Business and IT Collaborate More Effectively with Quick Base

Tips & Tricks
Sep 13, 2016
8 Min Read
Image of Joe Lichtefeld, ResCare

Image of Joe Lichtefeld, ResCare

ResCare is simultaneously the largest private provider of services to people with disabilities, the largest one-stop workforce contractor, and the largest privately-owned home care company in the nation. With over 50,000 employees in thousands of locations, delivering technology solutions to meet almost any need is a tall order. To streamline its app delivery process, ResCare implemented Quick Base as a low-code rapid application development platform. Quick Base enables ResCare's IT team to work closely with business stakeholders and deliver new applications 3-4 times faster than with traditional development.

The Need for a Rapid Application Development Platform

ResCare is a $1.8 billion company that provides home care, vocational training and job placement, and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Every day, the company positively impacts more than 60,000 Americans and the communities in which they live.

As with any large organization, the IT team at ResCare serves multiple lines of business with unique technology needs. From large ERP implementations to smaller point solutions, the team is committed to serving business users with the right solutions as fast as possible. Sometimes that means adding functionality to an existing application. Sometimes it means custom coding in .NET. For everything else, there's Quick Base.

ResCare adopted Quick Base in 2009, and since then has built and deployed hundreds of apps on the platform. Because Quick Base enables app development with little or no code, ResCare's app delivery team can respond quickly to requests and develop new applications or changes in a fraction of the time required for traditional app development. The result is faster app delivery and easier ongoing maintenance.

"When we get a request, the first thing we do is evaluate the delivery mechanism. If it makes more sense to extend the functionality of an existing application, we'll do that. If we have to build it from scratch, we'll try Quick Base. If we can't do it in Quick Base, we'll turn it over to our .NET development team," says Joe Lichtefeld, VP of Application Delivery, ResCare.

How QuickBase Empowers Business and IT

ResCare has over 120 active Quick Base apps, used by more than 2,000 employees across the organization. These apps may be perishable (designed to support a temporary need) or permanent, critical or expendable. And because Quick Base offers both speed and flexibility when creating applications, the IT team can collaborate closely with business stakeholders during the entire development cycle.

To get the right solutions delivered fast, ResCare relies on a process centered on rapid prototyping. After gathering core requirements, the team delivers a prototype in Quick Base — typically within 2 weeks of the initial request. After a brief round of feedback and quality assurance (QA), the app delivery team will delete test data, make the necessary changes, and work with the business stakeholders for final approval before turning it over to a separate team for training and rollout. In most cases, only one round of changes is needed before final configuration.

This process has supported the development of hundreds of Quick Base apps that support business processes in multiple lines of business at ResCare, including:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM). The HomeCare Services business at ResCare uses a Quick Base app to manage the process of nurturing and tracking sales opportunities.
  • Client Management. The Workforce Services business uses Quick Base to track clients as they progress through vocational training and other steps on their way to meeting their personal goals.
  • Compliance. The Residential Services business (the largest at ResCare) uses a Quick Base app to track site visits and inspections in order to ensure its sites meet rigorous standards for quality.
  • Accounts Receivable. The finance team uses a Quick Base app to help track Medicare and Medicaid billing and collections.

ResCare leverages built-in features like notifications (email and text), custom dashboards, and custom permissions to ensure work flows smoothly no matter what the use case. Lichtefeld also cites Quick Base's governance features, which enable his team to create granular roles and permissions to ensure that in-app data is only available to those who need it. His team does periodic audits of app usage and decommissions inactive users.

The Power of the Low-Code Platform

Since adopting Quick Base as a platform, ResCare has seen a dramatic increase in the speed of delivery of custom applications. In most cases, new apps go from request to delivery in about one month. Compared to the average 3-4 month cycle for custom-coded .NET apps, that represents a 3-4x increase in speed. That speed, plus the ability to make changes to Quick Base applications as business needs change, helps ResCare's IT team keep its backlog as small as possible.

"The biggest benefit to us is the speed. Second would be the ease of ongoing maintenance, and our ability to quickly make the changes that people need in their applications," says Lichtefeld.

Overall, ResCare has been able to improve not only its speed of app delivery, but its ability to serve more than 1 million Americans per year through its service programs.

"Our ability to develop and customize apps quickly makes it easier for our users to do their jobs, which ultimately leads to higher quality service for our customers," says Lichtefeld.

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