Conservation charity benefits from enhanced efficiency and eradication of costly housekeeping tasks
Orbis Software, a provider of business process automation solutions, today announced that the Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity, is using TaskCentre to automate over 100 business tasks and to improve the integration of its business systems – especially its CARENG (NG) Fundraising CRM software from Advanced NFP. The deployment has resulted in enhanced efficiency in collecting income, the automation of Direct Debit checks and financial notifications, as well as the eradication of costly employee housekeeping due to a reduction in manual intervention.
“The primary business goal was to get us on the road to efficient automation and better integration. We required a solution that would drive some of the workarounds we developed in the CRM system, and also manage the housekeeping tasks we create,” explained Christopher Holt, SRM Project Manager at the Woodland Trust. “Obviously, with the API within NG itself, we can trigger the data loader or actually use the web services to do imports. We also use it to send reports on a regular basis around the Trust. We find value in TaskCentre from automating a lot of those small annoying housekeeping tasks.”
The Woodland Trust purchased TaskCentre as part of the portfolio of third-party applications that are available with the NG system. The Trust has devised many workarounds for the CRM system and created new tasks to help improve all aspects of its customer service. The Trust now has over 100 automated tasks running on a regular basis, driving some of its internal processes, such as monitoring the financial transaction batches within NG. This helps trigger notifications about significant donations and corporate income.
“TaskCentre is monitoring the system and looking at where donations and income are coming from and who the supporters are – distinguishing whether or not they are major or high donors,” said Holt. “This process allows us to automatically give visibility of these important income streams to those who need to act on that information and thus improve our customer service.”
TaskCentre’s ability to easily integrate with additional systems has been a major benefit to the Woodland Trust, especially as it uses Portrait to manage its email and marketing campaigns. This solution works from its own database, so the team employed TaskCentre to automatically pull data from Portrait into NG on a nightly basis using their respective API layers.
“Previously, this had to be carried out by manually downloading a .CSV file and importing that with a mailing history. When the selection is run and it creates a mailing history, that data is imported back into the system. That sounds like a little thing, but we send a large number of mailings per year, so it’s not just a few, it’s actually a huge number of mailing histories. This task now allows us to quickly record supporter communications across multiple systems,” said Holt. “Nowadays, the first question we ask suppliers is ‘Have you got an API and can we have the documentation?’ Our default question always is ‘What can TaskCentre do to help knit the two APIs together?”
Direct Debit checks were another vital element that the Trust wanted to automate, to help reduce the amount of calls to the data processing department. Due to TaskCentre’s flexibility and for the development team to see what is possible to accomplish with the system, it was possible to develop a data validation task using the virtual mailbox feature. People can now email the system, asking when the next Direct Debit date is, and it will look for trigger words and return that information.
“Rather than someone phoning the data processing department, or it is out of hours, it is now possible to send an email into TaskCentre (the mailbox) asking when the next Direct Debit processing date is. We have managed to find a way that works that out, including accounting for Bank Holidays, weekends or other factors,” said Holt. “We are starting to use it almost like a virtualised system in that respect.”
About Woodland Trust
Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity. Over the last 40 years or so, it has acquired more than 1,000 woodland sites covering over 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres). It is a non-profit making Company limited by guarantee. The Woodland Trust aims to create new native woodland with the help of communities, schools, organisations and individuals. It tries to protect ancient woods, restore the ones that are damaged and fight for those under threat. It looks after more than 1,000 woods and groups of woods covering 190 square kilometres (73 square miles). Nearly 350 of its sites contain ancient woodland, of which 70 per cent is semi-natural ancient woodland – land which has been under tree cover since at least 1600. It also manages 110 Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
About Advanced NFP
Advanced NFP provides CRM, membership management, fundraising and donor management, and web integration solutions to more than 1,000 organisations within the UK not-for-profit sector, including charities, membership organisations, education, NGOs and sports governing bodies. Customers include WWF, Amnesty International, RSPB, Marie Curie, the Woodland Trust, Victim Support and Friends of the Earth. Advanced NFP forms part of Advanced Computer Software Group plc, a leading supplier of software and IT services to the health, care and business services sectors. In 2014, the Group won Tech Company of the Year in PwC’s UK Tech Awards. Advanced was also ranked in the Deloitte UK Fast 50, which recognises the 50 fastest growing technology companies in the UK and ranked in the top 300 technology companies in Deloitte’s EMEA rankings.