Prime Time Palm Beach County promotes high quality out-of-school time programs that support children and youth before school, after school, as well as during summer, weekends and seasonal school breaks.
While its staff of 35 was successful at achieving the mission and making an impact in the community, Prime Time employees were not feeling as confident with their back office setup. “When I came on board, I knew our office operations needed an overhaul that focused on utilizing better technologies to create efficiencies internally and to better serve our community, but it seemed like a pipedream. We even made a five-year “tech dream” instead of a five-year plan, because it seemed so out of reach,” said Deana jo Booker, Chief Operating Officer, Prime Time Palm Beach County.
In 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the 100% paper-based organization was forced to make big decisions, big investments and big changes to continue basic operations to serve their community. “In early 2020, we had finally gotten our last staff member onto a laptop computer instead of a desktop – talk about fortuitous timing.” After scrambling to digitize their most-needed resources and processes, Deana jo and her team realized quickly that they needed help. Prime Time contracted with a large corporate managed services provider, but it became clear that it didn’t know how best to support nonprofits and couldn’t provide the type of expertise that Prime Time needed. “The company didn’t know the lingo, the challenges and the operations of a nonprofit. It felt like we were talking two different languages, and they were nickel and diming us left and right,” added Deana jo.
It was then that Deana Jo was introduced to Tech Impact and was immediately impressed with its technology assessment plans. Both parties agreed that an assessment and a follow-up technology plan were needed to be strategic and tactical moving forward. The Strategic Technology Plan identified two priority areas for Prime Time to work on first: 1) how it stores and structures its data, and 2) the widespread issue of technology support and help across its staff. “As overwhelming as the assessment felt, they made it manageable and approachable. A step-by-step guide led us through every facet of our technology and created a comprehensive overview of our tech environment that we could use.”
Prime Time continued working with Tech Impact to tackle its tech priorities including a SharePoint data migration and signing on to be managed service clients to give all their employees the tech support they needed. The company also assisted Prime Time in establishing a tech committee that helps the organization make better, faster and more widely accepted changes happen. “I was unsure about building out a tech committee and involving more people into the process, but it helped build consensus across teams and made sure everyone felt part of the solution.”
Now that the Prime Time office operations feels stable and staff are embracing technology changes better than before, Deana jo and the team are excited for what’s to come. But for right now? “I’m just excited to take a deep breath and slow down for a second. For so long we were critically behind, and it was overwhelming thinking about how we were going to keep serving our community. Now, we can start seeing the fruits of our labor, the cost-savings come through the staff morale. Now we can breathe.”