A Year to Remember (and then immediately forget!)
It’s hard to believe, but 2020 is (let’s be honest- ‘finally’!) drawing to a close and the holidays are officially upon us!
This past year has been one of the most challenging we’ve ever endured (both personally and professionally) and we know that sentiment can be shared far and wide. It was also, however, a year of massive growth and positive change for ePACT. After all, ePACT was built for emergencies- and there’s been no year more affected by emergencies in recent history than 2020.
We had the unique opportunity to adapt to an ever-evolving situation and really put our product (and product team!) to the test. We’re extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish and the pivots we were able to make as a team to continue to support our clients.
We also had the chance to see firsthand the dedication of our clients, who continued to run programs to support frontline workers and family members returning to work, while navigating this deadly virus. There were many ups and downs, with changing regulations, shutdowns, re-opens, and surges….but through it all, organizations such as yours continued to persevere and support your communities! So THANK YOU!
We’d love to share a few of our highlights with you, as well as some exciting news for the year ahead!
Helping with Your COVID-19 Response
“Thank you so much we have just recently started using the health screening for our elearning camp and it has certainly saved us time and energy.”
Recreation Supervisor, Park District of Forest Park
Features & Improvements
ePACT was purpose-built to help your organization and your members prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies. Making sure you are equipped to handle the pandemic has and will continue to be our top priority. Aside from updating our existing features to promote social distancing and reduce high-touch paper processes, we also released the following:
- Daily Health Screening & Temperature Tracking
- Prescreening Options (and flexibility to combine pre-screen and on-site screening)
- Contactless Check-In/Out (Administrator controlled or QR code based)
- COVID-19 Vaccine Collection module
We also made several other improvements to ensure that you can effectively run your programs:
- Group Admin Improvements- group admins now only need to accept one invite and can be added to new groups without needing to accept additional requests
- Duplicate status- allows admins to see if there is a duplicate record, but allows members to proceed as a reconfirm. Admins can now update Member IDs on ePACT.
- Account Level permissions- view your contract start and end date and how many licenses you’ve used across multiple dashboards
- Batch Check In/Out- allows admins to bulk check in and out members for before and after school programs, and for members to check in siblings in one step
- Outstanding flags in Check In /Out- admins can now quickly see whose record is incomplete when they check in
- Organization Setting improvements- Org admins can now set up their own Check In/Out settings and update their own waivers and archive settings
- Family App released with QR codes and Pre-screening health and temperature questions
- Re-design of our website
- Ideas Board- share your ideas and vote on others.
With the arrival of vaccines, tracking who has received their dose will become a crucial part of your 2021 agenda. We always had the ability to collect immunization information, but we are now customizing even further for COVID-19.
- Easily screen who has received their vaccines and which dose they are on.
- Track those still waiting or who have an exemption
- Proof of vaccination that can be uploaded by members or staff
- Easy filtering and messaging tools
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Let us know what you would like to see in the vaccination module by answering a few questions in this short survey.
Community Support Program
This summer, ePACT launched its Community Support Program, aimed at helping community organizations access necessary tools, despite budget restrictions. Some benefits offered with this program:
- Set-up fees were waived in full
- Complimentary trials for new clients
- Complimentary trials of COVID-19 features for existing clients
- Free Employee dashboards for existing clients during summer or fall months
- Free use for childcare programs that were free-of-charge for frontline workers
Surveys & Reports
In addition to the above feature, we also produced 2 Covid-19 related surveys and corresponding reports:
From May 15 to June 3 2020, ePACT conducted an industry-wide survey of recreation, camps and childcare organizations across North America. We wanted to find out how community leaders had been preparing for the reopening of facilities and relaunching of new programs.
With feedback from supervisors, managers, directors, and CEOs of leading recreation and childcare organizations, the enclosed report provides an inside look at how new measures are being developed and implemented to prepare facilities, protect members and staff, and provide enjoyable, engaging programming over the summer months and into the future.
Earlier this year, the team at ePACT surveyed recreation and childcare programs across North America to find out how they were coping in light of the current pandemic and to learn what their plans, priorities and practices were in terms of the new normal. We believe these industry-wide insights will be invaluable as recreation and childcare programs re-open this fall and winter.
The coming months will likely bring changes in regulations and possible new surges, so sharing lessons learned can help organizations respond more quickly and adapt to an ever-changing world. From our team at ePACT to yours, we wish you the very best as you continue to prepare your facilities and map out programs for the fall and winter seasons.
CEO’s Message about 2020:
I am going to take away these 3 things (and leave behind the rest):
- Be Prepared – When Christine and I founded ePACT 9 years ago, it was in the aftermath of a friend’s harrowing experience during the 2011 Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor meltdown. We knew then that anything CAN happen. But it’s easy to forget. The time between the biggest disasters in our lives is, fortunately, quite long. It’s easy to get complacent and forget that it’s the little steps we take every day that build our resilience. (Wear that mask)
- Be a Community – I often hear people say ‘when disaster comes I”m ready to protect my family!’ That’s great, but what gets us all through the big things is not what we do for ourselves, but what we do for each other. (Thank that front line worker, bring an elderly neighbour dinner)
- Be Tenacious – For the most part, for most of us in North America, we’ve not experienced the types of long, harrowing disasters that required the generations before us to dig deep and keep going, day after day, week after week. This pandemic asks of many of us a level of tenacity we’ve not had to find before. It will make us stronger, it will get us through. (Don’t give up!)
Read more here.
“2020 proved to be quite a challenging year, but one where we truly realized the value of ‘partnership’. The insights we were able to collect (and share) with our partners was invaluable and enabled us to better understand the challenges our customers were facing and the ways in which ePACT could help. As we look ahead to 2021, we’ll be leaning on our partners even more as the release of a vaccine becomes more promising and our customers look to adopt new protocols.” Matt Webb, Director of Channels & Partnerships
“We spent 2020 supporting our organizations who were on an uncertain path, running different types of programs and using new health screening tools. The Customer Success Team is looking forward to a busy 2021 now that the vaccines are coming!” Lyssa Parisella, Director of Customer Success
“The ePACT Development Team had an eventful year in 2020, moving our hosting to Microsoft Azure in the spring, as well as releasing ePACT’s Check in check out COVID screening feature with a number of upgrades along the way! We have made a point of reaching out to you, the customer, on a regular basis to get feedback on upcoming feature work. Look for more of that in 2021, and a whole new set of capabilities to help you with your day to day.” Hugh Baker, VP Engineering
“Financially we were able to navigate well through 2020. We had strong support from our customers who remained loyal to ePACT, the government in the form of various financial incentives, as well as our investors and financial institutions.” Elena Karamushko, VP Finance
- Daxko API Phase 1 was released
- ActiveNet API- can create custom uploads and use age filter to pull members into correct adult or youth dashboards
- RecTrac- released ability to use multiple dashboards with RecTrac API
If there’s one thing 2020 proved to us all, it’s that working together can help get us through any moment of uncertainty. We experienced this first hand through the strength of our partners. 2020 saw ePACT work closer than ever with its partners! The goal was shared and simple – help YOU provide the safest possible environment for all your participants.
Educational webinars were held with partners like the National Recreation and Parks Association, where we not only shared insights but also collected insights from you.
Throughout the year, we also made significant enhancements to product integrations with platforms like ACTIVE Net and RecTrac. Additionally, we were thrilled to announce a new partner in the Non Profit space – Daxko Operations. ePACT partnered with Daxko Operations to help support the non-profit community with providing contactless and HIPAA compliant tools for the secure collection of member health information. Following months of hard work by both Product teams, ePACT and Daxko Operations announced the launch of its API system integration in September.
As we close out 2020, the ePACT Partnership team is working diligently on bringing you more partners that will help broaden the impact of ePACT. Stay tuned for updates!
2021 will be an exciting year! Here’s a sneak peak at what we are developing! If you have another suggestion, don’t forget to visit the ideas board.
We’re also gathering feedback on our Check In Check Out feature as we continue to improve this. Complete the short survey and you’ll get a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift card.
- Improved Vaccination Module. (Complete survey here.)
- Check In Check Out Offline (you will be able to check in members even without WIFI)
- Self-Serve for Waivers and Consents (you will now be able to add and edit these on your own!)
- Custom Admin Permissions (Decide what your organization and group administration are allowed to do)
Thank You & Happy Holidays!
Last but certainly not least, we’d like to thank YOU! We couldn’t have gotten through this year without your patience, support and valuable feedback. As we look forward toward a brand new year, we continue to ask you for your help to bring you the best possible experience and product that we can. If you have suggestions for future improvements, we would love to hear them and encourage you to share on our ideas board or book an appointment with us!
We look forward to continuing to serve you in 2021 and wish you all a safe, happy and healthy Holiday Season and New Year!