Salesforce has announced the US Farm Service Agency (FSA) is to implement Service Cloud in a new program known as “Bridges to Opportunity“. FSA is part of the US Department of Agriculture which has used Salesforce for several years.
Bridges to Opportunity
Powered by Salesforce the new program allows FSA employees to advise farmers and ranchers on information about non-USDA programs. It allows a rancher to ask their local FSA representative or office to find all the available services in the region that the rancher can benefit from. These could be local, state, regional or national initiatives. The Service Cloud solution allows the employee to print-out or email the relevant information for the rancher to utilise. The FSA, can also pass on details of the rancher to the relevant organisation.
The information stored on the database aims to assist both start-up and experienced farmers. It covers subjects from organic production to drought relief, beginning farmer information and disaster assistance.
This is an interesting implementation of Service Cloud. It shows that public sector organisations can enhance their service offering with access to the right data. The program began with a small pilot in five states in October 2014. Today, the FSA has more than 10,000 employees sharing the information about programs now. Farmers and ranchers can identify sources of information, advice and funding that might help make the difference in a tough industry.
The FSA can also track trends and share that information across more than 2,100 FSA county offices. It delivers a significant time saving for the employees. Infrequently accessed information is now readily available and initiatives that were previously ignored brought to higher prominence.
Dave Rey, EVP, public sector at Salesforce commented: “Today, technology has the power to connect citizens like never before, and top government agencies are increasingly adopting social, mobile and cloud technologies to improve customer service. By working with Salesforce, FSA’s customers will be able to explore beneficial services, beyond those that the government offers, that will help them save time and strengthen their farms and ranches.”
This is a really interesting use of Service Cloud in the Public Sector. There are many government organisations, and third sector organisations that look to give advice about a range of subjects. A deeper look at this solution might show how they can enhance their own operations and advice. Some organisations still rely on leaflets and an individual’s knowledge to disseminate assistance.
Organisations can now leverage a similar solution to improve their services. This could apply to sectors such as health, industry or even tourism.