Children and young people with a mental disability find their place at MPC Terbank in Heverlee. Together with the supervisors, they work on a future path, focusing on their potential. In 2023, several volunteers from Isabel Group and MPC Terbank, took a look at the expense process. Could it be made easier? More digital? Join us for a short trip through this volunteering project.
Hi Han, what’s MPC Terbank’s mission?
Han Dirckx – educator/supervisor at AttrAktief of MPC Terbank: “There are different possibilities. They stay in a home as a living group with others, receive ambulatory & mobile care, participate in extracurricular activities or come to stay for a weekend. They choose what they feel most comfortable in.”
Ilse, let’s zoom in on those living groups for a moment? Because that’s where a challenge lay for MPC Terbank if I understand correctly.
Ilse Colson, MPC Terbank’s Finance Department: “Yes, right. Our living groups receive a monthly budget for food, activities and clothing, among other things. The educators keep their own accounts. This way they have a clear view of the costs of the living group and can make adjustments where necessary.”
That sounds like red tape?
Ilse: “It requires a lot of manual monitoring and discipline from the 11 living groups and our employees. Moreover, we were using an old software that was bound to fail sooner or later. We were convinced that it could be done differently (and better). Only we didn’t really know where to start.”
With it, they headed to Engage4. Engage4 builds bridges between the corporate and non-profit sectors. Their goal: create social value while promoting people’s professional development.
What is Engage4’s approach?
Mieke Nieuwdorp, Engage4: “As a non-profit organization, you can join our Connected Learning program, where several companies and non-profit organizations from the same region start their collaboration process simultaneously. They can thus exchange experiences, learn from other teams and motivate each other.”
Bruno Masselis, Engage4: “Isabel Group already did 2 projects together with us in 2022. We know that they have a lot of expertise in-house in digital financial administration. So it seemed like an immediate fit.”
Philippe De Clerck
How exactly did we help, Philippe?
Philippe De Clerck, Isabel Group: “During the 3 anticipated co-creation sessions, we were first able to form a good picture of MPC Terbank’s operations and needs. Next, together we drew up 2 possible TO BE scenarios that we wanted to explore further. One scenario with some more manual intermediate steps, and another in which the bookings could be made semi-automated in their accounting package. For now, we are betting on the first one, and it already offers a lot of advantages. No more triple registration, scanning of receipts via a smartphone and digital archiving, specific reporting and the accounting processing can be spread out a bit more. Really a win-win for everyone. During the final phase, we proposed and tested a number of tools that could support the future process.”
Philippe, you weren’t on your own were you?
Philippe: “No no not at all. The IsaWell team made a call within Isabel Group. Together with Engage4, they then selected 5 colleagues to work on this project. Because we all bring a specific expertise, the project is approached from all domains: legal, software, customer and usability and so on more.”
The whole project team of Isabel Group and MPC Terbank
What is the main thing that will stay with you from this project?
Philippe: On the one hand, the enthusiasm, respect and open attitude of the different working group members. You really felt the “appetite” to realize change although the impact on the current way of working is certainly not to be underestimated. On the other hand, I also remember the purposefulness with which the project was approached. In only 3 sessions we managed to take big steps towards an efficient process supported by a new tool. In addition, it was a pleasant cooperation and we met nice people which made us look forward to the next co-creation session.
Ilse: I completely agree with what Philippe said. It was a relief for us to be able to work together in this way. Because of the short deadline of the project, the whole process was looked at in an efficient way. Because of the good group atmosphere, which was there from the beginning, the sessions became very pleasant!
A word about the future of the project?
Ilse: We hope that with this project we have awakened our managers. In the sense of, it’s time for change in our current operation. And this can change in the short term. This process has certainly demonstrated that.
Philippe: Throu h the building blocks on the table, I think they have everything they need to take a good step toward that change so that all parties involved can reap the benefits of this project.
Thanks for your time and best of luck with your future projects!