Less stress, more time: How ShiftCare helped build a mighty NDIS business
Meet Alana – passionate about quality support for people with disability
Alana Campbell and her partner Ash started Mighty Mentors in March 2022 with little capital but big plans. They aimed to set a new standard in the Perth disability sector. “We wanted to provide really good supports,” Alana says, “with better communication and a more person-centred approach.”
Mighty Mentors specialises in building capacity and independence with one-to-one, community-based mentoring. “We work on building social skills, maintaining relationships and getting participants out into the community, depending on what their goals are,” Alana says.
In-home skill building is another key service. “We support people to develop skills such as meal preparation, establishing routines, home maintenance, or whatever is stipulated in their NDIS plan.”
They also offer camps, employment exploration and support, and short-term accommodation.
Alana’s passion for community service work started early, due to lived experience with a brother who was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder at a young age. “I saw the impact my brother's mental health had on his function and ability to cope with everyday tasks,” Alana says. “That’s what got me interested in the disability sector.”
She became a support worker and has had several industry roles. “My most recent role as an NDIS support coordinator really opened my eyes. I couldn't find any mentoring for my participants in Perth, so that's where the idea blossomed. There was obviously a need for it.”
Things were tough starting out, she says. “We did it all off our own backs. I was still working as a support coordinator, so I had that income. But it got too much trying to juggle the business with such a complex and demanding role, so I had to give that up.
“My partner has come from mining, so he brought some finance into the business, and we basically grew from there.”
Alana says helping people gives her deep satisfaction. “One of the biggest reasons I love my job is watching the progress everyone makes with the support of our mentors. Watching them work towards their goals, develop their independence, building their confidence and overall quality of life is why we do what we do.”
And what makes their business different? “It’s very personalised. We give clients real choice and control about what support looks like for them. We focus on building long-term relationships through a mentor matching process. If a mentor can't make their shift, we ask the client if they want that shift covered.”
They now have 60 staff supporting about 100 participants.
The challenge: the stress of running a growing business
Mighty Mentors’ rapid growth, while wonderful, also created a problem. The manual processes they were using – such as creating timesheets and rosters on paper templates – became extremely time consuming. Alana was spending a day per week doing invoicing and payroll.
“As we grew, we definitely needed something more efficient and accurate,” she says. “We tried a system from another provider, but it didn't have all the functionality we needed.”
Admin was still taking Alana a day per week with this system because kilometres didn't integrate with the app. They had to be tracked on a separate timesheet and manually added to invoices and payroll.
The solution: a system that eases the stress of running a business
While searching for a better system, Alana saw ShiftCare on Facebook and Google. “All the reviews were really good,” she says.
And it had the features she needed. “Along with tracking kilometres in the app, we prefer the layout of the staff and client profiles. ShiftCare is a lot less complicated and easier to use.”
The admin that took a full day now gets done in about an hour. “It's definitely caused a lot less stress,” Alana says. “I'm very busy, and it has given me time to focus on more important things.”
She says staff are also happy with the change, with great feedback about the app. “We haven't had any issues with glitching or not being able to clock in and out, which was a problem with the previous app.”
She also loves the app’s capability to add case notes and employee leave. “That’s another function the other app didn’t offer.”
Another favourite is ShiftCare’s scheduler, with its advanced edit and carer shift notification functions. “It’s really user friendly compared to the other system. There's only one roster, whereas the other system had a master roster which we'd have to refresh every couple of weeks.”
Plus, it integrates with Xero. “That was another thing we absolutely needed to fully automate our rostering system. It’s really good for invoicing and time sheets.”
Terrific training and customer support
Transitioning to a new software system can be challenging, but Alana says ShiftCare made it easy. “Ian [our Head of customer Support] has been amazing. He’s helped us with everything – technical things, learning about all the features. If we've got a question, we just send him an email or give him a call. He's really responsive.”
She adds the chat feature is fast and helpful. “If we type a question, they’re usually back to us within a couple of minutes.” And the Help icon is an easy way to access articles and videos, which Alana sends to staff to help them use ShiftCare effectively. “There are YouTube videos for how to do everything,” she says.
Sustainable growth plans
Alana would like to see further growth in the business, but not at the expense of great service. “I've seen some providers get too big too quick, and their processes haven't really kept up. We want to provide really good quality support the whole way through,” she says.
“Once we've refined all our current services, we’ll probably go into support coordination because that is my background and I love it.”