“The most important thing for us is to provide the best possible service to our members and offer them a number of ways to contact us,” says Development Coordinator Jaana Halonen from the Association of Finnish Lawyers.
For this reason, the Association’s old member pages were replaced with a modern member portal. All members have the opportunity to start using the new portal. The portal enables members to check their membership benefits, contact the association and look for open positions in the sector. Members can also read job-related articles, and watch webinars and career training videos.
“The portal enables members to do a variety of things, such as check and update their own details, manage their newsletter subscriptions and order Association calendars. Members mostly use the portal to update their employment details or qualifications,” says Jaana Halonen.
User identification enables better-targeted content
Members need to sign into the portal, which means that users can be identified and a variety of different content can be provided to different types of users. For example, full-time shop stewards can find job-related information that is specifically targeted at them. Members of boards and committees can use the portal to access appropriate documents.
The portal is part of an umbrella project to supply the Association with a Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM that will act as a new membership register. The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Portals add-on was the natural choice for implementing the portal, and information now flows seamlessly between the portal and the CRM.
Further development now and in the future
“The next step will be to transfer our event management to the portal as well. We don’t have anything else planned as yet, but we’re open to all kinds of development ideas. The world is changing around us and we want to keep abreast of things. Now that we have our tools in order, we have the potential to develop whatever services our members may require,” says Halonen.
The Association of Finnish Lawyers also intends to engage in closer cooperation with other associations in the future, which may put a new spin on its developmental needs. When your systems are in order, all the doors are open.
The portal’s look and feel is fully customisable and adaptable
The Association of Finnish Lawyers brought a graphic designer on board to give the portal a look and feel that is in sync with the website. The portal can be fully customised to reflect the organisation’s image.
“The user won’t notice that they’ve moved from an external website to a portal on another platform, as the same look and feel will be retained all down the line. We wanted the portal to have the same visual identity as the Association of Finnish Lawyers,” says Halonen.
Digia’s D365 team managed to dispel prejudices towards the CRM
In spring 2016, when the former membership register was coming to the end of its road, the Association of Finnish Lawyers’ Board of Directors decided to issue a tender. The Association decided to make use of an external consultant with a good understanding of such systems. The consultant recommended using a CRM to implement the new membership register. Digia was then asked to submit a tender.
“We quickly received both a tender and a presentation of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM. It was as if this solution was made for us. The system could also be delivered immediately in accordance with our requirements,” says Halonen.
“We initially thought that a CRM wouldn’t suit us, as we didn’t think that it would be any good for invoicing. But then along came Digia, and they proved our assumptions to be completely wrong and were able to offer us a suitable package,” she says.
Halonen says that cooperation with Digia has been excellent in other respects as well.
“Digia created a project plan for us and kept to the timetable. Everything went completely according to plan and to schedule. A few additional requirements were, of course, identified along the way, but we were easily able to fit them into the schedule,” she says.
“Membership management is now extremely easy”
“Day after day I’m even more convinced that this was the perfect system for us. The more I learn about MS Dynamics 365 CRM, the more impressed I am. It’s a really great system,” says Halonen.
The Association of Finnish Lawyers also introduced the ClickDimensions marketing automation tool alongside the CRM. To quote Halonen, it has been ‘insanely good’.
“We’re now using an extensive range of products from the Microsoft family and it’s quite clearly an advantage to have systems that can read each other. These days, membership management is extremely easy,” says Halonen.