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Case Study: ProAct

  • Client: ProAct
  • Project: Web Application for Tracking Attendance and Creating Reports
  • Country/Region: United States

ProAct is a service provider for people in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area who need assistance with employment or life skills due to a disability. Due to the nature of their work, much of ProAct’s operating budget comes from grants and contracts with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, other health providers, and disabilities-focused organizations.

Before working with Intertech, ProAct was using an older database application for tracking client attendance and generating reports for their various sponsor organizations. Intertech helped ProAct create an integrated attendance and reporting system that cut monthly processing times from a week to less than an hour.

Technologies Used

  • SQL Server
  • .NET
  • KnockoutJS
  • Entity Framework
  • Team Foundation Server

Challenge

ProAct offers a variety of services and programs for people with disabilities. The clients who participate in these programs, in turn, may receive funding from different outside organizations or qualify for different government programs. When ProAct creates its monthly reports for the various funding organizations, they need to track which clients participated in which programs and which funding streams apply.

Previously, this was a process that took ProAct employees nearly a week to complete every month. Each funding organization requires a slightly different reporting format, so ProAct employees were spending time formatting the data and making sure the correct data was in each report. Additionally, attendance records need to be audited for accuracy and reviewed by program coordinators.

While ProAct had engaged another software consultancy in the past to help with these issues, they were frustrated with the waterfall, all-at-once delivery of the product and lack of feedback cycle. ProAct contacted Intertech for help building an application that responded to their needs and allowed them to guide the development.

Process

Intertech first began working with ProAct in June 2017. Our expert consultant worked with ProAct’s team over a year and a half to create the attendance and billing in ProAct’s Global application and add new features.

The foundation of the project is a web application that allows ProAct employees to take attendance of the clients they serve and provide the necessary billing to the customers who provide reimbursement for the services provided. Information on the programs and attendees is stored in a Microsoft SQL Server database where it can be queried and drive real-time reporting via SQL Server Reporting Services. This core application launched by the end of 2017, within six months of starting the project.

After implementing this core web application, Intertech’s consultant shifted the agile development priorities to creating automatic invoices and reimbursement requests for ProAct’s various funding organizations. As the project progressed, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (MN DHS) announced they’d be requiring reimbursement submissions to be broken out daily on invoices. With Intertech’s agile approach, our consultants were able to change development priorities to comply with and take advantage of MN DHS’s electronic submission capability and create an export that could be used to submit to MN DHS’s electronic submissions process.

By early 2018, Intertech released the integration for MN DHS submissions. Over the next eight months, Intertech would add support for PDF creation of organization-specific invoices for all ProAct’s funding organizations.

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Result

Every week, ProAct’s program coordinators need to review and approve attendance records. With all these records easily available in one place via a web application, the review is as simple as checking a single screen, making any changes, and clicking “approve.” When it comes time to bill funding organizations every month, built-in error flagging notes any issues that need to be resolved. Then, ProAct can create that month’s invoices--including electronic submission files for MN DHS--in a few simple steps. A process that used to take a week every month now takes less than an hour.

Thanks to Intertech’s agile approach, creation of the application and reports responded to ProAct’s needs. When MN DHS announced the online submission option, Intertech was able to shift priorities toward supporting that functionality. If ProAct needed changes or users had trouble using certain features, Intertech consultant added the user story to the sprint backlog and prioritized it as appropriate.

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From the day it was founded in 1991 by local entrepreneur Tom Salonek, Intertech has been a company with an important difference: unwavering commitment to customers, employees and the broader community through excellent work, smart workplace and financial management, and creative philanthropic involvement.

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