner Relations team’s efficiency included:
Overflow of legacy data in SalesForce
Lack of organization in documents and file management including contracts and applications
Inability to be notified about overdue audits, failed inspections, or driver suspensions
Our PowerApps Solution
The SAL team helped Hopelink define a vision for the company’s dynamics and Powerapps solution. Our focus was to make an application that provided a seamless experience for new and existing Hopelink team members to conduct inspections and see the status of all Service Partners, drivers, and vehicles.
SAL leveraged its expertise in Powerapps and Microsoft platforms to craft a modern experience that solved critical operational problems. We worked closely with the Hopelink team, a mix of IT members, Partner Relations’ staff, and project managers who participated in design, testing, and validation processes.
The SAL team built a Powerapps solution that enables Hopelink to manage Service Partners, drivers, and inspections. Some of the new features include:
Ability to conduct audits in the field via the app on a tablet
Email notifications triggered by problematic Service Partners, drivers, vehicles, and inspections
Easy-to-use dashboard allowing easy modification and management of driver and vehicle details
Organized system managing for contracts, applications, audits, and other miscellaneous documentation
SAL’s expertise in Powerapps and digital transformation enabled our clients to utilize a new mobile-enabled platform. By collaborating with us, Hopelink’s operational capabilities have significantly improved. We streamlined their auditing process from hours to real-time, establishing a path of high performance vital to the success of the transportation program.