150-250 monthly (pre-COVID-19)
The Salvation Army’s headquarters in New Jersey needed a front desk solution that could help them fully manage their people flows, boosting building security and employee and visitor safety, all while freeing up staff’s time at the front desk. About four years ago, they found Proxyclick, an efficient and affordable solution for a non-profit with a limited budget. Dave Dlugose, IT Director, helped transition this important location from a paper logbook, to a fully streamlined, digital check-in process for employees and visitors. Here’s how it all happened.
One of the best known charities operating around the world today, The Salvation Army is perhaps most easily recognized around the winter holidays, when volunteers stand outside grocery stores dressed in red aprons (Santa hats optional), ringing bells and collecting money for the homeless. The organization says they’re able to help more than 25 million people each year. The mission of The Salvation Army ranges from tackling hunger, to ending homelessness, to combating addiction, to providing support for older adults with depression, to aiding in disaster relief efforts. Where there is a human need, The Salvation Army seeks to meet it.
While their mission is 155 years old, it’s being supported by the latest developments in integrated technology. With a worldwide membership of 1.65 million, over 112,000 employees, and a presence in 130 countries, from Angola to Zimbabwe, The Salvation Army is at work everywhere.
Before implementing Proxyclick, The Salvation Army HQ in New Jersey had no effective system in place for welcoming visitors; they simply used a paper and pen logbook. After testing a limited solution for managing visitors, management found that the company needed to implement a digital system more broadly.
“They don’t have a lot of outside visitors that just show up, because we’re headquarters,” IT Director David Dlugose explains. “Most people come to the building because we’ve asked them to, or they’ve scheduled something. So it’s mostly internal people, and they are trusted employees, but they still have them check in and check out.”
Dlugose wanted something “better and more secure” than their previous system. He found it in Proxyclick. Once he completed the trial, Dlugose was “sold,” in his words. He was impressed by its price, ease of use, commitment to data privacy, and benefit of customizable flows.
“I like being able to customize and brand our kiosk right at the front. It’s really sharpened up our welcome area.” - Dave Dlugose, IT Director, The Salvation Army New Jersey Headquarters
The Salvation Army has also installed a branded welcome screen that bears their logo.
Though external visitors at HQ are less common than at other locations, making a good impression when guests show up is still important.
Dlugose explains that, when people arrive from off-site, overwhelmingly they are “impressed by [Proxyclick]. It's really cool to hear [people who've] had experience with many of these systems in big professional places praise the Army for implementing this specific solution.”
But what really sold Dlugose and The Salvation Army team on Proxyclick was the notifications.
"The notifications in Proxyclick have changed our lives. It’s much easier for the front desk to notify people when they have packages than it used to be, where they were calling each person individually." - Dave Dlugose, IT Director, The Salvation Army New Jersey Headquarters
And particularly during the pandemic, the notification system has further proved its value. “It’s been good, because we have just a skeleton crew in the building. When people at home receive a package, people on-site go into Proxyclick and let us know, and we schedule an on-site visit to pick up our equipment,” Dlugose explains.
Since the implementation of Proxyclick, Dlugose and The Salvation Army employees have noticed a broad array of benefits in addition to added security that they didn’t expect. Proxyclick helped them not only manage employee and visitor flows, but also make deliveries more efficient, freeing up front desk staff's time.
Dlugose reports that they particularly like the notifications they receive when someone has entered, but not yet checked out--they can easily know if the individual is still in the building, and alert the right departments.
“Proxyclick gives us peace of mind. We know that, if there is some sort of incident on a particular day, whether it’s a fire or another emergency, we can see who’s in the building and who to contact. And if something happens, we have it recorded - we have this data that we didn’t have before. We've gone from not having any data to having data, and in IT, that’s pretty important.” - Dave Dlugose, IT Director, The Salvation Army New Jersey Headquarters
Security and data privacy are conjoined concerns for any organization--and particularly for one that manages large financial donations, as The Salvation Army does. During the pandemic, some businesses choose to use facial recognition and temperature scanning solutions to take visitors’ temperatures upon entry and confirm recognition. However, Dlugose worries that this type of check-in system would “cross the lines of privacy.” More specifically, he notes that some facial recognition software solutions don’t share where data is stored.
Proxyclick’s core business is centered on data privacy, backed by its recent ISAE 3000 Type I Certification. It ensures that sensitive data is kept private and secure throughout its features like remote registration, touchless check-in, watchlists, and ID Match.
Once The Salvation Army began using Proxyclick to track everyone coming into the building, “it worked really great,” Dlugose reports.
Security as a whole has taken on a different dimension in the context of the global pandemic, and Proxyclick has been instrumental in facilitating The Salvation Army’s safety procedures at their headquarters.
Besides using Proxyclick to efficiently alert employees working from home when they’ve received a delivery that needs picking up, Dlugose says he views Proxyclick “as a really great solution for contact tracing.”
But Dlugose, in true IT fashion, is thinking ahead and planning for all contingencies.
“If someone walks into our location who’s a visitor and has COVID-19, we’re going to want to be able to have a list of people in the building on that same day they came in and reach out to them." - Dave Dlugose, IT Director, The Salvation Army New Jersey Headquarters
To that end, Dlugose is working to get Proxyclick into other The Salvation Army locations - not just at the New Jersey-based HQ. Currently, that location is working with only essential employees and pre-registered visitors, but in the broader re-opening that will happen down the line, security features and seamless visitor flow will be just as important, if not more so.
As The Salvation Army is a nonprofit that subsists largely on donations, pricing is obviously a consideration - but Dlugose believes that Proxyclick offers a great value for the organization.