Social services agency uses Dynamics 365 to rapidly distribute vital medical equipment

New Zealand social services agency Manawanui provides assistance to nearly 4,500 clients.

When COVID-19 became a national concern, Manawanui set out to rapidly gather information about clients’ needs for personal protective equipment (PPE). Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing, Manawanui created an information campaign and survey in a matter of hours, then shared survey results right away with its distribution partners. This got PPE to the most vulnerable clients quickly and put Manawanui in a position to support and influence nationwide PPE distribution efforts.

Manawanui supports nearly 4,500 New Zealanders with disabilities, helping them coordinate self-directed in-home and community support services. This unique approach empowers Manawanui clients to choose the support staff who help them and to decide when and how that support is delivered, rather than receiving services on someone else’s schedule. Manawanui ensures that everyone follows applicable regulations, and it provides an administrative framework to oversee things like payroll, hiring, and training.

When COVID-19 became a global and national concern, Manawanui needed to immediately reach out to its clients with information about COVID-19. The agency also wanted to coordinate the delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) to all client homes as quickly as possible. Manawanui had begun using parts of Microsoft Dynamics 365 in 2017 and had a plan in place to deploy Dynamics 365 Marketing and Microsoft Power Platform. COVID-19 accelerated that plan.

“Delivering PPE to thousands of clients is not the sort of thing we normally do, and it was a daunting task,” explains Neil Browning, General Manager of Product, Platform, and Data at Manawanui. “But we used Dynamics 365 Marketing to centralize clients’ data, create a survey to determine their PPE needs, tabulate thousands of responses, and send all necessary delivery details to our PPE distribution partners.” Manawanui provided internal and partner stakeholders with clear views of the centralized data using dashboards and reports in Power BI, part of Microsoft Power Platform.

Manawanui’s relationship with Microsoft Partner Network member Fusion5 facilitated this process. “Working with Fusion5, we came up with a solution for PPE distribution within hours,” says Browning. “That’s much faster than it would have been without using Dynamics 365 to capture and consolidate client information.”

As a result of this joint effort, Manawanui quickly distributed PPE such as masks to help protect its most vulnerable clients and has been able to influence and support the efforts the Ministry of Health to distribute PPE nationwide.

Manawanui maintains a forward-looking approach to technology, and the pandemic revealed just how vital that is. “We’ve undertaken a digital transformation journey at Manawanui, and Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform play a big part in that,” says Browning. “Our COVID-19 response has shown that we can scale as needed, quickly create new processes, and have a high level of confidence in the Microsoft platform underneath it all.”

Neil Browning: General Manager of Product, Platform, and Data

Manawanui

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Anna Arrol

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