Wyoming Business Council Optimizes Work Processes with the Cloud

Time to read: 6 minutes

“Operations went digital virtually overnight for businesses and agencies everywhere, and because of the work we had done, we were fairly well prepared. Our transformation path was not clearly defined, but we were ready when asked in a moment’s notice,” said Josh Dorrell, CEO of the Wyoming Business Council. 

COVID-19 brought unpredictable change nationwide over the past year-plus. The Wyoming Legislature crafted three initial grant programs May of 2020 during a specialized session to distribute $325 Million in Federal CARES Act. These initiatives were reassessed at the start of the year and the Governor was given authority to expend any remaining funds related to previously approved CARES Act program applications on September 1, 2021. This allowed the state to recreate a variety of programs and award funding to those across the state experiencing hardships. “It was incredible to see our team and our partners come together in this time of need and strategize on how we would make a difference,” Dorrell continued. “We knew it was time for a digital transformation.”

Wyoming Business Council adds value and fosters economic stability.

 
 

The Wyoming Business Council is committed to creating new opportunities for current and future generations of residents by adding value to Wyoming’s core industries and leveraging them to activate new economic sectors. In other words, the team delivers programs and services that help (A) businesses like oil and gas companies, agriculture producers, tourism, and more thrive and prosper, and (B) uncover new business opportunities within Wyoming’s established industries.

COVID-19 hit the economy and the industries within each especially hard— for the state of Wyoming it took 3 Business Relief programs rolled out consecutively to provide support for businesses and their employees. Due to unprecedented demand state legislation used flex authority in enacting additional programs so that as many struggling state businesses as possible could access funds and ways to stay afloat. As of January 1, 2021, the economic and business relief industry of Wyoming had received 37.71% of the states total funds to expend.

Similar struggles for state businesses were experienced all across the nation. CARES Act funding, as well as other economic development and recovery efforts, were expanded and the dollar amount of funds to disperse increased. Relief programs were extended to include grants for COVID-related expenses — things like PPE, cleaning supplies, equipment, and more — which were used in return to normalcy efforts. With economic status and pandemic mandates continually changing, speed of systems, eligibility of funding, and application processes all became critical. Dorrell and team turned to the cloud to optimize efforts and proactively prepare for when to disburse funds.

“We knew we had to pivot and build something that would help our businesses, our communities, and our own team, process CARES funding quickly and remotely. We needed a system that would be intuitive and enable people from their home office just as easily as it might from their desk at work, as we were not delivering services face-to-face anymore,” said Shaun Jones, data manager at the Wyoming Business Council. Because the team was able to digitally transform overnight, a rapid time to value was introduced alongside a sense of security. This allowed funds to be distributed more efficiently by optimizing work processes and increasing visibility via dashboards.

Dashboard capabilities redefine workflow capacity and increase visibility.

Dorrell, Jones, and team launched a grants management platform on the Salesforce Customer 360 for Government. It is a case management system configured to meet the unique needs of loan and grant distribution, as well as the additional requirements stipulated by the CARES act— anytime, anywhere. Heres how it works:

    Identifying a need

  • When a business owner reaches out for help, they are invited to create a profile and apply for relief funding via Experience Cloud. The business owner is guided through a series of questions regarding things like their type of business and economic status, amongst other preliminary aspects that the state will consider in disbursing funds.

    Applying for funds

  • The information entered into Experience Cloud is captured on the back end in personalized profile records in Sales Cloud. Dorrell, Jones, and team used this 360-degree view for outreach and targeting efforts to understand eligibility urgency and more as they work to get money into the hands of struggling businesses.

    Managing cases

  • Once an application is deemed eligible, a case is opened in Service Cloud. Here, teams can review the request, tag subject matter experts, assign tasks, and work together to close the case and issue funding. “It helped us to see where each application was in its life-cycle and allowed us to communicate that progress internally,” Jones included.     

    Scaling service delivery

  • Integrated reports and dashboards give the team the insight they need to optimize work flows and keep stakeholders informed in real-time. “Turning to dashboards brought our leadership understanding of what was going on and allowed us to spot problems in real-time to shift accordingly. The results were so impactful, we pursued further — creating a Google Data Studio dashboard with Salesforce data to streamline processes — dashboards were our biggest win,” said Jones. “We wasted no time in taking this same concept externally and quickly created something similar to the Domino’s pizza tracker, for our customers,” added Dorrell. “i.e.: customers could see where their application was in the life cycle at any point in time. This gives each customer a good understanding of what was happening with their application.”

    Keeping up communication

  • Last but not least, the team added Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder and Social Studio giving them the tools they needed to streamline communications over email and social.

Accessible data is key to cultivating trust.

With better visibility and real-time status updates, operations were more efficient and delivery was faster. The team created a single source of truth that produced some impressive results.  

  • $80 M dollars to begin with 
  • $500 M dollars distributed by year-end
  • $513 M in ARPA additional funding to small businesses

“Our agency built significant trust when the first applications began rolling in with comments on how simple the process was,” said Dorrell. “We were able to provide consistency, instill trust, and help people along the way, while ensuring we were doing our very best. This is a way of providing service that will stick around in Wyoming.”

 

 

Keep exploring stories like this one.

Questions? We’ll put you on the right path.

Ask about Salesforce products, pricing, implementation, or anything else. Our highly trained reps are standing by, ready to help.