Taking the stress out of major business change
Replacing legacy business systems can offer organisations huge cost and time savings. But it can also seem like quite a daunting task.
Here, Paul Everson, from Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM), talks about how A2Z Cloud helped steer his charity through a large-scale project to overhaul their business systems.
Based in Bath, KCM Europe is a charity that serves the Christian community across the continent – the European arm of a global organisation headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. Among their many activities, KCM Europe delivers a monthly magazine and daily broadcasts to friends and partners in its network, as well as networking with churches across Europe.
Back in 2020, KCM was looking to replace its CRM system to help them improve communications with their community and streamline donations.
“We wanted a CRM that would fully integrate with our accounting system”, explains Paul Everson, Systems Administrator and Process Developer at KCM.
“We started looking around at potential options and really liked the look of Zoho CRM as it seemed so easy to use and customise. It was also very competitively priced”, he adds.
Bringing in the right expertise
“We wanted to partner with a local organisation who could provide the necessary technical expertise to implement Zoho CRM and provide ongoing support”, says Paul.
“We contacted A2Z Cloud and they got back to us immediately. We were impressed by their knowledge and their responsiveness.”
Paul explains that KCM’s business systems had previously operated in siloes. They wanted to ensure that the new CRM would integrate with their financial systems.
“The CRM project was quite a large task”, says Paul. “Having completed a lot of research, we could see the benefits of transferring over to Zoho Books at the same time to deliver the full CRM integration we were looking for.”
As a charity, KCM operates to very specific, and quite intricate, financial regulations. This meant that the new financial system had to meet very exacting requirements set by the UK Charity Commission, namely on charity tax.
“The financial aspects had to be just right”, explains Paul. “It was a lengthy process but a highly successful one. The team from A2Z Cloud went the extra mile to ensure that everything was exactly as we wanted it.”
The CRM was launched in the summer of 2021.
“From the scoping stage through to research, delivery and implementation, the team found solutions whenever we raised a query or potential issue”, he adds.
Getting employees on board
“In any organisation, some staff will find it challenging moving over to a new system”, says Paul. “But everyone at KCM was surprised at how easy Zoho CRM and Zoho Books were to use. A2Z Cloud also provided fantastic support. The team produced short ‘how-to’ videos to help our people and these were so useful.”
KCM has now been using Zoho CRM and Books for around a year. This has enabled KCM to automate many of its processes – which has saved time and money.
Previously, if a friend or partner placed an order, this would appear in the inbox and would need to be printed and processed by the relevant department internally. Now, this order is automatically logged on Zoho Books and the CRM. The details are instantly shown on the person’s CRM record – whereas previously this would need to be done manually.
If a donation is made, an acknowledgment letter is now automatically sent out by email or queued for printing and posting.
Improved customer communications
KCM can manage email marketing and campaigns in a far slicker and more streamlined way – with everyone using the same data, on one system.
“These changes have improved communications with our friends and partners”, says Paul. “We now have a much clear idea of their ‘customer’ journey. So, if we receive a newsletter sign-up or a question, we can track all these interactions quickly and easily. This saves time and money – and it has also reduced the amount of paper printing.”
The changeover has enabled the team at KCM to identify and remove a significant amount of data duplication from their old system. Using Zoho CRM, it’s also now much easier to keep the data ‘clean’ moving forward.
Paul and his colleagues also have access to better data analytics – helping them to plan future campaigns more effectively.
With the CRM and financial systems now up and running, Paul and the team have been looking at other Zoho applications to help deliver further business improvements. They are already making use of Zoho Expense, Zoho Social and Zoho Inventory – which are part of the Zoho One package of applications.
“We really like the fact that Zoho is constantly looking at updating and expanding their range of applications”, says Paul. “They really do listen to customers. For example, we had an issue with backorders and the Zoho team immediately started working on an update.”
In the past few months, KCM has adopted Zoho People for HR management.
“Our old HR system was OK but dated and limited”, says Paul. “Now, we can manage everything on our mobile phones. I can track my annual leave on the mobile – it makes everything so easy.”
Streamlining the pay run
KCM has also been one of the first customers to make use of A2Z Cloud’s newly launched Zoho Books and KeyPay Integration for payroll.
“The new integration has transformed the way we manage payroll”, says Paul. “Previously, this used to be a very time-consuming and laborious task. Our Finance team, along with our HR Manager, had to manually check the HR data and email pay slips to all our staff”, says Paul.
“But this has all changed with A2Z Cloud’s KeyPay integration. We can’t believe how quickly the pay run can be completed now. As a result, our HR Manager can focus on other people management tasks. It’s a far less stressful process all round.”
KCM are now looking to bring on board several other Zoho applications – including Zoho Recruit, Backstage and Vault.
“Zoho has so many possibilities and we’re only just beginning to see the benefits”, says Paul. And he believes that A2Z Cloud has played a critical role in this successful outcome.
“Right from the beginning, it’s been a really positive experience”, says Paul. “When we’ve come up against potential hurdles or challenges, A2Z Cloud has worked with us to resolve them immediately. Every single member of the team – from the MD through to the developers – has been absolutely brilliant.”
“We’re really looking forward to working with A2Z Cloud on the next stage of our business transformation”, concludes Paul.