Blue Mountain Action Council, Walla Walla, WA

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The Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) is a private, nonprofit, multipurpose agency, serving residents in Southeastern Washington.  BMAC services help meet the basic needs of low­ income individuals and families. Critical to the operation of BMAC is its food distribution warehouse, located in Walla Walla, WA. Food obtained from a variety of sources is stored there until it can be delivered to Walla Walla’s emergency food pantries.

A Microsoft Access ­based inventory system had been­ designed several years ago to support the record ­keeping and reporting needs of the warehouse, but it was badly out of date.

To modernize this process, a 2015 student team from nearby Whitman College developed BMAC-Warehouse, software that enables warehouse staff to manage product inventory, issue receipts for donations, and generate invoices for shipments to local food distribution centers.  This software enables the warehouse to more accurately and efficiently manage its food inventory database and reporting capabilities.

This project is another example of how open source software developed by one computer class for one non-profit can be reused by a different class to develop a similar tool for a completely different non-profit.  In this case, Homeplate software developed for a non-profit in South Carolina was reused by a different team to develop software for a similar application.

The Development Triad:

  • The Non-Profit: Blue Mountain Action Council, Walla Walla, WA required a Web-based system to record food donations, inventory levels, and shipments that would replace an obsolescent Access-based system.
  • The College: Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA supported the development of BMAC-Warehouse by 5 students and an instructor during the Spring 2015 semester.
  • The Software Professional: This software was deployed by the instructor and is supported by Walla Walla Web Weavers.

Instructor/Developer Links: