A Symphony of Savings

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Easter Seals Kindcare SE WI
City & State:
South Milwaukee, 
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Mission Statement:Easter Seals Kindcare Southeastern Wisconsin is a not for profit values-based agency that supports children and adults with disabilities, their families and caregivers through a range of services. Vision Statement:To create a community that promotes health, happiness, independence and safety by providing individuals with disabilities increased opportunities for access, inclusion and choice.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

An orchestra is only as good as the musicians, the quality of the instruments and the experience of the conductor. Running an agency is similar, the musicians are the staff, the instruments are the technology and equipment used by the staff and the conductor is the CEO. Easter Seals Kindcare Southeastern Wisconsin currently serves 6 counties and touches the lives of 9000 people each year. Our programs are run out of four different facilities. Efficient communication and technology infrastructure are critical to program delivery, case management and our billing procedures. Prior to this year we had two separate servers at our two larger locations. The information on those servers was only accessed by those who worked from those locations. Within those two servers the data was different. It was a continual struggle to ensure that updated information was contained on both. The other two remote locations did not have access to either server and had no way of backing up their information from their hard drives. If they needed agency information, they relied on someone e-mailing it to them. This proved inefficient in sharing agency or client information and our billing process.

A large percentage of our programs are community based. Staff spends up to 80% of their time in the community providing services to people with disabilities. They had to manage a schedule that would also allow them to be in the office to do their required case notes and other documentation because there was not remote access available to them. This resulted in increased agency costs in mileage reimbursement as well as a loss of time that they were able to provide services due to travel time and required “office” time.

In December of 2008 we purchased a new data server and terminal server to replace the two existing servers, as well as Windows Server 2008 software, SQL Server 2008 software and 50 terminal server user licenses and 50 windows server licenses.

The new configuration at one site now allows all staff at all four locations to access the same server. It has reduced the cost of having servers at multiple locations. It allows a centralized storage system so all employees have updated, accurate information both for agency information, forms, updated daily communication as well as client case management. Employees are also now able to access information and work from remote locations for added efficiency. The single server storage has also reduced costs in our finance area by streamlining our billing process. The new configuration has also reduced our ongoing IT costs. IT service for the servers now only has to be done at one location instead of two. Also, for those employees working in the three remote locations, the desktop computer system requirements has decreased because their desktop now serves as a conduit to the Terminal Server where all of their data is actually stored. The cost of the desktops they require is less expensive.

As our technology infrastructure changes were taking place earlier this year, we were also in preliminary discussion on a merger with another non-profit that will double our size as an agency as well as adding another site. That merger will become a reality within the next three months. The investment in our updated technology system has prepared us for this additional major transition.

Microsoft and Tech Soup help provide our agency with the instruments to create a fine symphony performance. Without the discounts on licenses that we received from Microsoft, through Tech Soup, we would not have been able to afford to do this project. Over 90% of all money received by Easter Seals goes directly to the programs and the people we serve. Without the opportunities that Microsoft and Tech Soup provides us, it would be very difficult to provide staff with the technology that allows them to direct most of their time to the very important jobs they have of providing services to over 9000 people with disabilities in Southeastern Wisconsin. Thank you.

Submission Category
Stable and Secure Technology