An Integration to Streamline Internal Document Management Workflows

Cover-Blog-Crisis
THE ISSUE
Automating Production
of Certificates of Excellence
With a fast-growing network of over 1500 volunteers, Crisis Text Line wanted to recognize their volunteer’s outstanding crisis response efforts. As part of expanding the volunteer onboarding process, Crisis Text Line wanted to speed up the creation of two kinds of certificates; one for graduation from a 34-hour crisis response training program, and another for the completion of a year’s worth of service. To do this, the nonprofit needed a way to automatically generate certificates that was simple, flexible, and easy to integrate with their volunteer database and computer network.

Crisis Text Line is the first national 24/7 crisis support line that does crisis intervention all through text message. With 20 million text messages in 3 years and 8 active rescues a day, Crisis Text Line needed a system with the capacity to keep up with the speed, growth, and the critical nature of their operations. Crisis Text Line had used open-source PDF libraries in the past, but now they wanted to find a way to automatically generate a certificate that was simple, flexible, and easy to integrate with their volunteer database and computer.

THE SOLUTION
PDFfiller’s API for
Filling PDFs
After identifying PDFfiller’s API as a tool with the ideal feature set, Crisis Text Line created a new integration with the capacity to streamline all kinds of internal document management workflows, including tools to automate document filling, signature collection, and custom branding.

To start the process of automatically filling certificates, Crisis Text Line uses PDFfiller to create a base template embedded with the signature of the granting organization and with fillable fields for volunteer data. Then, using a pre-determined trigger, the volunteer names and the date of course completion are sent in a data call for automatic filling via the API. For the recipients of one-year certificates, Crisis Text Line also sends the number of conversations the volunteers have taken, as well as the number of hours they’ve spent in those conversations.

Once the certificate is automatically filled with data by PDFfiller’s API, Crisis Text Line gets a link to the hosted version of the PDF and sends it to the volunteers in a congratulations email they receive when they’ve completed the program. It’s that simple! Now that this initial part of the process is complete, Crisis Text Line can take the next step of using PDFfiller’s API to automatically send out their certificates.

THE BENEFITS OF
USING PDFfiller
A Flexible Tool and a
Developer Focus
Saving Time & Money

Using PDFfiller’s API for automated certificate filling has picked up the pace of production, enabling Crisis Text Line to generate around 300-500 certificates a month. The process for the creation of both types of certificates is completely automated, and essentially runs itself. With the API integration in place, Crisis Text Line can easily meet their future goal of accommodating triple the current number of volunteers.

We knew that this was a tool that would do something quickly for us, we were able to build on top of PDFfiller very quickly and so it worked. We operate very much like a Startup in that when we need a problem solved right now, we pick the very best thing.

— Chris Johnson, CTO, Crisis Text Line
Easy Customization

As an organization with in-house technical capacity and a creative, do-it-yourself mindset, It was important to Crisis Text Line to identify a technology that was easy to work with. They were particularly drawn to PDFfiller for its flexibility and the minimal time and effort investment required to get a system ready to go into production.

PDFfiller Support has been extremely responsive to each of my requests, usually responding back within an hour or two of me reaching out, each time with responses that have succinctly answered my quandaries.

— Toshiro Kida, engineer, Crisis Text Line

 

Responsive Technical Support

PDFfiller’s technical support team is committed to working with Crisis Text Line to come up with solutions that meet their needs, in particular a secure and simple authentication mechanism. In providing assistance with this feature, and during the overall onboarding process, PDFfiller was able to respond to the needs of Crisis Text Line quickly and efficiently.

PDFfiller for
Crisis Text Line:
Building a Better Solution

As Crisis Text Line’s team of volunteers grows, PDFfiller can help them respond to new automation challenges. While their current application is fairly simple – filling and retrieval of PDF certificates – the feature set of PDFfiller’s API will allow for the automation of other document management workflows as the need arises.

More importantly, PDFfiller is already positioned to meet the needs of organizations that work with other kinds of online business management tools. Crisis Text Line currently plans to use Salesforce as a customer relationship management tool. CTO Chris Johnson was excited to learn that a PDFfiller Salesforce app already exists that allows Salesforce users to easily edit, redact and sign PDF documents without ever leaving the Salesforce platform.

According to Crisis Text Line, the graduation and recognition certificates play an important role in recruiting, as well as creating a unified and proud volunteer network. The application of PDFfiller’s API for certificate creation is a reflection of Crisis Text Line’s belief in using data science and technology to make crisis intervention faster and more accurate. Working with PDFfiller is making it easier for Crisis Text Line to recognize volunteer excellence, which in turn is helping Crisis Text Line build better solutions to support those in crisis.

For the complete paper, click on the link below:

pdf  PDFfiller & Crisis Text Line Whitepaper

Make School Paperwork Paperless

Make All Your School Paperwork Paperless!

Are you headed back to school?

If so, then we’ve got some great tools that will help you start this school year on top of your game.  Whether you are a student, teacher, or administrator, PDFfiller can give you an edge in managing all your school paperwork.

As a student, we know that more and more school paperwork is handled online, from registrations forms to reading assignments. What you need is a platform with flexible tools to help you deal with your documents digitally.

• Do you have a highlighting habit?  Use our online editor to highlight or underline, add stickies, or even do some digital doodling!
• Have you been assigned to work on group projects? Collaboratively edit your documents online with PDFfiller’s share feature that lets you work with up to ten friends at once.
• Want to work on the way to and from campus? PDFfiller’s mobile app allows you to work from any mobile device so you can work on your documents anytime, anywhere.

For the teachers and administrators out there, it’s important to stay on top of digital trends and make them work for you.

• Have you been chasing after signatures from faculty and parents?  PDFfiller’s SendtoSign feature makes signature request simple, allowing you to request digital signatures and to track all responses online.
• Printing, xeroxing and distributing paper copies of school forms?  Try using PDFfiller’s LinkToFill, which helps you distribute and collect fillable school forms online.
• Getting stuck with the ancient school fax machine? Try sending your documents by efax instead.

With features that help to streamline your workflow, PDFfiller gives you everything you need to make the grade this school year.  Give it a try and see how you can make all your school paperwork paperless!

http://www.pdffiller.com/en/scholarship.htm

Paperless World Scholarship Winning Essay

Marcos Ortiz, winner of the 2015 Paperless World Scholarship is currently a sophomore at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. We at PDFfiller are inspired by Marcos’ vision for a paperless world and would like to share his winning essay with you.

 

 How Online Document Technology Can Improve Governance in Mexico

A movement toward a digital online document management system is an ideal and mutually beneficial method for governing officials and citizens of a country like Mexico.  The necessity of such a system was particularly apparent to me during a clerical task, in which I had to get an IFE card (a document of similar importance as a license is to American citizens). This process can be bothersome because it requires two paper copies of four different documents, including a CURP (Mexican supporting document), a proof of residence, birth certificate, and a photo ID. This totals 8 copies needed, as well as original documents, in order to be considered for this card.  Moreover, this service is only provided every other day between 8 to 12 in the morning, which makes it hard to be attended along with the hundreds of other people. The root of this problem is due to unawareness of technologies and services such as PDFfiller, which would be able to manage large quantities of documents much more efficiently.

Most clerical offices in Mexico, as well as other developing countries, may have computers in their offices, but choose not to use them because no real training is given. However, if they knew of services like PDFfiller, it would cut down on the unnecessary task of storing and maintaining large amounts of paper files for every citizen in the city’s district office. Keeping online documents would also help governing facilities by allowing every department in the government’s system to access information for every citizen. Currently, one can only get things done within their district office because no other office has the required information readily available. This potentially leads to a bigger problem: namely, if one of the offices experiences a natural disaster such as an earthquake (which happens often in Mexico City), then those documents are lost, leading to chaos for all residents.

On a more ecological note, the digitization of documents would dramatically decrease the consumption of paper. No longer would each person be required to bring 8 copies of their documents. Instead, countries could adopt a more modern system, one that the US could also use, which would allow citizens to bring a USB drive with their scanned official documents to carry out formal transactions such as the one I outlined earlier. In addition, once those documents are in the cloud infrastructure of the governing body, then no more paper copies would ever be needed for future transactions.

As a student of Finance at the McCombs School of Business, I increasingly wish that my own school would adopt a digital online document management system. I want to increase awareness of PDFfiller, as it is one that I use fairly often to complete homework assignments. I am in a position where I can push my school to implement electronic document signing, and once I graduate I intend on returning to Mexico to promote this kind of modernization within local government offices. My country’s internal functions will vastly improve with online document management, and we will lead the way in eradicating the use of paper.

 

  –  Marcos Ortiz

Marcos Ortiz, Winner 2015 PDFfiller Paperless World Scholarship

Marcos Ortiz, Winner 2015 PDFfiller Paperless World Scholarship

2015 Paperless World Scholarship Winner

In June 2015, PDFfiller announced the Paperless World Scholarship Program to help undergraduate students from developing countries generate innovative ideas that promote productivity, transparency, and efficiency in governance and business in their countries of origin.

We are thrilled to announce Marcos Ortiz is the winner of the Paperless World Scholarship for Fall, 2015.  Originally from Mexico, Marcos is currently a sophomore at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

According to Marcos,

“I definitely want to help improve the organization and consumption of resources back in my home country of Mexico. I am very proud of being a Mexican citizen, but I am highly conscious of the improvements my country needs to make.”

“My parents have taught me the value of being hardworking and passionate, and I will carry those throughout my studies at UT Austin and my future career. I plan on being able to bring back what I learn to my country in the future in hopes that those values will transfer into Mexican society.”

We at PDFfiller are inspired by Marcos’ vision for a paperless world and would like to share it with you – click here to read more about his ideas for using online document technology to improve governance in Mexico.  And stay tuned for our next few posts sharing our scholarship candidates’ ideas on how online document technology like PDFfiller can be used to build more efficient and environmentally-friendly government and business workflows across a paperless world.

Higher Education Resources for Veterans

Although in recent years, the revamped Post-9/11 GI bill has provided financial aid to veterans and their families, critics say it does not go far enough in easing the transition home, particularly for those veterans who are going back to school. Today’s veterans have increasing difficulty accessing their benefits and finding assistance in transferring credits, registering for classes or getting career advice.  

We at PDFfiller are dedicated to supporting our veterans by providing discounted accounts, tips on VA applications and benefits forms, and information resources to facilitate the next steps of their journey. To that end, we bring  you this week’s post from our guest blog series from Angela Hanners of Accredited Schools Online.

Accredited Schools Online recently published an online guide called Higher Education Resources for Veterans and Their Families by Ron Kness and Maggie O’Neill. The Guide was created for the purposes of addressing the many challenges college-bound veterans face.  According to company manager Dan Schuessler, “The transition from service to school is no easy task, for student veterans or their families. But with the right guidance, well-placed persistence, and a little know-how, it’s certainly worth the effort. We are here to make that transition as simple as possible.”

The guide provides online resources for veterans and valuable information that has been vetted by others who have overcome these obstacles first hand. With financial, academic, social, geographic and medical links to help student veterans and their families overcome the challenges of higher education and career training, it serves as an essential handbook for veterans embarking on new challenges in higher education.

The guide is one of many offerings of Accredited Schools Online, which was created to be the comprehensive accreditation resource for anyone in the process of selecting a college. Schuessler states that, “It is our fervent hope that through the information we provide here prospective students will be able to make informed decisions about which college to attend and avoid being saddled with student loans and worthless degrees from ‘diploma mills’.”

For more information and other resources from Accredited Schools Online, check out their website at http://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/

 

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