High-Level Requirements were as follows:
- Pantry: BEAM will book appointments for two pantry locations with their clients who will be recorded as contacts on Salesforce. The appointments are not scheduled with a person on Salesforce, they are booked for the resource which is a pantry in this case.
- Service Availability: One pantry can accept only one client at a time. And each pantry has a different availability schedule. Pantry visits are 20 min. long, without buffer time before or after. Available times are different for different weekdays; one of the BEAM locations works every other Saturday.
- Users & Visibility: Three front desk volunteers/employees take calls and book appointments for the two pantries. They all need to see the availability for both pantry locations and all bookings.
- UI: The system should show buttons for available time slots to book instead of having the user enter start and end time.
- List views and reports: BEAM uses a note/comment field in appointments to pass certain messages to the pantry staff when printing their daily schedule.
- Other Services: Nutrition assistance, financial support, single parent or senior program appointments will be booked by the Salesforce users who are meeting with the clients.
- Follow-up: The system needs to create appointment records on Salesforce so that surveys can be sent out and cases can be created to follow up with the clients.
- Reporting: BEAM needs to track the result of appointments: Attended, no show, rescheduled, etc. Operations team needs to report on the outcome of the meetings, preferably within Salesforce. Reports will need to be filtered using fields on accounts and contacts: e.g. appointments with clients from a certain ZIP code.
- Nice to have: The calendar should be viewable by people who are not Salesforce users.
BRDPro evaluated the following appointment scheduling solutions. The project team eliminated some of the more expensive solutions before the evaluation phase:
- Timetrade: This provider does not work with small organizations. They have a minimum user requirement.
- Appointiv: Appointiv is an AppExchange solution. It is a managed package you install in your instance. The advantage is that all data is in Salesforce. Appointiv satisfies most of the requirements. However, they do not support a 20-minute-long meeting.
- DayBack: DayBack is an AppExchange solution. They describe themselves as: “Schedule Balancing & Calendar Sharing for Process Innovation”. DayBack does not meet the UI button requirement or the flexible availability schedule requirement.
- Timetap: Timetap is a SaaS solution that resides outside Salesforce, however it provides Salesforce syncing capabilities. Timetap satisfied all the requirements above with the exception of the result of appointments and their reporting within Salesforce. Timetap allows for the user to record the outcome of appointments, but this field does not sync back to Salesforce.
Timetap is a highly configurable, powerful solution. Their support team is very responsive. Timetap has broad help and training content available, both in written and video format.
In conclusion, BRDPro and BEAM selected Timetap as the appointment scheduling solution for clients. Both Salesforce and Timetap have been live since April 2019.
Please see the next blog post for the Volunteer Management implementation.