Repurposing Skills to Support Our Community
The Canadian Contracts and Procurement team share their #FuellingKindness story on the Women in Need Society (WINS) and how they made a long-lasting impact in increasing operational efficiencies.
WINS is Calgary’s homegrown thrift charity founded in 1992 to provide basic needs to women in poverty and their families. From a humble beginning, WINS has grown from one to five thrift stores and a donation centre. The revenue from the stores supports their Free Goods Referral Program and five Family Resource Centres. Today, many people frequent the WINS thrift stores knowing their purchases and donations make a difference. WINS provides assistance for: women and their families transitioning from shelter or homelessness to the community, single mothers and their children, women leaving abusive and/or dysfunctional relationships in need of support, newcomers to Canada, economically disadvantaged, elderly women living in poverty and/or isolation and women experiencing mental and physical health barriers.
Having previously volunteered with WINS assisting with donation sorting, the Canadian Contracts and Procurement team thought it would be a great opportunity to leverage their experience to support the organization in a new way. Employing their commercial skills to provide a value stream workshop to review their logistics supply chain warehouse. The focus was on WINS trucks, which pickup and drop-off donations across their 5 stores in Calgary. The team helped to identify $27K in possible savings and most importantly, assisted in creating access to loading doors at their central warehouse. With these recommendations, WINS opened an additional bay door to make the loading process more efficient, reduced idle time for the truck drivers, and increased safety by decreasing material overload by the loading area. The principles they learned were applied to their new warehouse in February 2020 and in their new space, have 4 doors to utilize.
When asked why the team chose this organization, Stefan Rath contract manager EPC, LNG Canada says “Women in Need Society has a great mission and has a variety of locations and it partners with the United Way. Volunteering provides great exposure to different populations and different things which are normally outside our regular bubble. In addition, it enables team bonding while contributing to the community. Programs like Shell’s Fuelling Kindness are neat because they are simple and enable different ways for employees to contribute back to the community and have creativity and fun while doing so. In addition, volunteering enables growth opportunities for individuals to take a more leadership role in organizing and planning and setting up activities or opportunities which make impact”.
Patti Brewin, fund development manager for WINS appreciates the support. “The process of finding solutions and cost savings was a huge help and opened eyes to different perspectives. This project reflects the incredible potential that corporate volunteers offer charity organizations. The access to the skills and experience of highly trained people is just something a charity cannot afford. The offer by the Shell team was truly transformational for WINS, giving us the expertise and the time to step back from the day to day grind to evaluate our procedures strategically”.