On Tuesday 1st March 2016, Embridge Consulting hosted its first ever Special Interest Group workshop for the Not for Profit sector in association with our partner Unit4!
When Unit4 approached us at the end of 2015 to ask if we would like to host a SIG for one of our favourite sectors, we practically bit their hand off in eagerness. With some of our most successful stories belonging to our Not for Profit clients, we were honoured and excited to be a part of such an important workshop.
With the client invitations distributed and a swanky venue secured in London, we approached the day with assured anticipation. The jam packed agenda meant there was something for everyone and with a healthy turn-out of over 30 attendees, the workshop kicked off in earnest.
Ken Edwards from Cancer Research got proceedings under way with a welcome introduction of the group before handing over to our number one Managing Director of Embridge Consulting, Emma O’Brien. With a swift show of delegate hands, Emma was able to ascertain exactly how far and wide the Embridge name had reached and went on to spend our valuable time in the spotlight introducing the company, showcasing our wide range of end to end service offerings and touching on our bona fide example of our winning methodology when it came to service delivery to one of our existing NFP (Not for Profit) clients The Terence Higgins Trust.
Paul Marriner of Unit4 followed on, talking about their vision to transform customer impact and introduced the up and coming Unit4 Business World deliverables for 2016, including Financials; Procurement; Projects; HR & Payroll; Field Service Asset Management and Fundamentals. All these will be made available to the NFP sector, with the added offer of strategic pricing for better functionality, which in turn will ultimately save their businesses money. And let’s face it, this is what the NFP sector is all about – giving and not taking!
Helen Crisostomo is the Unit4BW NFP Account Manager and is clearly passionate about her clients. She went on to give an honest and frank admission about how this precious sector has been somewhat neglected historically when it came to providing customer service and satisfaction following an implementation. Helen emphasised that such frustrations were to be a thing of the past and that organising the workshop was a first step in turning opinions around; a proactive and positive way of bringing together its NFP users, reassuring and demonstrating that these were changing times and that the NFP core sector is REALLY important to Unit4.
Unit4’s focus now is to further build positive consultative relationships with their NFP clients by opening up dialogue and encouraging better engagement; helping clients unlock the potential of their existing systems, improving functionality and providing support; offering a timely escalation point to squash frustrations before they have a chance to mature. With such a positive and heartfelt presentation given by Helen, spirits within the room lifted considerably and a ripple of excitement was clearly visible as delegates began to trust that help was on hand after all, either through Unit4BW directly, talking and comparing solutions with one another as clients during the workshop, or trying an alternative approach via Embridge.
With HR demos from Ben Gibson, Analyser/FIC reporting demos from Phil Beaumont, and some open discussions within the group, the day was to continue in an informative, upbeat and positive manner. With valuable schmoosing opportunities to be had in between the busy schedule, The Embridge Consulting ‘A Team’, Emma, Steve Goulder (Business Development Manager and Senior Consultant) and Steve Long (Project Manager/Consultant) got busy networking, deliberating, analysing and reassuring that the solutions our precious community were searching for, were only a phone call or handshake away.
Also, with the upcoming Unit4 Conference to be held on 26/27th April in Manchester and Embridge Consulting a sponsor of the event, we really wanted to encourage the group to consider sending at least one delegate from their establishment to the conference. While this may seem like an unnecessary extravagance for an NFP client, the conference does offer a unique forum in which to really learn about the product functionalities, share knowledge/experiences with other users and benefit from some free consultancy!
With this in mind, we were able to exclusively launch our ‘Challenge Us’ initiative to the NFP group, inviting them to forward their concerns, questions and those infuriating niggles via email, to us, 3 weeks in advance of the conference. During these 3 weeks, we promise to investigate, find a solution where we can and offer up our findings on a one to one basis with an experienced consultant at the conference itself, free of charge! We really are all about the giving!
The NFP sector have long been an important sector to Embridge, even before we partnered with Unit4 last year, having successfully implemented Unit4BW at The Terrence Higgins Trust in 2013. Being able to offer realistic deliverables, at cost effective and often discounted prices and understanding the integrity of this special sector, really positions Embridge advantageously, making us the obvious ‘partner of choice’ when it comes to choosing a services provider.
With our first Special Interest Group workshop success under our belt and some great connections made with our NFP friends, we very much look forward to hosting further SIG’s in partnership with Unit4 in the near future.
If you’re trying to improve the running and efficiency of your Not for Profit business systems in a cost effective and sympathetic way, Embridge Consulting WILL be able to help you, to give more!