Embracing digital transformation to help end hunger
The Felix Project is growing toward its goal of providing 100 million meals per year by 2024.
The Felix Project is on a mission to “save food and change lives”. The charity redistributes fresh food that would otherwise go to waste to more than 350 non-profits, schools and holiday programs across London. But operational inefficiencies made its progress slow. Project managers manually catalogued locations and planned routes on a daily basis, while drivers logged food collected and delivered on paper manifests. Those manifests were logged into monthly spreadsheets. With 140 different weekly routes, the volume of data quickly became unmanageable and time-consuming. Operational efficiency, accuracy and transparency suffered as a result. To reach its goal of redistributing 100 million meals annually by 2024 – a tenfold increase on current capabilities – The Felix Project would need to prioritize investments in new technology.
"We wanted a platform to help us look forward and start making positive decisions based on data."
The Felix Project worked with Accenture, Microsoft and Avanade (a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture) to design a solution that would improve driver routes and volunteer and customer relationship management—also collaborating on a mobile app for drivers and a Microsoft Power Platform reporting and analytics solution. Driven by unprecedented demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, Accenture and Avanade developed and deployed a test pilot in less than six weeks. One month later, the platform was fully adopted across the entire organization. Drivers can now access routes, maps and pickup information in the RouteMe app. Data from drivers’ digital forms is sent to Dynamics 365 in real time, and Power BI dashboards provide operational transparency, generating automated reports in minutes.
Technology is key to the The Felix Project for growing its impact tenfold by 2024, while keeping staff and depot numbers constant. Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 have provided the base infrastructure that will help the nonprofit scale, underpinning future technology it will require to support that growth. The solution will enable route optimization, with analyses of how much time is spent traveling and how much food is delivered helping identify cost-cutting efficiencies. The entire experience has been transformative for The Felix Project today, and will help it make an even greater difference in peoples’ lives in the future.
The impact of the platform on The Felix Project’s technical maturity has been enormous, instantly erasing hundreds of monthly hours of manual data input and helping the organization prepare to scale up. “We have a group of people at the organization who are really excited about the opportunity to learn something new and open their eyes to what’s possible,” says CEO Mark Curtin. “There is a great enthusiasm for what’s to come from this. Lots of our volunteers have commented on how much we’re growing up, moving from a startup to something backed by the most cutting-edge technology delivered by some of the best companies in the world. It gives us great credibility and establishes a culture of being very serious about doing important things. This will ultimately help us reach many more people in need.”
"We really felt valued as clients throughout the whole process, which speaks volumes. We are proud and privileged to have worked with market-leading organizations such as Avanade and Accenture."