NORTH EAST charity Impact Family Services is providing a faster response programme and increased security for a growing number of families in need of help across the region, thanks to the adoption of a new state-of-the-art cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system.
The not-for-profit organisation enrolled the expertise of Gosforth-based tech firm ION to help build a Salesforce CRM system to streamline processes and has already seen a 97 percent increase in productivity to help support each service user.
More than 400 people in crisis throughout the North East turn to the service each year which operates with the purpose of improving relationships across families to strengthen family resilience and reduce the negative impact of family breakdown on family members.
Impact Family Services CEO Nikki Turnbull joined the charity late 2016 and brought over 20 years’ experience in the voluntary sector, including her previous post as head of service delivery at social housing company Thirteen Group. She believes the new systems and processes put in place is vital to continually increase security measures across the business infrastructure, as well as improve efficiency of reporting to governing bodies.
“I had previously used Salesforce in other organisations and one of the interesting benefits of this CRM system we have seen already is the hugely important greater collaboration between our customers’ physical security and cyber protection,” Nikki said.
“It was a big part of my long term business strategy to make reporting quicker and easier as well as to streamline information across the business and for our partner organisations, which we have now achieved.
“Many of our clients work with a number of departments within the organisation so it helps our team provide direct connection to resources available not only from our database but that of external support if necessary in an easy, user-friendly manner.
“It is of course an ongoing strategy but looking forward to 2018 and beyond, we will continue to invest in these areas to free up staff hours so that they can concentrate on better servicing our clients and make the reporting and support required more efficient.”
The CRM was also adapted to help the charity with its quarterly financial reporting to help with grant applications and for trustees identifying any areas of the business that require additional resource.
ION director Rob Mathieson said: “Impact Family Services needed a single, specialist information system that could improve data quality, provide better management information and provide more efficient ways of working across its services as well as easily identifying areas that need additional funding at a glance.
“It was important that we met the needs identified by Nikki. All information can now be found on one system, allowing multiple users access at once, meaning there is no duplication and collectively staff can respond more efficiently.
“It is a great example of how specialist software can help all sorts of organisations whether it is a large corporation or a charity by adopting solutions that are easier to install and configure, as well as easier to manage and use, resulting in a lower overall total cost of ownership and an improved service for their clients.”
Impact Family Services operates in partnership with many other organisations including Barnardo’s, Northumbria Police, CAFCASS, local family courts, National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC), National Family Mediation (NFM), Legal Aid Agency, local authorities and Gentoo to provide skills and expertise in the multi complexities of couple relationships and family breakdown and has developed services across the North East of England to meet a range of situations including specialist domestic violence and abuse services, bespoke children’s, families and specialist services such as Mediation and Counselling.
The charity employs a range of professional and qualified staff, including social workers, family mediators, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA) and Counsellors alongside well trained and experienced support staff and a growing number of volunteers.