How ShiftCare helped Andrew grow a flourishing disability support business
Meet Andrew – making a difference in his community
Before starting CORE-ability in 2018, Andrew and his wife Esther ran a small Melbourne consultancy helping people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to navigate the NDIS. On moving back to Wodonga (a Victorian city on the border with New South Wales), they reconnected with friends who had a daughter with disability. She became their first NDIS support client.
Since then, the business has grown to have about 35 employees supporting approximately 65 clients. As well as client support, CORE-ability offers NDIS planning, capacity building, employment help and respite services.
Andrew and his wife Esther – who both have backgrounds in adult education – now work solely in the business. All their growth has come through word of mouth.
The secret to their success? They’ve created a workplace that attracts top staff. “All our workers are great,” Andrew says. “They don't want to leave us. We get a lot of comments about our positive culture.”
Andrew says they focus on good communication and leading by example. “What our people do on the ground represents everything we do at the top. If our people feel honoured and respected, that helps them feel like part of a team – which is hard in a field where most workers are autonomous.” Furthermore, Andrew says Esther is highly skilled at matching staff and clients.
And what inspires Andrew each day? “I know we’re making a difference. The people who use our service need support every day of their lives just to undertake the everyday tasks we take for granted. It’s knowing we can provide that.”
The problem: outdated systems couldn’t match growth
At the start, Andrew used systems he’d developed for previous businesses. He reconfigured his accounting system for CORE-ability, using a spreadsheet to input data manually and then create invoices.
“It was a messy process, and it took a long time. There was a point where it stopped working. It was just too convoluted.” With five clients, Andrew was spending one day per week generating invoices and paying wages. “I thought ‘something has to be better than this’. That's when I started to do some research.”
The solution: a system custom-built to streamline admin
That research led him to ShiftCare. Andrew was drawn to the fact ShiftCare is Australian, along with its ease of use. “It seemed like a very streamlined process where I could take a roster, and that roster would turn into invoicing, which would also turn into reports for wages. That probably sealed the decision for me.”
Andrew believes the way ShiftCare uses rostering information across multiple tasks is its greatest strength. “In the NDIS business, the roster is like an ever changing, living organism. It tends to drive everything, so it consumes a lot of our time. Being able to take all that information and do something meaningful with it is just great.”
Now, invoicing for 65 clients only takes half an hour. Before ShiftCare, Andrew was also printing out rosters and giving them to staff. With ShiftCare being cloud-based, “now I can do it live on the fly,” Andrew says, “which is fantastic.”
ShiftCare has also helped with tracking client documentation, a process Andrew says was “nonexistent” in his former system.
Freedom to focus on growth
The cut in admin time has allowed Andrew to focus on business growth. “We're still a young business, and I’m working on processes and policies to get things right at the back end.”
He adds ShiftCare expands easily to fit your business. “It seemed to grow seamlessly. What it did for five clients it does for 60 clients, and I can see it growing into the future.”
Another thing he loves about ShiftCare is the customer experience. “It’s probably the best support I've ever had from an organisation. The fact you can jump on, ask a question and get an answer in two minutes is just incredible. And the people are so lovely. I can’t fault it.”
In fact, Andrew has been so impressed by the service ShiftCare’s team provides, he has “taken a leaf out of our book” in his business. “Everyone I've dealt with at ShiftCare has been incredible. That tells me it's a good culture. I want a culture like that where everyone is friendly, happy to help, and nothing is too much trouble; where communication is respectful all around.”
And communication across the business has improved significantly since they started using ShiftCare’s app-based communication channels, Andrew says. “We're pointing workers to ShiftCare rather than calling me or the admin team. It means less phone calls from workers asking us what to do, so we’re saving time. And we can get information to them in an instant.”
Happy app users
CORE-ability’s team uses the app for reporting as well as communication. “They can jump on and do reports right where they are,” Andrew says. “They can put their unavailability in the app as well. This saves us a heap of time because we don't have to ring around or deal with emails about when people can't work.”
And his team loves to use it. “Some of our staff work for other organisations that use different apps. They've all said that ShiftCare has the better app – it's so streamlined.”
As for the future, Andrew says business growth has already exceeded expectations. He’s content knowing they’re making a difference, while considering adding support coordination to their suite of services.
Whatever the future holds, ShiftCare will probably be part of it. “I see no reason to not use it. It's ingrained in what we do now.”