Imagine managing rentals for beds, mattresses and other equipment at 172 busy hospitals using a paper-based system. It’s hard enough to imagine, it would be impossible to do.
But paper was a big part of the mix when ILS Independent Living Specialists started winning hospital contracts.
“They were using off-the-shelf hiring software and everything ended up on paper,” says Sean Donnelly, Director and CTO of Innovent. “After a busy weekend, it could take the staff three days to catch up.”
ILS’s operators would take telephone orders from hospital staff, transcribing critical details like patient names and ward locations. It’s easy enough to make a mistake taking an order by phone, but the orders from hospitals also came from staff with varied language abilities, which increased the probability of miscommunication.
Those mistakes in transcription could have serious business consequences.
ILS was servicing the hospitals so well, more were coming on board but more hospitals meant more phone calls
“A single error could delay an entire month’s invoice while we got to the bottom of one order for one mattress at one hospital,” says Peter Reid, Co-Founder and Managing Director of ILS.
ILS needed to move beyond off-the-shelf software, get away from the phones where possible, and handle the whole process electronically — right through from receiving orders to collecting proof-of-delivery signatures on a tablet.
They came to Innovent for a solution, but we weren’t necessarily what Peter was expecting.
“Sean didn’t come in like an egotistical propeller head,” says Peter. “He was disarming, listened and kept it simple, not just for me but for the staff. He made sure it was all relatable.
“Innovent has been very good at getting everything into plain English for people like me. They took time to understand our business processes and needs, then they translated that into an IT outcome without baffling us along the way. I say here’s our problem, this is my dream, this is what I envisage to solve the problem.”
The custom software Innovent built for us has allowed us to branch into 172 hospitals, that’s hundreds of phone calls a day. If we’d tried to do it on the system we have before, It would have killed us as a business.
— Peter Reid
Co-Founder and Managing Director of ILS
“Hospitals want things broken down by ward,” says Sean. They want to track the beds they’re renting from ward to ward, and they want you to provide the system to do that. And without that system, your beds could get lost in a massive hospital and they’re worth thousands of dollars each.”
ILS’s new custom software manages the whole process.
- Hospital staff can still phone in an order but they’re encouraged to order through an intuitive online portal
- The orders are all recorded electronically and sent to the tablets used by ILS’s van drivers
- The system knows exactly what’s on each van and allocates orders quickly
- The driver presents the tablet for a signature on delivery and collection. They can also record transfer or repair requests.
- The system integrates with MYOB and generates a monthly invoice with charges broken down by hospital and ward
The ultimate endorsement — from custom to off-the-shelf
When the custom software you build for one business becomes off-the-shelf software for another, you know you’ve done something right. And that’s exactly what happened here: ILS has now licensed its software to a company also in the hiring business.