Finnish Business School Graduates implements a state-of-the-art Dynamics 365 system, with the project team given full marks for its performance

Until recently, the central organisation for graduates of economics and business-administration programmes and students in these fields used a specially customised information system. This made its development difficult and hampered integration with other software. These issues prompted the organisation to look into adopting a new system. In December 2016, it implemented a Microsoft Dynamics 365 system supplied by Accountor Enterprise Solutions.

”We wanted a modern and adaptable platform that could be integrated with other systems and would offer even more support to the processes related to our services for members,” explains Tuija Mäkinen, Customer Relationship Manager for Finnish Business School Graduates.

 

All the necessary information in one location, thanks to Dynamics 365

With Microsoft Dynamics 365, all membership information is available in a single location. That was the central goal for the project. According to Mäkinen, another considerable benefit brought by the new system is integration with other programs, which minimises the amount of manual work required – information no longer has to be transferred between systems. Also, the application has contributed to improving communications with members.

Mäkinen says: ”Integration with our newsletter system has made our communications more efficient and member-oriented, and it has enabled us to benefit from automated marketing processes.”

With the need for a more modern system long recognised across the board in the organisation, the new program has been met with a warm welcome.

 

Mainly praise for the implementation

To provide support for the process, various workshops were held at the definition and implementation stage, and an Accountor Enterprise expert was on hand to offer assistance throughout the project. According to Mäkinen, this arrangement proved useful. On the whole, the implementation process was plain sailing, even though some challenges were encountered in conjunction with the program’s invoicing feature.
The building of various discount schemes and invoicing bases turned out to be slightly more challenging than had been expected. As the project also involved outsourcing of the invoice and payment traffic, this combination of factors led to membership bills being dispatched behind schedule. Mäkinen notes that, while conversion from an old system to a new one often proves to be a stumbling block in system implementation, no major hitches were encountered in this case.

She says that users have found Dynamics 365 easy to use even though a new system always requires some time to master.

 

Accountor Enterprise’s experience and size helped to sway the organisation’s decision on the system supplier

”We wanted a solution provider that was large enough and financially sound. By ’large enough’, I mean a company with sufficient resources: we didn’t want to be reliant on just one or two people. This played a major role in our decision. Also, Accountor Enterprise has a good deal of experience of similar projects,” Mäkinen says.

In addition, the project team made a positive impact with its expertise and attitude, right from the outset. Collaboration was seamless throughout the project.

”Our project manager was highly qualified and competent. All in all, the entire project team showed a desire to understand our operations and to find the most suitable solutions for us. Full marks to them for this,” says Mäkinen.

According to her, another characteristic that made Accountor Enterprise a good partner is its ability to explain which customer requests were feasible for the implementation and which would be better addressed in some other way.

She explains: ”A good partner understands the customer’s needs but also has the courage to speak up when necessary. Then you don’t make promises you can’t deliver on. I think a good supplier dares to challenge the customer and present alternative ways of doing things.”

 

Sources of further information

For Accountor Enterprise Solutions: Sales Manager Juha Järvinen, tel. +358 45 111 5015 / e-mail juha.jarvinen(a)accountorenterprise.fi

For Finnish Business School Graduates: Customer Relationship Manager Tuija Mäkinen, e-mail tuija.makinen(a)ekonomit.fi

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Finnish Business School Graduates is the country’s central organisation for graduates and students in the fields of economics and business administration. With 52,000 members, it is the fourth largest affiliate of Akava, the confederation of unions for professional and management staff in Finland. Its membership is composed of 25 regional associations and 13 student societies.
ekonomit.fi

Customer Relationship Manager Tuija Mäkinen is responsible for the organisation’s membership-management operations. She oversees activities related to managing membership information, reporting, and members’ subscriptions.

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