Nonprofit uses IT to improve productivity, reduce hunger

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I feel like I've been staying in a Motel 6, and now I've just walked into the lobby of a Ritz.
Glenda Cognevich, Chief Financial Officer, DCCK

Challenge: transitioning from an outdated IT model

With a team of about 150 and a mission to serve around 7,500 meals per day, D.C. Central Kitchen (DCCK) needed to be able to effectively communicate within their organization, as well as manage their growing data footprint. But, an internal evaluation showed that they were coping with an accumulation of correlated pain points:

  • Outdated software (technical issues and vulnerabilities)
  • Outdated hardware (high storage costs, manual server backups saved on tapes, technical issues)
  • Inefficient information architecture
    1. 500 GB of unmanaged, locally-stored documents
    2. Lack of automated processes
    3. Large number of duplicate files
    4. Misplaced or deleted files

The culmination of these pain points not only stymied DCCK’s communication and collaboration efforts, but it also forced them to invest in an hourly IT company. However, with only 16 hours of support per month, DCCK found themselves having to pick-and-choose which issues to report, and bootstrapping many of their own issues, which severely cut productivity. DCCK needed to find a better way to manage their systems to reduce duplicate costs and expenses; plus, with thousands of mouths to feed every day, they needed technology to start working for them—not against them.

So, after weighing their options, DCCK chose to invest in an outsourced IT firm by establishing a partnership with MainSpring.

Journey: following the ProSuite IT road map

storing data in the cloud
With DCCK’s management team on board, MainSpring began the technological transition to ProSuite in February of 2015, starting with an orientation session and a technology audit. The goals of each were to uncover and address long-lasting end user pain points and align DCCK to industry best practices.

MainSpring began by auditing DCCK’s infrastructure and installing ProSuite on all of their computers and infrastructure. Since DCCK had been using an outdated IT support model (hourly IT help), MainSpring uprooted old and new issues right away, encouraging DCCK staff to submit any-and-all tickets to the ProSuite Support Centre for resolution. Once the silent sufferers awoke and the initial influx of these long-overdue tickets cleared, DCCK realized an immediate increase in productivity.

Meanwhile, DCCK worked with MainSpring to devise an IT road map that aligned with industry best practices. Based on their mission needs and alignment, the first task was to modernize DCCK’s Microsoft environment from 2010 to Office 365. Within a month, users were trained and leveraging the new tools to store and collaborate in the cloud. The second task on the IT road map involved replacing their outdated servers from 2008. In just one week, DCCK migrated off of aging hardware and onto MainSpring’s loaner hardware.

Impact: saving time and money by being proactive

Over the course of two years, DCCK has decreased the amount of time they’ve spent dealing with technical issues, putting hours back in each employee’s day to help prepare an impressive 2.7 million meals each year. In effect, DCCK saw significant improvement in the overall productivity and stability of their organization.

For instance, prior to MainSpring, DCCK end users waited an average of 45 minutes to an hour to resolve an issue. Since partnering with MainSpring, however, the average resolution time of an issue is 34.8 minutes—a 19 percent improvement. This allowed DCCK to add 11.4 minutes (per ticket, per person) back into the work day, which has increased their productivity rates. Essentially, even with only one ticket submitted per day, DCCK can still reclaim about one hour of productivity per week, per person—or 52 hours per year.

Also, the addition of proactive support from MainSpring helped DCCK experience a sharp decrease in the amount of daily technical issues, which increased their productivity.

The implementation of MainSpring’s ProSuite services has helped DCCK save money that they’re able reinvest into their mission. Furthermore, ProSuite also helped stabilize DCCK’s technology infrastructure, reduce their risk and exposure and align them to business best practices.

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