“The key thing for all of us is that we try to serve our members as well as possible and offer them various ways of reaching us,” says Development Coordinator Jaana Halonen of the Association of Finnish Lawyers.
This was one of the reasons why the old website of the Association of Finnish Lawyers was replaced with a modern membership portal. All members have access to the new portal to view their membership benefits, to contact the Association and to seek vacancies in their field. Members can also read about labour market issues and view career training and webinar recordings.
“Members can also view and update their own details, manage newsletter orders and order the Association of Finnish Lawyers’ calendar. The most popular thing for our members is to update their work history or degree details through the portal,” says Jaana Halonen.
User identification enables content that is better targeted
Since the membership portal required users to log in, the user will be identified, thereby enabling us to offer different content to different users.
To full-time shop stewards, for example, the portal will offer labour market information relevant to them, while Board and various committee members can view their documents through the portal.
The portal is part of a larger project in which the Association launched a new customer relationship management system, Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, acting as the Association’s membership register. It was convenient to implement the portal using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Portals, and now information flows without problems between the portal and CRM.
Portal versatile now and in future
“The next thing would be to move event management to the portal as well. At the moment, we have no other future plans, but we are open to all development ideas. The world is changing around us and we want to keep up with the change. We now have excellent tools and a good opportunity to develop any service related to our members,” says Halonen.
The Association of Finnish Lawyers will in future also work more closely with other associations, which may lead to new development needs. When the systems are in place, all avenues are available to us.
Portal outlook fully tailorable and modifiable
The Association of Finnish Lawyers included a graphic designer in the portal project, creating a uniform look and feel in line with the actual website. The portal can be changed fully to conform with the organisation’s other look and feel.
“Users will not even realise they have moved from an external website to a portal built on a platform, because the look and feel is the same throughout. We wanted to retain the graphic design of the Association of Finnish Lawyers,” says Halonen.
Accountor Enterprise shrugged prejudices concerning CRM system
When the previous member register was reaching the end of its lifetime in 2016, the Board decided that the Association of Finnish Lawyers should start asking for offers. The Association decided to include an external consultant who was a system specialist. And indeed, the consultant’s recommendation was that the new member register should be made with a CRM system. This was when a request for a offer was also sent to Accountor Enterprise Solutions.
“We received an offer very quickly and received a presentation of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM solution. We soon realised that it was like made for us. They could also deliver the system right away and according to our specifications,” says Halonen.
“First we thought the CRM system would not be good for us, because we thought it could not handle invoicing. But then on came Accounter Enterprise who proved us completely wrong, and were able to offer us just the package we needed,” she continues.
According to Halonen, cooperation with Accountor Enterprise has been very good in other aspects, too.
”Accountor Enterprise made a project plan to which they stuck very well. Everything proceeded according to plan and to timetable. There were some additional needs that we realised on the way, but these were squeezed in within the timetable as well,” she says.
“Membership management is so very easy nowadays”
“With every passing day, I’m more and more convinced that this was exactly the right system choice for us. The more you learn about MS Dynamis 365 CRM, the more impressive it looks. An excellent system,” praises Halonen.
Alongside the CRM, the Association of Finnish Lawyers also introduced a marketing automation tool called ClickDimensions, which according to Halonen has turned out to be “ridiculously good”.
Now we are using an extensive family of Microsoft products, and it’s clearly an advantage to have systems that support each other. “Membership management is so very easy nowadays,” says Halonen.