A national Red Cross exists in nearly every country in the world. Each entity operates according to the principles of international humanitarian law and the statutes of the international movement.
The Argentine Red Cross, headquartered in Buenos Aires, operates throughout Argentina with 66 divisions and nearly 10,000 volunteers. Cristian Bolado, National Director of Organizational Development and Support to Governing Bodies, is one of many in charge of providing disaster relief and humanitarian field support.
“The Red Cross does not represent or respond to any government agency. The Red Cross is neutral, impartial, and independent, that means that we make our own decisions, but we do so in coordination with the different levels of the State,” says Christian.
The Argentine Red Cross was running tedious processes involving a lot of paper-based files, reports, and forms that demanded a tremendous amount of manual labor to complete and transfer between its headquarters and local divisions across the country. Aside from paper documents, the Red Cross also relied heavily on multiple online tools such as email, WhatsApp, and Google Drive, which were all disconnected from each other.
“I believe that our main problem was the number of tools we used to use. Google Drive, Google Docs, spreadsheets, email, and many other online tools that were slowing us down,” says Christian.
The President of the Argentine Red Cross Diego Tipping knew they needed to fully digitize their processes and find a platform that would consolidate their online data entry and management platforms to improve the coordination and communication between teams.
One of the regional division presidents participated in a personal training session with Drew Global Business Consulting, a monday.com partner, where he was introduced to monday.com. He thought the Work OS could be a perfect fit for the challenges they were facing at the Red Cross and proposed it as an option for Diego to consider.
Based on this strong recommendation, Diego decided to try the platform at the management level. He liked it enough to adopt it organization-wide.
“Last July, we received an invitation from Diego to start digitizing and streamlining the processes within the organization, particularly in the organizational development division,” says Christian.
Christian reached out to Andrés Sturm, their contact at Drew, and scheduled a training session at their headquarters to onboard their teams.
“Andrés and the team listened to what we had in mind and turned it into an enormously helpful application within monday.com. They helped us to speed up a lot of processes and gave us ideas that were much more innovative than ours,” says Christian.
Relying on a flexible platform that pivots with your organization
“The first step we took with monday.com was building processes to improve internal communication and coordination processes at the organization’s management level, that is, our executive committee, our secretariat level, and our national leadership level,” says Christian.
Soon after the Argentine Red Cross started to digitize its processes, the country was unexpectedly hit with the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the entire structure of the Red Cross had to be shifted, which meant they needed to quickly expand their scope of work based on the sudden COVID 19 related healthcare needs of the country.
When they first implemented monday.com, none of the divisions were on the platform, but because of the pandemic, in less than a week, all 66 divisions began to use it so they could better work together combating COVID-19 related community challenges.
“We expanded our usage of monday.com and began to work on better coordination between the headquarters and the various divisions throughout the national territory. As all our teams were being introduced to the platform, we started to add more and more core processes and workflows,” says Christian.
Turning COVID-19 reports into actions
“This coronavirus pandemic is not like any other crisis we have experienced before. All previous pandemics were managed in a completely different era as far as technology and communications are concerned. When the last outbreak happened in Argentina, we coordinated our efforts by fax and phone. With COVID 19, we started running everything through spreadsheets before we realized we could move our whole process over to monday.com,” says Christian.
For this current outbreak, The Red Cross established an emergency operations center to oversee everything happening on the ground. There are 66 divisions that carry out the operational work in the field. They all need to submit a report to the operations center daily so Christian decided to create a master board in monday.com.
“Because of certain regulations, we must fill in paper-based reports, but we still wanted to bring this process into monday.com. So the divisions now send the report via email to a monday.com address so it automatically creates an update within an item in monday.com where we can keep track of everything happening within each division,” says Christian.
Those working from within the emergency operations center can see everything, from the number of suspected cases in each province and the number of confirmed cases to the activities carried out during the day and the epidemiological follow-ups at the local level. They can create individual dashboards from there.
“One of them is for decision-makers in the Argentine Red Cross, another has public information that we share with strategic partners and other organizations, and a third one is more monitoring-oriented,” says Christian.
Virtualizing all donation channels for increased transparency
The Argentine Red Cross decided to virtualize all its donation channels to monitor and control its donation collections and make its processes more transparent. Christian consolidated all the information into a single dashboard so that all the authorities, auditors, treasury, and the secretariat of finance can make changes and everyone can see how the process moves forward.
“Today, any purchase request or any purchase that has an internal administrative process that was previously carried out either on paper or through email, is now centralized in a monday.com dashboard. And that dashboard is not only monitored but also directly audited. This helps us to streamline the organization’s transparency processes as well.,” says Christian.
Managing stock and inventory more efficiently
The Red Cross national logistics team worked with Drew to digitize their entire inventory management process. Now, any inventory that comes into the Argentine Red Cross, either through a purchase order or a donation, is now entered into a board within monday.com.
“In an organization like ours, time is precious and every minute is super valuable so driving two or three times to a warehouse or having to check 4 or 5 platforms simultaneously to manage our inventory took a lot of precious time away from us. So now, being able to monitor everything from wherever we are is a real game-changer,” says Christian.
Each time something leaves the warehouse the logistics team can monitor where it is going, who will receive it, and everything is tracked in real-time.
"monday.com allows us to centralize all processes in a single platform so we can work, coordinate, and communicate seamlessly."
National Director of Organizational Development and Support to Governing Bodies, Argentine Red Cross