“You don’t have to do anything special to employ someone who is blind or visually impaired. And we can show you exactly how to do that with Salesforce.” - David Smith, Sr. Director of Business Development & Continuity
Bosma Envisions a Brighter Future for the Blind with Salesforce
Since 1915, Bosma Enterprises has created opportunities for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. As a not-for-profit corporation, Bosma offers rehabilitation services for the newly blind, job training and employment services, and community outreach programs. In addition to these services, Bosma operates a medical supply business that is Indiana’s largest employer of people with vision loss. From the warehouse floor to the executive boardroom, this company is run by workers who are blind, offering health and safety products, warehousing and packaging, and other products and services. Revenue from these lines of business, along with donations to the Bosma Visionary Opportunities Foundation, fund programs for people who are blind.
As both a nonprofit provider of services for the blind and visually impaired and a medical supply company, Bosma operates is a unique space that requires a highly customized CRM environment. Many of the software vendors they evaluated were unable to conceive of a single system that could track an individual’s progress through a medical rehabilitation program and also manage warehouse inventory and purchase orders. “We were always told that we had to build a custom database, and the cost of that was prohibitive,” says David Smith, Sr. Director of Business Development & Continuity.
So Bosma invested in over 30 disparate systems, many of which were incompatible. Employees had to log into a number of systems just to accomplish basic tasks. “I had to use one system to do one type of purchase order and one system to do another,” says Mendi Evans, a Purchasing Agent at Bosma. With this siloed architecture, transparency between divisions and upper management was impossible.
Today, with the help of NextGen Consulting Inc., Salesforce provides a single point-of-entry solution for all Bosma employees. “Anyone working in the company logs into the same system,” says Heather Quigley-Allen, Vice President of Marketing & Resource Development. Once they log in, employees have access to the apps they need to do their job, all built on the App Cloud and seamlessly integrated. “Salesforce straight out-of-the-box is not only 508 compliant, but easy to use,” says Adam Rodenbeck, Assistive Technology Specialist.
Most of these connected apps were downloaded from the Salesforce AppExchange, the leading cloud marketplace for business apps. With the AppExchange, Bosma administrators find apps to meet every business need, read reviews from other Salesforce users, and install them in a few clicks. Many apps are free, and you can even browse apps designed specifically for nonprofits. Bosma’s complete Salesforce solution began with the Sales Cloud, then they added AppExchange apps like FinancialForce ERP and human capital management, Linvio PaymentConnect for e-commerce, a volunteer management app, and an app that allows employees to create UPS shipments, print labels and schedule pickups.
Bosma worked with NextGen Consulting Inc., a Salesforce Cloud Alliance Partner, to further customize the solution and to build custom objects and integrations.
In Bosma’s rehabilitation centers, the newly blind are given the tools to live their lives to the fullest, and with Salesforce, they continue that journey in the workplace. Senior Marketing Manager Lisa Pace says, “The opportunities that Salesforce technology has provided have been critical to me being able to be effective in my position and do what I do.”