In the perpetual struggle against the inefficiencies posed by manual processes within the federal government, the quest for modernization has found a powerful ally in low-code/no-code applications, notably by utilizing Microsoft's Power Platform. The cumbersome nature of manual tasks, ranging from data entry to supply tracking, has historically been a hindrance to productivity and a breeding ground for human errors. Recognizing the imperative need for change, the US Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Office of Information Technology (OIT) embarked on a mission to enhance operational effectiveness, specifically addressing challenges in supply warehouses at the Southern Border.
As a major subcontractor on the M365 Team, Vamonos IT took up the challenge of modernizing traditional manual processes by incorporating the capabilities of the Power Platform. Our expertise in Digital & App Innovation as a designated Microsoft Partner serves as a catalyst for transformation, set to revolutionize labor-intensive processes.
The Age-Old Challenge of Manual Processes
Manual processes have long been the bane of productivity. Cumbersome work including data entry, supply tracking, and repetitive tasks not only lead to the loss of valuable time but can also lead to human errors. Large operations are constantly seeking ways to streamline these labor-intensive processes for greater efficiency, US Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Office of Information Technology (OIT) required the implementation of more efficient processes, particularly concerning their supply warehouses and headquarters, to enhance operational effectiveness.
Vamonos IT is poised to revolutionize the way these tasks are handled. The goal is not just to save time and reduce the margin for errors but to unleash a new era of efficiency and productivity.
The challenge was clear: the existing inventory management system was cumbersome and prone to human error. This inventory is more than just boxes on a shelf, needing bureaucratic oversight...this inventory has a very real, human impact. Manually counting thousands of essential items, such as socks, toothbrushes, clothing, formula and diapers, for unaccompanied minors, led to significant challenges. Before this process was modernized, counts were written on white boards or entered into spreadsheets. This not only required repeating the manual count but also posed a real risk of running out of crucial supplies, leaving children without essentials. The critical challenge was to replace this process with a more efficient and accurate solution. This not only aimed to reduce overhead costs but, more importantly, to ensure that these vital needs were met, preventing errors due to preventable mistakes.
Transforming Workflows for a Brighter Future
Modern work solutions offered by Vamonos IT:
The CBP M365 Team implemented the Microsoft Power Platform to assist with the management of physical stock. We developed a Power App that removes the need for manual counts and provides the additional benefit of a reporting dashboard with real-time data viewable by appropriate leadership.
The CBP M365 Team also developed the eTrac application, designed to facilitate data calls, taskings, and RFIs from various tracking systems. The manager can now assign, and track the status of the work and implement higher role-based access controls to prevent data loss while providing transparency to leadership.
The offices served spanned various areas within the Del Rio sector, including Human Resources, Operations, Finance, Fleet Management, Compliance & Policy, Borstar, Bortac, Management & Program Analyst, and OIT.
While Vamonos IT visited Del Rio, the M365 team gave beneficial face-to-face assistance and tech training to USCBP personnel during Open Office Hours. The training of technology within CBP's current M365 environment included Teams, Power Apps, Power BI, Exchange, SharePoint, and S-Drive Migration.
Business Processes Modernized with the Power Platform
We've seen that manual processes, those cumbersome and error-prone tasks, can be a formidable roadblock to productivity. Whether it's data entry, supply tracking, budget tracking or the relentless cycle of repetitive work, these processes have been demanding our time and patience. Yet, the story of modernization is one that's continually unfolding.
Vamonos IT stepped into this challenge with an unwavering determination to bring about change. We offered innovative solutions that not only streamlined processes but also introduced real-time data, automated notifications and enhanced transparency. With applications like eTrac and an Inventory Management, the transformation has been set in motion. Dozens of additional processes have been identified for modernization as we continue to serve the mission of USCBP through transformative technology.