The Union of Professional Engineers in Finland, located in Pasila, Helsinki, is a professional union belonging to Akava. The union’s members are engineers and other technical experts, as well as engineering students. In addition to its advocacy activities, the union offers advice and career training, employing a total of 80 people.
When the Union of Professional Engineers in Finland sought to improve its customer relationship management, the right technology was not a difficult choice, as the union was already using Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Digia helped to update the union’s CRM system to the new, cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement system. The modernisation has led to several benefits.
The cloud-based solution provided additional usability, as the system can be used in any location, not just on the office network. The personnel have greater flexibility to work remotely with increased efficiency and security. In addition to the updated CRM system, the Union of Professional Engineers in Finland will soon begin using a Power BI reporting solution supplied by Digia.
“CRM must be a product-based solution, and the Customer Engagement solution is ideally suited to the union’s scale. The system is evolving, and we will be able to make use of the features that are important to us in the future,” says Kari Malinen, IT Manager at the Union of Professional Engineers in Finland.
Satisfied members through digitalisation
One of the most important benefits of the new system is Voice of the Customer, a member feedback survey used to improve the union’s service. The survey was introduced when the solution was transferred to the cloud. It provides a convenient way of requesting feedback on matters such as members’ experiences of contacting the union.
Dynamics 365 CE reveals valuable information on how the organisation’s activities could be improved so they meet members’ expectations. It is extremely important for the union to provide first-class customer service and keep its members satisfied. This is also good reasoning for the union’s management when it discusses IT investments.
The union has seen fit to retain a multichannel approach in its member services. The union has been using digital customer service for seven years now, but the customer service team can also be contacted by conventional telephone. Some members want to talk to real people, and it is easier to handle complex issues over the phone. Previously, members could call any of the union’s experts directly, but now the customer service team tries to resolve issues itself first. If a question requires an expert opinion – for example, from a lawyer – the call is forwarded to the appropriate person. A feedback system will be deployed next year – the content is currently in the specification phase.
The union also utilises marketing automation, which enables it to remain in closer, more frequent contact with its members. For example, new members are sent regular emails containing information packages on the services and benefits.
In the future, it will be possible to provide members with real-time information on their use of the union’s services on a timeline stretching a few years, as well as the statuses of pending cases. For example, it will be easy to check on the progress of a long-term legal case, which may end up taking several years. When members can access their own information at any time, the union’s operations are more modern and transparent.
Digia helps to ensure the effective use of licences
Accountor Enterprise Solutions, which is now owned by Digia, had supplied the Union of Professional Engineers in Finland with its previous Microsoft solution, so it was logical to continue working with the same partner.
“Digia has strong knowledge and competence with this solution, so we can rely on the system. Digia knows our business, so they can also support us when we develop our systems,” says Malinen, a satisfied customer.
In order to maximise the benefit realised from the purchased licences, it is important for customers to have licences in the correct types and quantities. In Malinen’s opinion, it is good that the licences were acquired from the same source as the system.
“Digia has the best understanding of which licences we need, and it has kept us actively informed of the benefits of the licenses.”
Approximately half of the personnel have been trained to use the system, including the employees responsible for customer service, the member register, lawyers and employment representatives, who conduct negotiations and have knowledge of employment issues.
Timetables have a tendency of giving people grey hairs in organisations, not least in IT departments.
“The system modernisation took six months, and everything went according to schedule – quite rare for an IT project,” says Malinen.
“It also kept to the budget. Naturally, there were some minor challenges related to the data, but we were able to overcome them thanks to our expert IT team and the support we received from Digia. A good partnership makes our work easier, and there is plenty of work to do: IT development is an ongoing task, which is never fully completed – we constantly need to operate dynamically and proactively.”
Kari Malinen says that Digia is good to work with, and he has nothing negative to say. The IT personnel at the Union of Professional Engineers in Finland can always reach out to Digia’s people whenever they need to, and the union can count on the system. The Union of Professional Engineers in Finland has an ongoing service agreement with Digia, involving support and development by Digia.
The Union of Professional Engineers in Finland and Digia are also involved in a collaborative group known as the Round Table. The group also includes Finnish Business School Graduates, the Union of Sales and Marketing Professionals, the Association of Finnish Lawyers and the Federation of Finnish Enterprises. In this collaboration, Digia’s role is to disseminate best practices system expertise and solution proposals between the unions so that they do not need to reinvent the wheel.