KABOOM! levels the playground field

Ensuring information continuity with Box

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Product and project planning
Vendor and supplier workspace
Employee records management


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4 icon problem 2
  • Like most nonprofits, this one operates with a lean staff working on multiple projects — all requiring access to various content types
  • KABOOM! staff works in Salesforce, Microsoft Office, and other critical tools every day
  • Standalone e-signature platforms can get expensive
4 icon solution 0
  • People across the company access and edit documents in real time, speeding up work
  • Employees still use the tools they’re used to, but ensure that content is centralized and secured
  • Box Sign is a natural extension of the Content Cloud, enabling the organization to both save money and streamline signature processes

A truly collaborative work style

Systemic inequity is a broad concept, but for children without access to a playground, the challenge is as real as it gets. The nonprofit KABOOM! was founded to solve this problem and ensure every child has access to a safe outdoors space where they can play, learn, and belong. Working with partners in diverse communities, the organization has built or transformed 17,000+ playspaces and positively impacted nearly 12 million kids.

While scalable, the nonprofit’s model is not cookie cutter. Coming into a community, a project team considers specific factors. A playground in Texas needs more shade than one in North Dakota, for instance. A playground in Uvalde, Texas — which KABOOM! installed after the 2022 school shootings — needs something extra special. (You can see how that meaningful project unfolded here.) 

The ethos of listening and collaborating at the heart of the nonprofit has to be enabled by the technology tools the company’s leaders choose. For instance, each playspace project comes with many different kinds of unstructured content: spreadsheets, budgeting information, plan details in PDFs, and a Salesforce database that lays out the project “from soup to nuts,” as Marc Hutzell, KABOOM!’s Director of Information Technology, says.

Employees can access any of those files via Box, working on them in the tools native to each file, while ensuring that content is always secured and centralized in the Content Cloud. As Hutzell describes it, “When folks are in Salesforce, they’re actually accessing records that are in Box. It's nice not to have to go to a different spot.”


Integrations that enable everyone to work fluidly

KABOOM! has been using Box for a decade, originally choosing the Content Cloud to eliminate on-prem servers, and continuing to use it to grow and serve more communities. At the time of this writing, the organization has 75 employees, all of them using Box for content sharing and collaboration. The company also relies heavily on Microsoft and Salesforce technology, so one of the most important things about Box is that it integrates well with those other tools.

The integrations Box enables creates a seamless experience for everyone, including:

  • Project management teams who need to stay organized across documents
  • The finance team in charge of budgets
  • The HR team, for storing and accessing personnel records
  • The communications team, which needs ongoing access to internal and external brand and marketing files

In other words, Hutzell sums up, Box integrations ensure “all the essential day-to-day stuff is kept directly on Box.”


Saving money and streamlining workflows with Box Sign

There’s a place for additional Box tools at KABOOM! as well. For instance, Box Sign. The company’s IT team uses other e-signature tools, but moving toward Box Sign is saving the company money. The finance team, for example, uses Box Sign to send and get approval for invoices. When a vendor sends an invoice, it’s routed to the appropriate person to review and sign off, and then that person sends the invoice right back.

“Box Sign is a pretty important tool for us,” says Hutzell. “It saves us money, because other e-signature tools can be expensive.”


Valuable information continuity across the enterprise

Today, KABOOM!’s technology team considers Box a singular location where people across the company can access and edit documents in real time, simultaneously, from board members to department heads to individual contributors. Hutzell confirms, “It’s nice having Box to be able to update things like our goals document on a regular basis without having to open up multiple documents.” 

The time and (by correlation) money savings that have resulted are profound. Hutzell sums up one of the biggest benefits of Box as providing information continuity: “It’s our source of truth. It’s  hard to quantify, but continuity of information is critical for any organization, and Box allows us to keep that continuity.”


Box for nonprofits

Hutzell says, “No two playgrounds are the same. We bring our expertise, but we depend on community voice to ensure what’s created supports their needs. We have ‘design days’ where the kids draw the playgrounds that they want. When we pull it all together and come up with something, the kids can say they helped. They’re part of the solutions for their community.”

In more than one way, IT teams have a direct impact on the missions of the nonprofits they support. Still, says Hutzell, in other nonprofits, “You don’t always see the results of the work you put into it. But here (at KABOOM!) you connect with communities, see the playgrounds being built, and actually get to see the kids playing on them.”

“Something I've always appreciated,” shares Hutzell, “is how Box has put in a lot of effort into thinking about nonprofits and supporting nonprofits. Almost from day one, Box has made nonprofits an important piece of their business model and support model.”

The top three things KABOOM! loves about Box, according to Marc Hutzell:

  1. Simplicity: “I’m able to edit documents right within the platform.”
  2. Integration: “I like how it integrates nicely with Microsoft Teams and Salesforce.”
  3. Support: “Box Tech Support is really good, too. We’ve had good experiences with the support we get from people at Box.”

“Box gives us one location where multiple people can access and edit documents at the same time. It’s a one-stop shop for content.”

— Marc Hutzell, Director of Information Technology, KABOOM!

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