08.07.2019

Boeing Employees Fund Upgrade to Treehouse Inventory Database

By Victoria Kutasz, Treehouse Material Resources Program Manager

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I want you to come on a trip with me back to the glory days of 2006. The world was introduced to Twitter. Facebook opened its digital doors to the world beyond college campuses. The Wii was the hottest new holiday gift, and Apple was still a year away from the release of the first iPhone. It also was the year the Treehouse Store got a fancy new custom inventory database, RMS.

While most technology from 2006 has moved forward by leaps and bounds, RMS is still standing like a little time capsule from 13 years ago. The system now tracks more than $1.2 million in inventory moving through the store each year and is used by hundreds of volunteers every month.

Treehouse’s second material resource program, Holiday Magic, has been left even further behind in its technology. Each year, 10,000 eligible youth and 5,000 requests for gifts are tracked exclusively through manual data entry and massive Excel spreadsheets.

During the past 12 months, I have had the opportunity to work with a wonderful team of folks from both inside and outside Treehouse to bring our technology up to date, and we are thrilled to be rolling out new inventory tracking systems this summer. Generous donors from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing recognized our needs and chose to fund our grant request to build a new retail management system that will fully meet the needs of both our store and Holiday Magic.

The new system includes a robust, cloud-based database for tracking inventory and three new custom apps for our volunteer interface. In building the apps from scratch, we were able to both build in the features we have always needed and rethink the way we do things to maximize how we use resources. The new database will allow us to better segment our inventory and deepen our understanding of the resources Treehouse provides to youth in foster care.

This project will directly impact the experience of clients, volunteers and staff throughout the organization. Treehouse is innovative and ambitious in all we do, and I cannot wait to see what we are able to accomplish with these new tools at our fingertips.

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About the Author

Victoria Kutasz is the Program Manager overseeing the Treehouse Store and Holiday Magic. She is passionate about connecting youth with resources they need and loves seeing the community come together to support our mission.


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