We’re there to advocate for our clients and help them to participate in their communities in a more meaningful way. With Salesforce, we can tailor our support to help each individual to live the life they choose.”

Damien McCormack, Strategic Program Manager
 
 

Vision Australia exists to help those who are blind and low vision to live the lives they choose. Whether they desire lifelong learning or want to work alongside their peers, Vision Australia is there to provide advocacy and support. Its clients today include more than 27,500 people of all ages and circumstances and supporting each one requires a 1:1 approach.

“We’re there to advocate for our clients and help them to participate in their communities in a more meaningful way,” said Damien McCormack, Strategic Program Manager at Vision Australia. “With Salesforce, we can tailor our support to help each individual to live the life they choose.”

Much has changed since the not-for-profit became Australia’s first national blindness agency in 2004. Expanding through a series of mergers, it now operates dozens of centres, clinics and outreach programs across the country. It’s also the only national provider of dog guide services in Australia.

This growth has allowed Vision Australia to help more people but also created silos of information and inefficiencies in IT. To support clients more personally and efficiently, it needed to consolidate its systems and data into the cloud.

“As we looked to the future and started to prepare for reform to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), we needed a single source of truth about our clients and the ability to scale,” said McCormack. “With Salesforce, we could address both of those needs and move away from our legacy IT.”

 

As we looked to the future and started to prepare for reform to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), we needed a single source of truth about our clients and the ability to scale. With Salesforce, we could address both of those needs and move away from our legacy IT.”

NDIS reform presents a significant change for not-for-profits like Vision Australia. The era of block funding from the government is drawing to an end. Instead, funding will go directly to clients who will be able to choose where they purchase their support.

Vision Australia’s digital transformation is helping it manage through the complexities of this new world and maintain preference amongst its client base. For starters, frontline support staff can access Salesforce from anywhere to gain insight into client needs and provide personalised support. Skedulo from the Salesforce AppExchange helps them to track their time and appointments, and be more productive in the field.

Salesforce is also easily accessible to the 15% of its workforce who are visually impaired. Using Job Access With Speech (JAWS) screen readers, they can navigate Salesforce and find the information they need. The integration was handled by Vision Australia’s digital access services team which works with commercial clients to ensure accessibility for those who are blind or low vision.

Salesforce has become a critical platform for Vision Australia, which has extended its use to referral management. The new automated process is much faster and smoother for both sides and has helped Vision Australia to build a better relationship with referrers.  The time savings achieved has allowed more than 700 labour hours per year to be redirected to providing better support to clients.

Next, Vision Australia plans to scale its marketing efforts using Salesforce to send more automated and personalised communications. It also wants to create a community where the families of those who are blind or low vision can access information and support.

“With the flexibility of Salesforce and features like Lightning Connect, we can create or integrate all the capabilities we need to deliver the right services to our clients more efficiently,” said McCormack. “Also, by automating as much as we can, we can lower the cost of each transaction. This is key for a not-for-profit competing in any increasingly open market.”

 
 
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