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By 23 February 2015 | Categories: Skills and Development

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OutSystems, the enterprise Rapid Application Delivery (RAD) platform provider, today announced that Mercy Ships utilised OutSystems Platform to create a custom online application that has led to a 20 percent increase in volunteer registrations for the charity in just two months.

With no packaged applications available, and a need for deep integration to existing systems, Mercy Ships chose a RAD platform to quickly deliver the custom application.  

“OutSystems Platform gave us the ability to respond quickly to a key business need and deliver a high-quality product in record time,” said Mercy Ships CIO Chris Gregg.

Mercy Ships owns and operates the world’s largest charitable hospital ship. Each year, it utilises the services of more than 1 600 volunteers including surgeons, dentists, nurses, teachers and seamen from more than 40 nations.

Faced with an antiquated and inefficient recruitment system, Mercy Ships partnered with OutSystems to streamline its volunteer registration process.

“We’re extremely pleased to partner with Mercy Ships in bringing world-class healthcare to people in desperate need of these vital services,” said Paulo Rosado, OutSystems CEO.

“OutSystems is committed to helping organisations rapidly create, deploy and manage enterprise mobile and web applications to further their business goals and keep pace with end-users rapidly changing needs,” adds Outsystems South Africa director Craig Terblanche.

Prior to developing an online submission process through OutSystems Platform, the Mercy Ships Human Resources Department reviewed and entered data from the hundreds of applications they received each year by hand, increasing the potential for error on top of the challenges of deciphering handwritten and poorly transmitted documents. The charity knew that it would need to custom-build a solution and reviewed several solutions before selecting OutSystems Platform.

“An off-the-shelf packaged application just wasn’t available to deliver what we needed. OutSystems helped us immediately build a solution for our problem and it set us up to tackle future challenges,” said Cory Creamer, Mercy Ships Business Analyst, and the lead staff member responsible for developing the new application process.

A leader in rapid application delivery, OutSystems was chosen because it allowed for out-of-the-box integration with the charity’s existing database. It also, and featured an intuitive interface and quick learning curve that allowed Mercy Ships to tap internal resources and speed deployment, while simultaneously decreasing the project’s cost.

Further, its cross-browser functionality would mean reaching even more potential volunteers, essential to continued growth at Mercy Ships.

Utilising OutSystems Platform, Creamer and one other staff member built an online recruitment tool that intuitively helps applicants with a range of skill sets and abilities smoothly navigate the volunteer application process.

Today, thanks to OutSystems Platform, prospective volunteers are able to submit their applications the same day, something that was previously next to impossible. Prospective volunteers now take an average of between 1- 2 hours to complete an application, while some are able to complete the form in 30 minutes, depending on the position for which they are applying.

“An online application allows us to be more competitive in the non-profit volunteer sector,” said Mercy Ships Human Resources Vice President Angie Fadely. “It also allows us to provide better overall customer service to those interested in serving with us and helps in our recruiting efforts.”

Each person is taken step-by-step through an application that is customised based on the position for which they are applying. Based on how they answer certain questions, the application allows HR to gather additional information in areas pertaining to health or licensing, for example.

Applicants also can gauge their progress and return to the form when they have gathered any additional documentation they need to submit, without having to re-start the process.

“The use of OutSystems technology has positioned us for incredible growth,” concludes Russ Holmes, Mercy Ships Director of Corporate Relations.

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