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Helping more elderly residents in Hamar with a user-friendly odd jobs app

Editorial staff Cegal want to build a stellar nextgen tech company that enables a more sustainable future, and shape the digital future by turning complex IT into digital success stories.
09/06/2023 |

Hamar Volunteer Center used to spend too much time coordinating odd jobs for its residents. With a specially developed app from Cegal, the municipality's residents can now order help with small tasks themselves, while helpers can easily find available assignments. The result: More satisfied residents and less administrative work.

Hamar Volunteer Center was established 30 years ago, in 1992, with the goal of connecting volunteers to those in need in the community. The Odd Jobs Center opened in 2023 to make it easier for residents to get help with small tasks.

Hamar Odd Jobs Center is a part of the municipality's Volunteer Center. The center connects residents who need assistance with practical tasks to people who have the time and willingness to help, all while earning a little extra and maybe making new acquaintances. Typical tasks arranged through the Odd Jobs Center include gardening, lawn mowing, snow removal, and light painting and carpentry work. The payment rate is 200 Norwegian kroner per hour.

"The administration at the Volunteer Center spent a lot of time staffing the jobs. When a resident requested a service, they had to call the center and an employee would then have to search for helpers in a paper archive. Afterward, the administration had to make calls to find a helper available for the task," said Deputy Leader Bjørn Erik Løwe-Nodeland of Hamar Volunteer Center.

The coordination of odd jobs was extremely time-consuming for the staff at the Volunteer Center, time that could have been better spent on more important and valuable tasks. Additionally, the list of helpers in the paper archive was outdated and incomplete.

Eliminating the time thief with an intuitive app

To eliminate this major time-consuming process, Løwe-Nodeland sought a modern, digital solution. In close collaboration with Cegal, Hamar Volunteer Center developed the Odd Jobs app, with Løwe-Nodeland serving as the project manager.

In the tailor-made Odd Jobs app, residents can place orders for tasks they need assistance with. Helpers can view available assignments that match their interests and accept available odd jobs. The staff at the Volunteer Center have full visibility of users, helpers, and all completed or requested tasks.

Now, administrators have an overview of all types of services offered and can easily maintain the hourly rates for these services

Bjørn Erik Løwe-Nodeland, Hamar Frivilligsentral

Additionally, administrators can see all helpers with personal profiles and residents who have requested services. Administrators can efficiently assign tasks based on the availability of helpers," said the project manager.

More satisfied residents

Løwe-Nodeland explains that the Odd Jobs app has streamlined the daily tasks of the staff at the Volunteer Center and made the municipality's residents happier.

By implementing Cegal's IT solution, we can staff many more tasks than before.

Bjørn Erik Løwe-Nodeland, Hamar Frivilligsentral

At the same time, we have more than halved the time spent on staffing individual tasks, and the Odd Jobs app has also attracted more helpers to carry out assignments. The app has also made users happier because they can now see the status of their orders and decide whether they want to use the same helper as before when placing new orders," said Løwe-Nodeland, who believes that the app's results are very impressive.

In a short time, the Odd Jobs app has led to the registration of 71 helpers, 200 users, and the completion of 73 tasks. This is clear evidence of the success of our collaboration with Cegal and the positive impact the app has had on our community. We look forward to continuing our collaboration and the opportunity to further develop and improve odd jobs to help even more people, continued Løwe-Nodeland.

Most users of the Odd Jobs app are elderly. Are they adapting to this digital job facilitator?
-The app is so intuitive that older individuals understand how to use it. This has provided a great sense of accomplishment for those who struggle with using computers. Feedback from the elderly is that it's enjoyable to use the app," responded Løwe-Nodeland.

Good cooperation with Cegal

Løwe-Nodeland reveals that Cegal was chosen as a partner due to their history of developing FRIDA, an application for managing volunteer work.
- Cegal had a thorough understanding of the essence of our work and what was needed to succeed in our project. Additionally, we wanted to work with local actors, said the project manager. He adds that Cegal's ability to be quick and receptive to their ideas has been impressive.

From the very beginning, Cegal was eager to hear our thoughts and visions, and they were willing to work closely with us to turn them into reality.  

Bjørn Erik Løwe-Nodeland, Hamar Frivilligsentral

– This open communication and willingness to collaborate made the entire process much more productive. After the app was launched, the support from Cegal has been exemplary. We have received excellent assistance from the team, who have been available to help with any issues or challenges that arose. This has been crucial in ensuring that the app functions smoothly and effectively for our users.

Low-code from Oracle

The new IT solution and Odd Jobs app were developed using Oracle's low-code platform, APEX (Oracle Application Express).

With APEX, you can develop web applications and apps using wizards that allow you to connect pre-built features and elements. This makes it up to 20 times faster to create apps than traditional development, requiring 20 times less coding, said Johnny Bjørnstad, Manager Business Service at Cegal.

Within the APEX framework, it's easy to incorporate services like push notifications and geolocation while also developing intuitive, user-friendly apps.

*The image in the article features Deputy Chairman Bjørn Erik Løwe-Nodeland and Chairperson Anne Thingstad Bjørnstad.

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