The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) is the national voice of Canada’s private broadcasters, representing the vast majority of Canadian programming services, including private radio and television stations, networks, specialty, pay and pay-per-view services.
CAB was using a FileMaker Pro database on a physical desktop machine to manage contact information for its members and stakeholders. The organization was always challenged to perform upgrades of the software because of customizations that had been made within the system during the original implementation, and since it was housed on a very old server. In addition, some functionality was missing as there was no integration between the database and the Outlook email system nor reporting capabilities.
In 2010, the mandate of the CAB was reduced significantly, and its staff was consequently reduced to three people that were hired on contract, requiring the team to do more with less.
Searching for a Solution
“I met with CRGroup in January and explained that, due to funding, the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM had to be completed by August,” explains Bissonette. CRGroup was willing and able to accommodate the aggressive timelines.
CRGroup worked closely with Bissonette and the IT contractors to build the requirements for CAB’s new system. “We needed more than a basic contact management system that would initially integrate with our email system and then our accounting system, Microsoft Dynamics GP,” she explains.
“We also needed a way to not only track our interactions with contacts but also to organize various committees.” Because of the landscape of the broadcasting community, the same contact could exist for multiple stations. The new system had to be set up to allow for these “duplicate” contacts with multiple sets of data associated with them. The system also had to be configured to enable the tracking of terms for various committees. Before contacts from the old system could be imported, there was a great deal of data cleaning required.
How Microsoft Dynamics CRM Has Helped CAB
Streamlined and Integrated Contact Management
One of the main requirements for the new system was the ability for the contact management system to integrate with our email system, eliminating duplicate entry of contacts and tracking correspondence. This streamlines the process by reducing the time required for data input and maintenance, while improving data integrity. The new system is web-based, so users no longer have to remote to the server to access it from off-site.
“Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a reliable, stable system that does what we need it to do!”
Multi-Address Functionality Achieved
In the old system, multiple contact records had been created for people who worked at various media stations. Within Microsoft Dynamics CRM, CRGroup configured the ability to input multiple addresses for these contacts to eliminate the duplication of information. We now have the concept of a grandparent-parent-child relationship for our contacts and members. (conglomerate-broadcastercontacts). This enables us to quickly view the hierarchy of the organization as well as track our overall communications.
Superior Tracking and Outreach
“Microsoft Dynamics CRM is now tied to our Outlook email system allowing for mail merge and the tracking of terms for committees,” says Bissonette. “This saves us a lot of time and headaches.” The new system is also set up with custom reports that can quickly give Bissonette the information she needs to make decisions. Our employees can now quickly find information and check past correspondence within a single file.
Bissonette looks forward to continuing to work with CRGroup to further customize the software for their needs in the future.
“Once again, I have enjoyed working with the team at CRGroup. They are very knowledgeable and go above and beyond to ensure the customer is happy at the end of the day.”
– Sylvie Bissonnette, CFO, Canadian Association of Broadcasters
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