A Recent Impact Sourcing Project

A Recent Impact Sourcing Project

For some time, I’ve worked with key business partners to develop ImpactHub.org – an online marketplace for businesses to find and engage with social impact outsourcing firms around the world. I’m pleased to say that we are getting closer to a re-launch of this venture with re-focussed mission.

It often takes a human touch to accurately process business documents, databases and imagery. Companies are increasingly looking for ways to outsource digital tasks in a socially-responsible way. It’s a win-win: businesses get quality work and communities thrive.

The practice of socially-responsible outsourcing, also called Impact Sourcing, recently touched down in Washington, DC.

We connected a local tech company with high-tech workers in Kenya to process architectural drawings. We helped migrate the work to the Nairobi-based team and provided business process improvement.

The Washington Post described Social Tables as “a fast-growing digital business that has raised more than $1.5 million from D.C.-area investors and has more than 500 customers, including hotels.” Their online platform  provides dynamic diagramming and guest management solutions for the international hospitality industry.  The company’s diverse list of clientele ranges from hotel chains such as the Hyatt Hotel Corporation to academic special events teams from Harvard Business School to corporate meeting teams such as Goldman Sachs.

Social Tables received many architectural drawings from event venues that were converted into floor plan layouts compatible with their software platform. The Kenya team followed stringent rules to trace the architectural diagrams and create new versions. Converting architectural diagrams into more usable, digital floor plans was vital to the planning and support process for their customers.

Impact-Sourcing-and-Social-Tables-2
Nick Njera, a project manager in Nairobi, points to the next file in Dropbox for his team to examine.

As a result of our efforts, they reduced the size of their processing queue by over 60%. The customer success team said their “efficiency has never been higher.” Event planners and global hotel brands, such as Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H), benefited from the work. Social Tables’ CEO, Dan Berger said “Nick and his team have done an incredible job. The confidence we have in their team is a direct result of the high quality of their efforts.”

Many such businesses have emerged in Nairobi, but our provider partner intentionally employs people from economically disadvantaged communities. The staff receives valuable technology training and a steady paycheck–often their first. Studies show that this practice of socially-responsible outsourcing, or Impact Sourcing, translates into a better quality of life for workers, their families and their communities.

The Rockefeller Foundation recently made youth unemployment one of their top priorities. They’ve worked with our partner and others around the world to create sustainable digital jobs. If you’d like to learn more about Impact Sourcing, subscribe to our newsletter.

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