North Shore Community Action Programs Upgrades Their Legacy System

A case study featuring North Shore Community Action Programs and how they replaced their legacy system with Celayix shift-scheduling and time & attendance software to make scheduling easier, and expedite payroll and billing processes.

North Shore Community Action Programs

On the north Massachusetts coast, North Shore Community Action Programs (NSCAP) delivers much-needed services for elderly and disadvantaged members of the community. The anti-poverty agency for 25 cities and towns provides personal home care services for the ill and elderly. They also run programs to help low-income residents make ends meet.

Location: Peabody, Massachusetts, USA

Industry: Home Healthcare/Non-profit

Size: 50-100 employees

Challenges

NSCAP’s Home Care Department employs about 55 full and part-time field staff members. Another six employees run the main office in Peabody, MA. To direct as much of the budget as possible to client services, office staff run a lean operation.

In the past, staff maintained schedules for employees in an Excel spreadsheet. As they made changes, it was impossible for all to stay on the same page without constantly emailing the new versions to each other.

They also processed payroll and billing through a cumbersome legacy program. Bi-weekly payroll took the entire week to complete – typing in employee shifts worked manually – while monthly billing of third-party referring organizations required up to three days.

“Our old system crashed and that motivated us to look at other programs,” said Debra Larson, office manager at NSCAP. “We wanted something that we could do multiple things through.”

Solution

The Home Care Department of North Shore evaluated several solutions for employee scheduling, including Celayix eTime Xpress. The software rose to the top of the list based on functionality for the money – delivering the best value. In a single application, Celayix supports employee scheduling, employee time and attendance tracking, payroll processing and billing.

Celayix also met other key criteria for the nonprofit: ease of use. Larson and the team were quickly using the software in their daily workflow, keeping it open on their desktops for quick reference. The minimal need for training allowed the office team to stay focused on staffing and servicing clients.

“I fell in love with Celayix immediately,” Larson said. “We don’t have time to sit there and figure it out. It was very easy to get up and running with it in a short time.”

“Turnaround time for receiving payments is much faster – several days or even a month – because we’re able to bill faster with Celayix.”

Debra Larson, Office Manager

Results

Centralized system for easier scheduling

Now, the office staff relies on Celayix as the central database for information about employees, home care staff scheduling and shifts worked. They store notes about clients and employees, including important details such as license numbers or the due dates for required vaccinations.

As a web-enabled solution, Celayix gives everyone in the office access to the same data in real-time. Since most schedules remain the same week to week, NSCAP uses a template in the software and simply makes changes to it as needed. The home care staff schedule clearly shows open slots, making it easier for staff to schedule home care workers with the relevant qualifications.

Faster payroll and billing

With all shifts stored in Celayix, the software significantly expedites reporting, payroll and billing for the organization – eliminating duplicate data entry.

Celayix consultants configured the software to accommodate two different billing methods for NSCAP, in units and in hours. They also customized codes for the range of different personal and home care services that field staff provide. With those formulas, the software’s bill/pay engine automatically and accurately calculates gross totals.

In addition, the software stores referral sources, so the Home Care Department easily tracks parties to bill for client services. The staff completes monthly billing in just one day – about one-third the time it took previously. In the previous system, staff created, printed and mailed invoices manually. Now, they electronically transmit invoices directly to paying parties. All that speeds up the time that NSCAP receives payment.

“Turnaround time for payment is much faster – several days or even a month – because we’re billing faster,” Larson said.

The department uses that same information for reporting to ASAPs (Aging Services Access Points), which are the local vendors who refer clients to the department. They simply export and send the billing information at the end of the month.

The team also processes payroll more quickly. Instead of taking an entire week to complete for each cycle, Larson now spends about a day for each bi-weekly pay period. “Payroll is so much simpler with Celayix than before,” she added.

From initial configuration to ongoing support, Celayix has served as a reliable, knowledgeable vendor for the non-profit.

“When you purchase a product, you need to know that they are going to back up their program, and we have found that consistently with Celayix,” Larson said.

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