Social Purpose Ventures
Thrift Stores, Catering and Cooking Academies, Landscaping Companies – Alone these organizations may not save lives, but these and many other “businesses” are operating to support your favorite nonprofits.
This model has become an attractive alternative as a means of self-sustainability during today’s tough economic times.
Many such businesses are inefficient and outdated in their business processes and technology, lowering revenues. Mobile Technology is a game-changer for all sized and type business worldwide – why wouldn’t it be for socially driven causes and nonprofits?
Healthy communities start with community centers. Riverdale Community Center (not real) has helped educate, nurture and inspire children and adults of it’s community for decades. Under the operation, Clean Towne Inc. has run their sanitation, beautification and pesticide service, helping to fund 30% of the community center’s annual budget. Catering to the private, commercial and public sectors, they also employ, with trained and supportive management, returning vets and those re-entering the workforce.
Up until recently, most scheduling, billing and customer service management had been completely manual. In 2011, the community center invested in a new CRM software & billing system, enabling Clean Town to keep/create electronic records for all customers. But with a full 90% of the staff on the road, record keeping, billing and client issue response times have made hours longer and process less efficient. New customers want services, but logistics prevents Clean Town from growing, thus adding needed support to RCC – a staple of the community.
The new CRM software provider’s spring newsletter announces a partnership with an agency that’s created a mobile web app version that integrates seamlessly with their system, enabling remote access and updating functionality to the scheduling, billing and customer service components for those working on the road. A web app version enables field employees to process invoices and take payments through mobile devices that sync with the Center’s software, ensuring fewer billing mistakes while decreasing the amount of time to process invoices. The web app also allows field staff to self-assign short notice appointments, fill in for sick co-workers and other communications fed through the system that would otherwise go un-dealt with til onsite via desktop computer, leading to realized revenue lost and less Center funding.
With initial up-front investment costs in the thousands, and nominal monthly hosing fees, leadership looks hard at the ROI (Return on Investment) of keeping the system immobile vs. mobilizing these functions through Center supplied Smartphones. If they do not invest, the center will continue to maintain status-quo, have constant logistics concerns and remain flat with revenue. If they do invest, projected revenues will pay off the mobile app investment within 7 months of implementation and hosting and maintenance will only increase overall annual budget by .5% while driving revenues by 18%.