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E46: Increasing Efficiency through Automation with Disability Solution’s Julie Sowash

by Sean Boyce

This episode, the Executive Director for Disability Solutions Julie Sowash talks about how to quantify the impact of a business, the importance of managing non-profits in a fiscally responsible way, and the power of automation.

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Julie Sowash is the Executive Director for Disability Solutions, where she works with federal contractors to assess outreach, hiring, and retention systems and policies in a company that impacts the organization’s ability to successfully engage and retain qualified job seekers with disabilities.
The Disability Solutions team, including Julie, works with corporate leaders to build and implement, national to local hiring initiatives.
Julie’s current focus is working with the leadership of Pepsi Beverages Company in implementing the Pepsi ACT (Achieving Change Together), a national engagement to increase recruitment, hiring, and retention in the company’s workforce. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Scaling Impact:
  • The importance momentum has in scaling impact.
  • How to make jobs more accessible for people with disabilities.
  • Misconceptions people have about hiring people with disabilities.
  • How to quantify the impact you’re having.
  • Managing non-profits in a fiscally responsible way.
  • How to leverage technology.
  • The power of automation.
Connect with Julie Sowash:
Connecting with the host:
  • 9:19 – “About 31 million Americans are people with disabilities who are working age and about 20 percent of us also identify as professionals and as we see mental health crisis grow constantly in our country, especially in the post-pandemic world more people are recognizing that mental health and mental illness is a real part of the disability community.”
  • 19:30 – “We also have a lot of automation around our invoicing systems, all of the pieces, anything that I can automate has really been automated including a lot of our sales process, we’ve been working on growing that portion of our business over the last couple of years and so getting a sales process in place through the use of technology has been a critical win and it’s one that’s been dear god so hard.”
  • 20:18 – “Recognize when you need to be scrappy and recognize when you need an expert and so the big thing for us is we knew we needed to put technology into place and I wasted probably 2 years trying to get that technology and process in place without the expertise to save a few bucks and what I did was lose a lot of time and a lot of opportunity and eventually I had to stop and say you know what I’m not doing anyone a service by thinking that I have the expertise to do this I need to spend a little bit more money now to hire that sales leader that marketing automation person so that I can get a system that’s up and running in a functional way.”
  • 21:15 – “Build what you can and recognize what you can’t build because there are pieces of our business structure that I don’t have the expertise to build and I need experts to do that and being willing to say that as a non-profit leader seems to be challenging when we need to ask for that help.”
  • 23:25 – “Larger investments into technology earlier really pays off much more so over time so figuring out when to make those investments that’s a key observation that can really unlock leverage and scale at a level of efficiency that previously wouldn’t have been available to you.”