Action Together CRM Consultation
How we worked with a request from Action Together for a new CRM to help them develop a broader strategy and structure to best run the digital facets of their organisation.
Action Together support community groups in Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside, helping them grow, develop and become self-sustaining.
They approached us with a request for a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management system). However, after an initial meeting to discuss their requirements, we realised that they were facing more complex issues than simply an outdated and non-user-friendly CRM.
We helped create conceptual clarity of each tool in use, what was needed, and what new tools needed to be created. This enabled them to decide if they would use readily available existing and off-the-shelf tools, improve their existing system, or create a bespoke system. We then suggested ways that they can use these tools to help create collaborations with partners and communities of action. This strategy helped to link their overall goals and funding KPIs as an organisation with the specific IT implementation they had chosen.
One key finding was that everyone was maintaining their own private spreadsheet as the provided tool often didn’t do what they needed, then manually transferring the data over to the main system when requested. This results in multiple sources of truth and data formats. We have since found this to be universal across the chronically underfunded public and third sectors.
Our holistic approach enabled them to use their existing provision to much greater effect, using tools they were paying for but had not yet used, (such as Microsoft Teams and Sharepoint) to allow the sharing of previously siloed information, and allow ongoing support and advice within teams. We helped them to identify the points in their organisation that were causing the tensions they had experienced, such as informal single points for organisational technical support, a small handful of database experts who had become the de facto database maintainers, and only limited time available from their tech supplier.
Identifying these pressure points saved them countless hours and technical fees creating and configuring new systems, which it turned out they didn’t actually need! We gave them the tools to improve their own systems without any additional external help. This is a perfect example of where sometimes it’s not a new tool that’s needed but rather a deep dive into how the tool is being used.