When Lucas Spielfogel of Baton Rouge Youth Coalition reached out to me, he was frustrated. For years, he had been paying an IT firm and couldn’t seem to get anywhere. He had invested money in all their recommendations but was still left to steal the adjoining tenant’s WiFi just to get on the internet. Of the half dozen printers in the building, only one worked reliably. And when more than 5 students came to visit after school, there was zero expectation they’d be able to do anything productive on their laptops.
I went to visit Lucas at his office on N. 11th Street in downtown Baton Rouge. When I arrived, I couldn’t help but to dig into things immediately…
From IP conflicts and poor signals to offline access points and cabling that looked like 20-year-old Christmas lights you’d pull out of an attic – you could say there were some issues.
Knowing their budget constraints and overwhelming distrust for IT companies in general, I offered to spend some of my own time with the team at BRYC for a few Saturdays to get their network stabilized. Within a couple of weeks, everything was running smoothly. Students could use their laptops efficiently, staff was able to print, and their neighbor could change his WiFi password without interrupting BRYC’s operations.
But my involvement didn’t end there. The staff members were struggling to keep up with monotonous day-to-day tasks – most notably, student signups. At the time, the process for signing up a student involved copying various pieces of data like transcripts, emergency contact information, and financial documents to the staff members who needed to review them. Further, students who did sign up needed to be communicated with regularly (as did their legal guardians).
Maintaining the mailing lists and the relationships between parents and students was very tedious. I discovered that their CRM (Capsule) had an API that allowed me to script hundreds of bulk changes in seconds (something that would have otherwise taken their staff hours). To ensure the new structure was maintained, I linked their sign-up form on FormStack to their Capsule CRM and their MailingList Service (MailChimp) through Zapier. Once a student signs up and fills out the form, all pertinent information is placed exactly where it is supposed to go. No more copying and pasting data from emails. It goes as far as to schedule the next steps that each staff member should take on their personal calendar with links to the relevant data about the student.
By Lucas’ estimate, we’ve managed to save BRYC upwards of $12,000 in hard IT costs. This doesn’t even consider the time we’ve saved their staff members through our automation efforts.
Lucas wanted badly to leverage technology strategically within his organization, but he knew they needed an IT company with more horsepower. And that’s where we came in. Give us the opportunity and let us show your company how we can also help your team accomplish more.