ESPYConnect Launches Connecting Participants to Service Providers
Innovation is one of the many buzzwords circulating in the Not-for-Profit industry at the moment, especially amongst those transitioning to the NDIS. The requirement to develop a business model which allows an organisation to focus on sustainable delivery of client satisfaction, is now a pre-eminent goal of any service provider looking to be successful under the new funding model.
Townsville recently was chosen as the launch site of an innovative new service which is hoped will bridge the gap that exists between service providers and their potential customers.
ESPYConnect is an online service which allows people with disabilities to connect with service providers and services within their local area. The system utilises a powerful search engine to locate and provide detailed information which is up to date and relevant to the requirements of the person searching. Free listings are available to service providers.
Founder of the company, Chantel Robards, who after spending over 20 years working in the disability industry, has designed the system to be a one stop resource for people with specific needs. Having experienced first-hand the frustration of not being able to get accurate and relevant information from the usual sources, she committed to developing her own product with a goal of eliminating clutter and out of date information, while ensuring the user is able to gain a simple and direct path to their desired service.
Keeping it Local
ESPYConnect enables the client to search within a defined radius – an important benefit for those who may be travel impaired. The ability to drill down to a narrowly defined service type was aimed at reducing the chances of information overload, something which was highlighted as a major weak point with the usual online search engines.
Stay in the Spotlight
The reduction in block funding will see service providers having to develop a visible market presence if they intend to remain sustainable. While many have adapted to this new business model, there are still huge numbers of smaller and niche oriented providers who, by size or design, are unable to afford costly advertising or marketing campaigns. The free listing offered by ESPYConnect these entities will be able to gain true exposure to a focused and eager to engage marketplace.
A Move in the Right Direction
The launch of the product, saw a wide cross section of the Townsville community attend along with representatives from the State Government and peak bodies and the media. With a programme which included workshops and presentations from trial site participants and providers, the day proved to be an interesting mix of viewpoints. Participants put their perspectives and requirements forward during the sessions designed to open the communication channels between industry operators and their potential clients.
With a real focus on usability and a commitment to accurate and relevant data, ESPYConnect is a positive move which will assist both NDIS participants and the service provider industry. It highlights the importance of allowing the marketplace to develop in a new direction and is an acknowledgement that the NDIS will bring a true sense of Choice and Control to the people most affected by the change in funding…the participants.