About Maryland New Directions
Maryland New Directions is a non-profit agency dedicated to helping individuals with career counselling and job placement. Founded in Baltimore, USA in 1973, the agency has helped more than 130,000 people make positive, employment-related changes to their lives.
The agency offers counselling sessions, computer literacy courses, and career workshops to local residents, either free or at low cost. Each year, it expects to help between 250 and 350 disadvantaged individuals with career counselling and work readiness training, and of these 68% are successfully employed.
CRM to Improve Efficiency
The small team at Maryland New Directions realised they needed a CRM system to help their limited human and financial resources go further. They believed an online system could help them track their services and staff activities; information that would be useful not just internally, but as an audit trail for the agency’s funders.
“We found Really Simple Systems in a routine online search and set up the free version to track our employer contacts,” says assistant director Max Elsman. “It worked so well that it occurred to us that Really Simple Systems might also be pressed into service as a case management tracking system. Indeed, CRM proved to be ‘case management in disguise’, and Really Simple Systems proved to be the right tool. It is wonderfully flexible, and deceptively powerful.”
Easy to Implement
Elsman says Really Simple Systems was easy to implement, and has transformed reporting: “Staff needed only 30 minutes of training to begin using Really Simple Systems successfully, and it works quickly and reliably. Equally important to a non-profit organisation like ours, Really Simple Systems is reasonably priced.”
“The detailed reports it provides have been invaluable to me as a manager. In fact, the whole experiment has been far easier and less problematic than I expected, confirming my original notion that CRM and social services case management bear a striking resemblance. “
The key benefits for Maryland New Directions were:
easy to implement with minimum staff training
flexible enough to act as a case management tool
Really Simple Systems delivers reports for the agency’s sponsors
Improved monitoring of client contacts
Pricing at levels a non-profit can afford
“For the first time in our history, we can easily monitor and analyse the interactions between our staff and our clients. For example we can now allocate caseloads equitably; understand the characteristics of our clients; count the numbers and types of staff/client contacts; analyze the correlations between services and results; and compare staff performance.”
“Almost every aspect of Really Simple Systems is fairly self-explanatory, and even those with modest database experience can master it quickly. On the few occasions we have contacted customer support, we have found them to be quick, courteous and in every way helpful.”