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Case Study
(PDF Version)

  The Ranches    
  The Benefits of Real Time Information

The New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranches, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1944 with the mission of "guiding children, uniting families".

In August 2000, The Ranches deployed Aviator at its Albuquerque location to better manage document flow and build the full 50-year history of the organization. Since that time, they have realized budgetary savings through reduced administrative costs from 24% to 16% (a very important indicator for nonprofits) and for the first time can provide real-time information to staff, counselors and parents. Aviator has since been deployed at all four of The Ranches locations, is now being used by the Board of Directors, and will be introduced to students next year to assign, complete and turn in homework assignments

Objective: The Ranches needed to get control of over 50 years' worth of documentation and streamline information gathering and distribution processes to maximize the time that staff works with children, not paperwork.

Volume of Information: Over 9 million documents exist and the volume grows daily. Documents consist of counselor reports, child progress reports, applications, family histories, school records and report cards, medical records, etc.

Problem: It was very difficult to access specific files when needed; there were an extremely large number of filing cabinets, and one child could at times take up a whole drawer in a cabinet, so locating one specific document was time-consuming. The enormity of their need for document management was realized when they were asked in a court case to provide every piece of documentation regarding a student. They felt in good conscience they couldn't be sure they fully complied.

Solution: Aviator's scalability, workflow, Web enablement and ease of administration sold The Ranches not only on Aviator, but also convinced them to deploy Lotus Notes/Domino, which they previously did not use. Aviator's feature set and integration with Lotus Notes/Domino's email provide the necessary tools to completely streamline The Ranches' information gathering, storage and retrieval process, thus saving enormous amounts of staff time and effort. Aviator:
  • allowed The Ranches to build one centralized information library for all children, past and present;
  • allows documents to be scanned and stored;
  • enables seamless integration of their 4 locations; all share one Library that is replicated, so information access is immediate and up-to-date;
  • provides real-time information to staff who use Aviator's "download/upload" feature to synchronize information to Pocket PCs, use and update files while disconnected, then upload back to the Library.

Benefits: The Ranches has realized many benefits from Aviator's deployment:

  • Administrative overhead costs have dropped below the critical 20% mark, to 16%;
  • They are beginning to capture the full history of the organization through its documents in the Library;
  • The Ranches staff at 4 facilities can now easily share and collaborate across campuses and across the state;
  • The Board of Directors has better access to information and is better able to review past Board minutes, resolutions, archives, etc.
  • Staff's time is saved, providing them additional time to devote to the children.

Aviator and Domino Functionality: The Ranches created one Library for the whole organization, and uses Domino replication to ensure all facilities are up to date on document changes. Aviator utilizes Lotus Notes email for workflow routing of document changes.

Conclusion: Aviator provides staff, parents and children a daily snapshot of activities and improvements through instant information gathering and accessibility. This allows the staff to perform their jobs better, providing better services to the children and the community. Aviator also encourages the staff to find even more ways to use Aviator, such as getting the children involved by routing homework assignments through Aviator's workflow.

Additional Comments: "When you're in the business of relationships, it's important to find companies that will build a relationship with you. Aviator being the kind of company that really builds a relationship makes them rare enough, but following it up with their dedication to making a quality product makes them even more rare." Thanks to Heath Kull, System Administrator, The Ranches, for providing narrative for this case study.

        The Ranches Technology Today:
  • Lotus Notes/Domino R5
  • Server OS: Windows NT 4.0
  • Client OS: Windows 2000
  • 3 Domino Servers
  • 70 Users

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