The Problem / Challenge
Since 1974, Circle of Care has been committed to providing independence, mobility and improving the quality of life for individuals in Toronto and its area residents. It is a community-based not-for-profit registered charity that helps clients live healthier, happier and longer lives. This is done through a combination of volunteers and caregivers working both in the home as well as with transportation services. Because transportation issues take a back seat to the care they can offer their members, Circle of Care has focused mainly on their community and the standard of services they provide.
As they have grown over the years, Circle of Care began to employ more staff and volunteers, making for a more complex schedule. It became increasingly difficult to provide the same level of service to each of its members while keeping costs within acceptable amounts. Suddenly, managing the sheer number of people and transportation needed became a burden on schedulers. In the early days, it was sufficient to have a person in the office with a spreadsheet and a phone in order to keep everything running smoothly. But this was evidently no longer the best option.
Growing the number of members and caregivers is one of Circle of Care’s important and supported values and they have achieved this through the years. But suddenly, they found themselves with a staff of 500 and more than 300 volunteers, spread over a diverse collection of home support and community programs including:
As is usually the case for all non-profits, savings are felt directly at the ground level, with members seeing the benefit to fiscal responsibility. They are mainly funded by community resources and the City of Toronto. This means that transparency and reporting are highly important features and challenges that needed to be addressed.
In order to de-clutter the job of scheduling trips, a demand response software solution was desperately needed. Their growth in membership also meant that they needed to serve a larger geographic area. This too could be handled by a demand response software solution. With more accurate data collection, reports could be generated that revealed a greater breadth of information as well as accuracy.
“We now have the ability to update our volunteer driver manifests in real-time on day of service.”
Their staff and volunteer base has continued to grow (to 525 staff members and serving 7000 people a year). Automation has allowed for even more caring individuals to be added to the schedule to help serve the ever-growing client base of aging people. Trip booking and customer service have been streamlined, allowing for them to easily add more staff and volunteers to the mix. Scheduling enhancements such as real-time booking as part of the demand response software solution have allowed an increase in passengers per hour. This means that providing for more people and allowing for the growth of their service areas has enabled Circle of Care to thrive. They can now confidently plan for the future as more of the population begins to require their services.
“[now] we can meet the current and future needs of our aging population.”
Circle of Care uses Demand Response Software to manage their staff and volunteers, which in turn helps to bring better quality of care to its members.