Family matters: Building a thriving business for future generations
With her 30 years of industry experience and obvious passion for what she does, it was perhaps inevitable Kylie would start a disability support business. “Rather than clients being a number in the system, we provide a choice and take the time to get to know them and their needs,” she says. “It’s about providing quality support where you give clients exactly what they should be given.”
Kylie built Northern Assist Care – which provides in-home care, social inclusion programs, and short-term accommodation for people in Adelaide’s northern suburbs – from the ground up. She started the business with three clients in late 2017. Today, Northern Assist Care has 70 clients and more than 50 staff.
How did she do it? “It just sort of happened. I actually met my five-to-ten-year business plan in the first two to three years,” she says.
“Without our clients, we wouldn't have a business, so they always have to be number one. I think, What would I want to provide if that was my brother, my sister, my mother? Would I let my staff work with them? If you do the right thing by people, you can't really fail.”
And how does she feel about her success? “It's absolutely incredible. I love the relationships we build with our clients and staff. We get told we’re like one big family.”
When she started, Kylie’s processes were all manual. “I was on the phone and using excel spreadsheets and making rosters. We were spending a whole lot of time on that.”
Within months, she was seeking better options. “As you grow, you need something more professional. We needed a system where multiple workers could access the same information and receive notifications on their phones.”
She tried a couple of online solutions but found they were either too complex or didn’t have all the features she needed to run her expanding business.
ShiftCare proved the perfect fit. “It's got more choice and it's a lot easier to use,” says Kylie. “It’s like a one stop shop.”
Kylie uses all ShiftCare’s features except for invoicing, which she plans to master this year. She particularly likes the progress notes, because workers can use them immediately and they can be sent to support coordinators from other agencies if needed.
ShiftCare also makes payroll a breeze, Kylie says. “Each fortnight, you can easily see how many hours workers have done. Everything is right there in front of you.”
She also loves that workers can immediately complete incident reports on their phones, and the notification function alerting the team to upcoming documentation expiry.
A system to grow with
Importantly, ShiftCare has helped Northern Assist Care grow, Kylie says. Without it, “I would have everything mucked up and confused. I wouldn’t have all the right paperwork where it should be, contracts wouldn't be saved, and we wouldn’t know when we needed to do new ones. The communication wouldn’t be there.”
ShiftCare makes her life a lot easier, Kylie says. “Instead of spending so much time doing things the old-fashioned way, we can all go into one place to get information.”
Flexibility for a hectic schedule
Kylie thrives on multitasking. “My job keeps me on my toes. Every day there's something different. I love the adrenaline and it’s worth everything to see a good result.”
In addition to running Northern Assist Care, she is parenting four kids and running a café. She says she wouldn’t change her hectic lifestyle for the world, and ShiftCare helps her to manage it. “It frees up time and I can do it from home or out for tea. You can do it anywhere on the mobile app if you need to.”
Support for success
Kylie admits technology isn’t her strength, but ShiftCare’s team stepped in when needed. “They were a really good help,” she says. “They took lots of time with me until I could get the timesheet side of it.”
Using ShiftCare will also support Kylie’s goal of achieving NDIS registration. ShiftCare is not only the best platform to handle compliance, but having all the information she needs in one place will assist with the application and registration process. “If the NDIS wants to see how supports are being used, we can easily bring up a whole year’s worth of information, including all the progress notes, any incident report forms and communications.”
With ongoing growth, Kylie’s family have become involved in managing the business – a trend she hopes will continue. “One day I'll be able to let my daughters take over. They'll have a system they've seen me use that they'll easily be able to use as well.”
Northern Assist Care may also expand to cover more of South Australia. “I look forward to watching the business continue to grow,” Kylie says. “And it will be with ShiftCare. We won't be moving from that.”