As a non-profit organisation that receives almost no funding from government, Kidney Health Australia relies on a comprehensive program of sponsorships and fund raising. Almost forty percent of its income is derived from an annual series of 13 lotteries which are managed through the organisation's call centre in Adelaide.
Four years ago Kidney Health wanted to align its IT strategy more closely to the organisation's business objectives. An information technology review identified that existing systems were inadequate and hindered business development.
Jacqueline Manché, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer explains, “When I arrived at Kidney Health in 2005 there were two major issues that we needed to solve. First was our accounting function. Although we had implemented Microsoft Dynamics GP, the organisation had underinvested into the solution and as a consequence the software was two versions behind the current release and staff were not utilising the software functions properly. There was a lot of work needed to upgrade the software and hardware so that we could report on individual Kidney Health events and programs and obtain more value from the system.”
The second issue related to the organisation's customer relationship management (CRM) system. Manché continues, “One of the major activities in this organisation is the operation of lotteries offered through our call centre. To support this activity we maintain a large database of supporters, donors and other interested parties.
The problem they faced was that the Call Centre fundraising and the CRM systems were poorly integrated into the procedures that were not documented. A significant investment in time and resources was required to ensure the system functioned and even then reconciliation and reporting were difficult. The CRM system was high cost to operate but was under-utilised with a complex and dated design leading to poor rates of user adoption.
“We first evaluated the approach to replacement that best suited Kidney Health’s needs,” Manché says. “There are a number of specific niche systems for fund raising available in the market but we felt that a product with broad CRM functionality that was easy to integrate with Microsoft Dynamics GP and with the Call Centre system was a better overall choice. We were also keen to ensure better levels of user adoption so a product with a familiar “Outlook-like’ interface offering flexibility through configuration and customisation was judged to provide better value for money.”
With the approach determined, they got in touch with Professional Advantage to establish a new CRM infrastructure based on Microsoft Dynamics software. They proposed to extend the out-of-the-box software by engaging Professional Advantage to develop a lottery and donor processing function based upon the CRM Sales Order module. This extension to CRM provides the specific business functions that non-profit organisations require to manage fund raising.
The proposal provided by Professional Advantage met all of Kidney Health's requirements including the ability to customise, integrate and interface CRM to the Call Centre and finance software using Scribe. In late 2006 the project was given the go-ahead.
Four years after the original IT review Manché continues to identify and initiate new IT projects as part of her determination to ensure continuous system improvement.
Manché concludes, “Having all these systems in place has positioned us to become a bigger and better organisation that is hopefully picking up market share. We couldn't do it if we didn't have the underlying systems to support us.”