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Project Atlas: Letting Go of a Legacy

We all know change is hard. For many of us, it may feel like change was thrust upon us during the pandemic: plans were cancelled, in-person meetings turned into Zoom meetings, cocktails parties turned into…well, Zoom cocktail parties. But imagine being told that the system you have worked with for almost thirty years at your nonprofit agency would be replaced with a cutting-edge platform called Salesforce. 

Replacing a decades’ old system was crucial to SNAP’s ability to better serve their community.

SNAP (Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners) is one of the largest private human services agencies in Spokane County, Washington whose mission is to increase the human potential of their community by providing opportunities for people in need. Offering over 30 programs and services, their motto is to help individuals and families live, learn, and thrive. To support these programs and help their community more efficiently and effectively, they needed to replace their legacy system. They knew this transition would be a monumental one for their staff and aptly called it Project Atlas.

“We were going to be changing the world, or at least our world and how we do business,” said Kathy Talley, MIS Coordinator at SNAP.

According to Talley, there were several reasons why SNAP needed to make this change. Their legacy system was developed in the early 90’s; with so much data, their technology was not easily scalable. Plus, they needed to interface more easily with disparate funder systems. Because each funder has their own system, it was difficult for SNAP to interact with them or create reports, especially when the funders made changes to their systems or requirements.

They needed a more agile system to simplify their processes, make compliance easier with various agencies, and offer a user-friendly interface. Provisio partnered with SNAP to implement Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Pack and the marketing automation solution, Pardot. 

Salesforce helps SNAP gain efficiencies and track service time. 

By leveraging Salesforce, SNAP has gained efficiencies in terms of client data access and information sharing. From tracking clients and organizations, to completing client intakes, tracking timecards, entering purchase orders, and tracking inventory, Salesforce provides SNAP with a powerful end-to-end solution.

SNAP can successfully track their complicated accounting of service time to meet funder requirements. Staff can log their interaction with a client and directly bill at that time to the correct funding source.  This allows the operations team and SNAP leadership to best manage their scarce grant funding and ensure that they are using all available resources to serve their clients. 

One of the greatest benefits of transitioning to Salesforce has been the ability for SNAP to see an entire picture of a person, family, or organization: how SNAP has interacted with them and how their services have impacted them over time. Not only do they have access to this big picture view, SNAP can also do holistic organization-wide reporting on how they are impacting their community and how to better serve it. 

The ability to create Salesforce list views has been another important time-saving advantage for SNAP. By cloning and editing list views, users can now easily filter data in different ways, plus pick the fields they want to see. Previously, they would have to wait for their IT department to create custom reports for them, so Salesforce has had double impact in this area: offering more flexibility and self-service for the staff, and allowing the IT Department to focus on other tasks. 

Seeing real-world, impactful results has helped SNAP’s staff to understand the benefits of moving away from their legacy system. Yes, change can sometimes be daunting, but the immediate efficiencies SNAP has tracked through their Salesforce implementation helped ease them through the challenging transition. After all, their mission is to improve their communities through the power of connection, and they can connect much more effectively now through the power of Salesforce. Hopefully they discover the load on their shoulders feels significantly lighter now that they can focus on their clients and not outdated technology.

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