We caught up with Sarah Cherne, President and CEO, and Stacy Kiker, Finance Analyst and IT Lead, of Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas to check in on the results of their 2017 Community Impact Project. The project was delivered by volunteer Aaron Higley and sponsored by Shoeless Enterprises.
Junior Achievement turned to Apparo for support in developing a tech plan. Today they have implemented virtually every recommendation including a move to Office 365.
Now, they are realizing meaningful impact, which has allowed time and attention to be freed up to focus on programming. Some additional benefits of their latest business process changes include:
- Mitigated risk and peace of mind through OneDrive backup
- Increased employee flexibility through Skype phone system – ability to take calls while working remotely and while multi-tasking in office
- Increased employee flexibility through cloud-based applications – ability to work remotely and on own equipment, if desired
- Time savings through patch management of system updates
- Improved efficiency and communications through ability to co-work on documents and instant-message colleagues. As Sarah adds, “You can really come together as a group, working together real time.”
- Cost savings anticipated once they are able to switch internet service providers
The benefits are clear. As Sarah explains, “The changes benefit the staff in terms of their time so that they can focus more on programs instead of fixing technology issues. It’s a tool to help you be more efficient so that you can perform more work and a more professional body of work, which leads to a strengthening of reputation, which leads to increased investment. When the investors come do a walk-through and see the level of support we can provide to the students through the technology, that’s what really makes a difference to them.”
Stacy explains that they are so pleased with how far they have come from where they were at the beginning of their Community Impact Project: “When we started our project, we couldn’t answer any of Aaron’s [project volunteer] questions. We had no idea. He helped us create the vision, create the road map, and he laid it out for us in such a way that it made sense to us. We felt ‘we can follow this, we can do this.’ I was looking over our original assessment, in some places we were deficient or reactive, some stable. Now, we are ‘proactive’ or ‘strategic’ in all areas. We really implemented all of the suggestions and we are forward-thinking now. I feel like we’re in a really good spot. Wow, we’ve done a lot. Thank you for all of the work that you did for us. We appreciate it.”