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Digital Travel App for A Global NGO

Development of a Bespoke Digital Travel App to provide timely and secure access to sensitive employee safety data, improve process efficiency and provide a centralised location for employee data.

The Challenge

A global Charity (NGO) approached Wrive Digital in 2021 to assist with solving a complex business and safety problem for its employees.

The NGO employees support the nations of the world by offering aid to low socioeconomic regions around the globe. The NGO staff often travel to high risk "Red Zone" areas where war, famine, natural disasters and organised crime are frequent.

Current procedures for travel approval, safety tracking of staff during travel and post travel documentation and reporting was complex, antiquated and inefficient. THE NGO recognised there was a better way to improve the workflows and safety of its employees.

The project scope required the digitisation of previously inefficient, paper based business process, which lacked automation, centralised management, clear visibility and access control to sensitive employee safety data.

Approval processes for travel applications involved multiple forms (sometimes as many as six separate forms), in addition to verification of safety training completion, risk profile of the intended destination, insurance criteria satisfied, personal information updated, budgets allocated and applications approved by the relevant management teams.

In the event of an emergency, such as unexpected loss of contact with a travelling employee, the current systems in place made it challenging to understand, at a glance, where any of the travelling parties were currently located, their last known check-in location and difficulty providing fast access to the personal safety information required to support the travelling personnel.

Furthermore, once travel was completed, the processes involved for cost allocation against budgets, expense reimbursement and ensuring post incident travel reports were completed in a timely manner, was not possible.

Complex approval process often resulted in weeks of manual effort and interjection to move applications and reimbursements through the required steps, inhibiting approval, documentation lodgment and increasing risk during travel.

The Requirements

The NGO knew there was a better way and sought out a specialist partner to assist with improving and digitising business process. The NGO Safety and Security Team (S&S) and Wrive's Business Analysts and Architects worked closely to uncover, validate, rearchitect process where needed and map to solution design that provided the following benefits:

  • Digitisation of existing paper forms and processes

  • Development of a device agnostic app that provides a centralised dashboard for users to - submit new travel applications - Update personal and safety information - View current and historic travel requests - Submit expense reports and post travel documentation

  • Provide a manager dashboard that enabled at a glance travel data, for their subordinates

  • Provide a central repository for S&S and P&C leaders

  • Allow for push notifications for regular check-ins and validate employee availability data

  • Provide last known location of travellers

  • Provide a centralised datastore for documents storage of capabilities/qualifications and training forms

  • Secure storage of emergency contact information and other personally identifiable data (PII)

  • Create automated approval processes with notifications to existing collaboration platforms (Microsoft Teams and Outlook)

  • Enable checklists and validation of training

  • Provide a central location for Download and Upload of supplementary documentation and forms and

  • Develop a GDPR compliant solution

Furthermore the design provides a streamlined process that ensures that the right employees are enabled at the right time to swiftly respond to critical, global incidents such as war, natural disaster and other such events.

The system needed to provide the ability for staff to record and edit their own future planned trips in a system shared by the members of the management groups to streamline a previously complex approval process

Users can create, edit, delete, review progress and manage their travel applications, communicate with management, utilise calendar functionality for trip planning.

The Solution

Wrive recommended the proven Microsoft Power Platform as the foundation of the solution to provide a scalable, high performing solution.

Wrive business analysts and architects worked with The NGO to design and build an end to end solution that addressed the requirements and provided users with an easy to use interface that was device agnostic.

By leveraging PowerApps and the Dataverse the solution provided centralised document storage and security of PII through RBAC that was GDPR compliant. Wrive built integration with flows that provided an automated and streamlined approval process with Microsoft Teams and Outlook for approval notification.

The major solution components consisted of a

  • User and Management Dashboards, with varying Permission structures and Access levels based on Active Directory RBAC

  • Travel request applications

  • Documentation upload

  • Permission structures and Access levels

  • Integration with cloud flows for multi stage approval processes including Identification of red areas (High Risk Zones) requiring additional approval levels

  • At a glance information to present current employee location data

  • Check-in functionality through push notifications to the mobile device

  • Emergency contact register and sensitive document storage with role based access control across People & Culture, Executive, Management and user

The resultant solution means that The NGO now have a centralised repository of employee safety data, notification of traveller status and location and an automated approval process for travel applications and expense reimbursements, empowering travellers and managers to be more effective with their time.

The Reduced complexity has resulted in saving hundreds of man hours per year and increased employee safety.

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