For the last 60 years, AtWork! has empowered people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be productive, integrated, and contributing members of their communities throughout King, Snohomish, and Spokane counties in Washington. In addition to employment services, AtWork! also provides community inclusion and school-to-work opportunities.
Participants: 334 individuals
“Our outcomes and success are based on our efficiency, and that’s what I see more than anything with SETWorks.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve been learning how we can leverage SETWorks; utilizing reports and information that will trickle down to our direct team and support them in being more efficient.”
Michael Goodwill // Director of Employment, King and Snohomish Counties at AtWork!
As a leader in supported employment, AtWork! has secured hundreds of successful job placements for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) with over 200 businesses in Washington state. It has also built exclusive relationships with local school districts and businesses that employ its participants.
Keeping track of all these placements and partnerships involved a lot of moving pieces, so AtWork! was using a generic customer relationship management (CRM) software as their IDD management software.
But as AtWork! Director of Employment Services Michael Goodwill has experienced firsthand, traditional CRMs weren’t designed for the supported employment industry.
“It [our old solutions] had all the bells and whistles, but it wasn’t designed for what we do at all, by any means,” explains Michael.
“We were smushing it to make it work how we needed it to, because it’s not made for supported employment,” adds AtWork! Quality and Data Manager Anna Eggink
For example, the CRM allowed AtWork! to track wages for its participants who were employed in the community. But if the individual got a promotion or minimum wage increase, AtWork! would lose all the past wage history.
And while the CRM provider’s customer support was great, they didn’t necessarily understand the unique problems and challenges of employment services. And while the CRM provider’s customer support was great, they didn’t necessarily understand the unique problems and challenges of employment services.
“When we talked to support, we would have to re-describe what we do every single time,” says AtWork! Director of Marketing Alexandrea MacIndoe.
At the time, Michael was part of a statewide group of providers in Washington that worked together to share best practices, and even refer clients to one another. He first heard about SETWorks during a presentation to this group.
One by one, providers in Washington started moving over to SETWorks — including AtWork!.
Three and a half years later, AtWork! appreciates having a solution that is specific to disability services.
SETWorks’ software is ideal for supported employment agencies looking to organize and simplify their service delivery. Part of what makes it such an effective solution is its intuitive user interface, which was designed with disability service providers in mind.
“SETWorks is a lot easier to navigate,” says Michael. “It looks nice and it’s easy to see where things are at.”
With SETWorks’ person-centered platform, staff have access to the data they need to provide the best service possible.
“Being able to pull it up and seeing a profile of somebody, having a photo of them, and all of the information that I need is right there and easily accessible — I think that’s the biggest thing,” says Michael.
“[Employment consultants] can access everything they need to, whether it’s forms, putting in their case notes, putting in their non-billables, looking up their own reports; everything’s at their fingertips,” Anna adds.
Switching to an industry-specific solution has helped AtWork! better track and report on metrics like outcomes, job placements, how many people are employed per department, average wages over time, and productivity.
Michael refers to the reports in SETWorks daily. With them, he is able to see the exact number of hours that are being provided for each service to keep his team on target. “It’s a key part of how I start and end my day,” he says.
In Washington, SETWorks worked directly with AtWork! and other providers to build out a number of state-specific reports. Anna recalls one particular instance where King County changed their billing and providers had to scramble to update their reports.
“New reports had to be created for all the different billing types, which were specific to King County,” says Anna. “SETWorks was fantastic. They sat down with us and looked at, what exactly do you need, and how can we get this done? They really expedited it, because King County didn’t give us a super lengthy time to get this done.”
As with any software implementation, there have been some bumps in the road. However, AtWork! appreciated having a relationship with a team that treated them “like a person, not just a transaction”.
AtWork! is now operating more efficiently thanks to SETWorks’ industry-specific solution, ease of use, and ability to deliver advanced business intelligence.
“We expect 6.5 hours a day in billable hours for each employment consultant,” says Michael. “Not only do we know where hours are going, it helps guide our managers in working with their teams when hours are short.”
It’s not just management that has benefitted from SETWorks’ reporting. Staff also have more autonomy and control in their day-to-day activities thanks to SETWorks.
“We’ve been able to use SETWorks to show them the importance of being accurate in their descriptors and their hours,” Michael explains. “Not just saying, ‘You have to do it,’ but being able to run reports and saying, ‘Here’s the bigger picture.’ ”
AtWork!’s data is more accurate than it’s ever been, and they have the information they need at their fingertips.
“I think the biggest benefit for me is I’m confident with our numbers,” says Anna. “I love the business intelligence in SETWorks; I think it’s super cool how there’s all these visual graphs and being able to click on the pie charts… As someone who’s a data nerd, it’s just like, ‘Oh, I want more of this!’ ”
Anna appreciates having access to the data without having to wait for the vendor’s team to compile reports. “If someone wants to know, ‘How many job placements did we get?’ — give me 30 seconds and I’ll have that information. It’s really cool to be able to run our numbers and know that they’re right.”
SETWorks has enhanced AtWork!’s marketing efforts as well. “One of the things that has been really phenomenal from a marketing perspective is being able to have everything in a central repository,” says Alexandrea. “SETWorks has made us a lot more responsive and allows us to celebrate people in the moment.”
Michael says he’s even gotten compliments from auditors on the software.
Going forward, AtWork! plans to leverage SETWorks’ payroll integration to simplify their timekeeping and payroll process. Rather than using Paycom to clock in and out, employees would be able to track their time right in SETWorks.
Having used a traditional CRM in the past, Michael is happy to have found a partner with the team at SETWorks who understands the industry, and he recommends SETWorks to other supported employment agencies.
“SETWorks is focused on what we’re doing and what our service is, and so they provide that attention. You’re not going to get that anywhere else.”
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