Matching good intentions with invention
Most classic business stories start with the goals: a business starts with a vision for a need in the marketplace – a need that could be handled more efficiently, more cost-effectively and more elegantly, for example. When a need is accepted and adopted, filling the void that existed before the product or service was created, then success is possible. Dynamic business stories take that a bit further, as some have, with a business starting with a napkin drawing, or an entrepreneur working late into the night or on weekends in a kitchen, or garage, or behind the blue screen of a home computer. Then the success is not only more fantastical, it is indeed much more satisfying.
This classic story is the tale of the locally-based, family-owned and national- recognized Accessible Solutions, Inc., whose team develops a software platform called ServTracker. This cloud-based program is designed to help senior service organizations (such as Meals on Wheels) bring order to what is often a chaos of spreadsheets, overflowing file cabinets and frustrated workers and volunteers struggling against a tide of paperwork.
Accessible Solutions has a strong presence in Brevard County and recently bought and will be expanding into new building in North Merritt Island, anticipated in the second quarter of 2020. The expansion is the latest step in an exciting journey for the company.
The Mother of Invention
Greg Prosser and his wife Sarah Prosser make up the leadership team for the company. Sarah remembers the spark that lit the original idea for what became ServTracker. “My mother worked in a senior center in the early 1990’s. She was responsible for coordinating the delivery of the Meals on Wheels program. She didn’t have a database of any sort to keep track of the clients that they were serving.”
Greg notes that although “necessity is the mother of invention,” in this case, the father in law of invention was what got the business ball rolling. It was Sarah’s father who was most intrigued by the problem and he set about to develop the first version of ServTracker to help alleviate his wife’s job frustrations. “There were no databases [back then] that tracked this sort of information” and were available for purchase, Greg said. So instead, “[my mother in law [was coming home and working at night to catch up on recording all her daily tasks over and over again.” The ServTracker program developed by her husband allowed her to better organize her work and eliminate unnecessary redundant efforts.
The family lived in the Midwest at the time and, after introducing the program to other organizations in Southwest Ohio and the Cincinnati area, word of mouth did its job and soon senior services organizations were beating a path to their door.
Demand Brings Innovation
“Organizations would hear about what the program [was doing],” said Greg, “and they would contact us and ask if they could use ServTracker for their organization. They also inquired if we could add more features to support their needs, which in effect helped to organically move the platform into other services outside of just meal delivery.”
In 2002, the family relocated the business here and continue to build the company, focusing intently on customer service. Accessible Solutions, Inc., is valued for its close relationships with customers, allowing ServTracker to evolve and expand by solving the needs of individual organization’s unique requirements. Often, this meant an improvement in the product for all end users.
Solving a Bigger Problem
In 2018, Accessible Solutions developed a partnership with Meals on Wheels America. The goals of the national organization go beyond providing food to seniors in their homes. “Providing proper nutrition and looking at food more like medicine, results in reductions in re-hospitalization, relieves some chronic conditions, helps with social isolation and improves their quality of life,” he explained.
Accessible Solutions has come a long way from the early days. Now the company is a national force, with customers in 41 states, a successful annual national user conference and a planned 5,000 sq. ft. facility that will be home to more than 22 employees.
“I know my father didn’t get into this to build a business,” Sarah said. “He’s an engineer to his core. He can fix anything. He saw something that could work better, and he created a way for that to happen.”