Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Aidmatrix President & CEO Scott McCallum Featured in D Magazine "Meet the CEO"

Story by Clair St. Amant for D Magazine
Pick up a copy of the October 2011 issue to read the full article

Meet The CEO: Scott McCallum

When Scott McCallum, former Governor of Wisconsin, told me his management style was perfection, I'll admit I doubted him. But from the second our interview began precisely at the appointed hour, McCallum proved that striving for perfection is a worth and attainable goal. For him, at least. As the President and CEO of Irving-based Aidmatrix, the leading global technology nonprofit, McCallum conducts business on six continents, reaching 65 million people and handling $1.5 billion worth of products annually. And he does it all with just 50 employees. "We're very efficient," McCallum says. With 96 percent of company funds going towards programming, that's an understatement. "If your heart is in the right place," he says, "the other things will follow." From cataloging warehouses in India to tracking food donations from the United States to developing countries, Aidmatrix is upgrading the world of humanitarian relief.

[The following are select parts of the interview. Read the unabridged interview by picking up a copy of D Magazine Ocotober 2011]

Title: President and CEO

Best part of your job: Our mission is immensely satisfying. To have the opportunity to help so many people on a large scale is really amazing.

Life in the office: Everybody is so driven. It's a team atmosphere with everyone willing to help each other but still understanding we have a job to be done.

Management Style: It's very easy to understand me. All I expect is perfection. I definitely run the office like I did my kids' basketball teams. I had a 97-5 overall coaching record with my sons, but some of those best learning experiences were the losses. Basketball is a game of mistakes, just like life. At Aidmatrix, there have been occasions when we celebrated mistakes because we'd learned from them. I don't want us to be so risk-adverse that we're afraid to make mistakes.

Strengths: Surrounding myself with good people. I'm also a very hard worker

Something people don't know about you: I get up at 4 a.m. and go to the gym every day.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Aidmatrix Choice System Featured in Interview with Feeding America Online User Support Specialist in

Working at Feeding America allows Albert Gonzalez the help the greater good through his career

Text by Liz Seasholtz for 
Read the full interview here
Read more about Aidmatrix's partnership with Feeding America and the Choice System

Q: How did you first become interested in Feeding America?
A: I worked in IT for a long time, but September 11th changed the IT industry completely, and I was laid off. I then realized I had options for my career: I wanted to find a deeper meaning to life and work somewhere I could make a difference. I started looking into nonprofits, and heard about Feeding America from a friend. Truthfully, at that point I realized how ignorant I was about hunger in the U.S. Now I'm helping solve the problem.

Q: What is your favorite service offered?
A: Selfishly, because I work on it, the Choice System. The Choice System is a web-based application that allows members to acquire product donations made available through the national office. I've been working with it for five years and I'm involved in all aspects of it.

Q: What perception of Feeding America do you want others to have?
A: When I started working with Feeding America, there was a stigma associated with working for nonprofits, that it may not be as rewarding as the corporate world. I now know better and disagree. In the nonprofit world, I have found personal gratification, talented and very diverse colleagues, and a family-like atmosphere with people that care about their jobs and care about the mission. I am no longer making the rich richer. I am Feeding America! And there's nothing more attractive and important to me than that.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Audio & Recap From the UPS Humanitarian Relief Program Capacity Building Call

On Tuesday, November 15, Aidmatrix joined UPS, CARE, UNICEF, and the American Red Cross in a joint panel discussion about capacity building best practices for humanitarian relief as it relates to warehousing and logistics.

You can download and listen to the audio from the call by clicking the link below. 

Highlights of the call:

As economy has been down, individual giving has been down as well. Corporate philanthropy also down. As economy goes so does philanthropy. Nonprofits need to do more with less, work smarter, and seek out key partnerships. We deliver more services electronically, and many nonprofits need to do a better job of keeping up technologically; be on the cutting edge and make advances with UPS, especially in warehousing and tracking. It will be a key in the future for UPS to partner with an expert in logistics to show how to use technology to deliver smarter and more successful.

Maximize very limited resources that nonprofits have by partnering with businesses that have those resources.

We really try and help our partners be more efficient in their implementations.
Our partners measure their successes through savings or measure and visibility of their gross output.

We really value the accompaniment from the partnership with UPS on a day-to-day basis. UPS was very keen in on learning what was needed on a field level, before discussing what was needed strategically.

We recognize that supply chain and logistics is critical to have, and recently we’ve been able to build that internally. A number of the things that we need we could not build alone. So we’ve been seeking significant collaboration with other agencies, and trying to build systems and tools, and Aidmatrix has been instrumental in doing that for us. UPS opened up their network of strategic partners, and Aidmatrix has been one of those organizations that has stepped up significantly.

Commodity Tracking System (CTS): Online warehouse that allows NGO to track items within warehouse & also across multiple warehouses.

2 Big Themes:
  1. Focus on Impact, measurable and demonstrable impact. Makes sure organizations are held more accountable. Increasing emphasis on collecting real-time data: RFID & Commodity Tracking.
  2. Leverage: How can they leverage fairly targeted investments of funding skills, in-kind, into having a broader impact? UPS has been bringing in other partners to help with this.

Friday, November 18, 2011

UPS Humanitarian Relief Capacity Building Blogger Conference Call

On Tuesday, November 15, Aidmatrix joined UPS, CARE, UNICEF, and the American Red Cross in a joint panel discussion about capacity building best practices for humanitarian relief as it relates to warehousing and logistics. We came away with several messages that the whole panel echoed in that in recent years with the large scale disasters that have happened requiring multi-country, multi-agency response efforts, many of our NGOs have been stretched very thin. There is an escalating need to serve more people and an escalating need to reach out beyond the cities into rural and remote areas where logistics can be even more challenging. The concept of “last-mile logistics” becomes all the more important as NGOs strive to track distributions to beneficiaries. We all recognize that we cannot do it alone. These large-scale disasters and changing needs to reach remote peoples require significant collaboration with other agencies. In addition, there is a need to have systems in place to facilitate the tracking of these logistics at a time when donor scrutiny is at an all time high.
It was an insightful conversation and a great springboard for future discussion on the matter of how the public and private sectors can collaborate better to serve those in need.
A recording of the discussion should be available soon and we’ll be sure to post a link to it once it is available.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dynamic Custom Validation in ASP.NET - Sounds Technical, but the Results are Practical

We are so fortunate to work with some of the most passionate and talented technologists in the world.  While we benefit tremendously from technology and Supply Chain thought leaders at Accenture, Microsoft, UPS and others, today I’d like to brag on one of our staff.

Sangeetha Srinivasan recently had an article posted on – a leading edge Microsoft Technology forum.  The topic is regarding an innovation she developed in the field of “Dynamic Custom Validation”.  While you can read more from the technology perspective at the link to Microsoft’s site below, from a human standpoint I wanted to share what this means.

In the Aidmatrix community, we tackle some of the toughest humanitarian aid challenges.  We bring highly sophisticated technologies to those who serve people in need.  These technologies are complex, but we and our community of partners become more expert every day on how to make these systems useful to the daily front line user who may not have much computer or business experience at all.

Sangeetha’s work with Dynamic Custom Validation helps our software capture the complicated data that is required, but only requires the front line users to see and work with the exact information needed.  This reduces complexity without reducing the power of the solutions.  It is innovations like this that enable a former custodian in Sri Lanka, whose first exposure to a computer was only a few months before, to leverage powerful supply chain solutions in a manner similar to a professionally trained logistician who has benefited from a top university education and years of computer experience.  It also allows both of these types of users to connect in a “supply chain of giving” to serve more effectively those in need.

- Keith Thode, Chief Operating Officer

Monday, November 7, 2011

FareShare Hunger Relief Warehouse in Merseyside, England, Now Live

FareShare Merseyside went live today with the Aidmatrix Online Warehouse Plus+ module.  Merseyside is the county in northwest England where Liverpool is. "13 down and 2 to go!   We are approaching the finish line," stated Shari Temple of Aidmatrix (16:12 GMT November 7 2011).