Can you share a brief description about your company/organization?
I am Paul Smith, Foundations director. Foundations is appointed by the UK Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government to oversee a national network of home improvement agencies (HIAs) and handyperson providers across England.
Foundations Independant Living Trust is the charitable arm of Foundations. We help older and vulnerable people live with dignity in their own homes by operating funds which enable local home improvement agencies to provide a range of support measures.
That helps people doing things like improving or repairing heating in their home.
What business problems were you trying to solve?
Foundations Independant Living Trust funds 50+ agencies so that they can help their users to improve their home. In return, every month, each agency reports to us how the funding is used, which projects were led and their status.
Before starting using RowShare, we received a spreadsheet from these 50+ agencies once a month. Each month we had to chase many agencies for their monthly update, then someone in my team had to consolidate the data into a global spreadsheet through an intensive and error-prone copy & paste process.
Then we asked them to send us an email with signed PDF to confirm that the job was done.
Our main issues were that it was very time consuming and that we didn’t have a live status. The global spreadsheet was updated only once a month.
Then you decided that this had to change?
Indeed. I searched for a better solution. I probably googled something like “shared spreadsheets”.
We wanted to get a live consolidated view while guaranteeing that each agency would only see its own data.
We tried Excel, Google Sheets and Airtable, but they didn’t do the job with regards to letting users see only a part of the table while we see everything. Only RowShare could do that.
How much effort did RowShare take to implement?
During the 30-day free trial, we discovered the product and did the setup by ourselves without the involvement of any IT team. It was pretty straightforward once we realized RowShare was not a relational database but a collaborative spreadsheet.
Who are your RowShare users and how do they use it?
There are 4 of us here at Foundations and one in each of the home improvement agencies, usually their admin, for a total of about 60 users.
The agencies have a lump sum budget for the year, and they enter in RowShare a row for each project where they spend a part of that budget.
On our side, we mostly read the data. Day to day, when needed, we use the spreadsheet to have an always up to date view of the used budget. Once a month we open it in Excel to create charts and pivot tables.
What do you like in RowShare? How does it help you?
Firstly, RowShare saves my team 2 to 3 days of admin work every month: this is the time they needed to chase the agencies and copy and paste the data from various sources into a global Excel file that was internal to Foundations. But I also have up to date data at any time! So we save time and I don’t need to wait the end of the month to get an update: we win on both counts.
The remote users also like it. They have been using it for about 2 years and got familiar with it. They like that they can upload the scanned documents in the table instead of sending Excel on one hand and the PDFs on the other hand.
Would you recommend RowShare?