Apollo Franchising

Cheryl White, Managing Director

It was Cheryl White’s experience as a District Nurse that led her to set up a home care agency. She set up Apollo Care from scratch in 2011 with her mum, one member of staff and a single client. 12 months later she had waiting lists for care packages and realised that she needed to grow the business, quickly

Seven-fold increase in franchise size

The Problem

Cheryl decided that a franchise model was the best way expand the Apollo brand and values, but her own experience of manual rostering and invoicing meant that she knew she needed some software to help.

“When I set up Apollo, I was still nursing three days a week. I had a three year old. I just didn’t have time for anything at all. Literally – I was up until two, three o’clock in the morning doing rotas on Excel. And then, once a month, I’d be in the office all day Sunday doing timesheets.”

“I don’t know how I did it now, looking back. It was an absolutely nightmare. But, at the time, you do what you’ve got to do, don’t you?”

 

“In those days, the staff would hand in their own handwritten mileage sheets, so I’d have to go through all of those too, checking it against where they’d been”

“The customer service has been brilliant, really, really good. They’re so helpful. Sometimes the new franchisees will ring me up and say ‘I don’t know how to do this on CarePlanner’ and I’ll just say – ring the helpline, they’ll sort it out.”

The Solution

Cheryl and her team looked at five different rostering systems, and settled on CarePlanner. “We liked the layout of it – we thought it looked quite simple to use. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I really liked the fact that a double up appointment had two little people on it, so you could easily see if you’d missed someone off. That was actually a big problem for us at the time.”

But Cheryl quickly came to value CarePlanner’s more advanced features, too. “In those days, the staff would hand in their own handwritten mileage sheets, so I’d have to go through all of those too, checking it against where they’d been”

”I knew that the staff mileage sheets were inaccurate,” she says. “In fact, when I brought the system in, the staff weren’t happy at all, when I told them that CarePlanner was going to calculate the mileage for them. It was one of the reasons that I went for it.”

Time spent creating rosters also dropped dramatically, and Cheryl was able to concentrate on growing the business: “CarePlanner definitely gave me confidence. I liked the fact that it would only charge for what had been booked on to the system. From a franchise point of view that’s brilliant, because we take a percentage of the franchisee’s turnover. So we don’t have any issues of people being over- or under-charged, because it’s all there.”

“The customer service has been brilliant, really, really good. They’re so helpful. Sometimes the new franchisees will ring me up and say ‘I don’t know how to do this on CarePlanner’ and I’ll just say – ring the helpline, they’ll sort it out.”

The Result

Today, Apollo Care is a thriving franchise with seven branches, employing over 100 carers, supporting more than 230 clients and delivering in excess of 1,600 hours of rostered care per week.

Cheryl doesn’t worry about taking on even more franchisees, because she knows that she can simply direct office staff towards CarePlanner’s support team.

“In those days, the staff would hand in their own handwritten mileage sheets, so I’d have to go through all of those too, checking it against where they’d been”

County Care

“The most recent update has really taken it to the next level, and they’re clearly a very forward-thinking company.”

Proud to Care

“I’ve now got more time to support staff, be face-to-face with clients and their families, and offer a truly personal service.”

Charlesworth Community Care

“We’re safe in the knowledge that the software works and will keep ticking along. I’d have to rate it 9/10.”

NHS Woodfield 24

“We constantly have new referrals, whilst other patients pass away or need to increase their number of visits at very short notice. Frankly, I don’t know how we’d cope without CarePlanner “

SOS Homecare

“We’re now becoming a paperless company because we rarely have to print anything out”

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