In this two-part blog series, we’ll explore the technology that is revolutionising customer service delivery in government. In our first installment, we examine the technology transformation from the perspective of back-office processes.
Nancy: The American Birkebeiner Ski Race is North America's largest cross country ski race. Since the inception of the American Birkebeiner, we call it the Birkie, over a quarter of a million skiers have participated in Birkie Week ski races.
Ben: Well the Birkie started out as a ski event and it evolved into much more. Now not only was it just one ski event, it was now a bike event and a running event.
Kristy: Someone that's living a Birkie lifestyle loves to be outdoors, being active, running, skiing, biking, doing all things that you can have fun with out on the trail.
Colleen: You can't live here and not know what it is and know what it's about.
Ben: Hayward and Cable are these tiny, sleepy, little towns in northern Wisconsin. Collectively they have about 2800 people in them on a normal day. When you're going to host an event of over 10,000 people, the data oftentimes can be one of the most difficult, stressful components of it. So as we were looking for a database solution, Dynamics 365 quickly became the front runner.
Kristy: American Birkebeiner needed CRM for Dynamics 365 so we could utilize our data in better ways. Prior to CRM, American Birkebeiner data was stored in a very simple spreadsheet, and it wasn't very usable or searchable. So by putting it into CRM, we can perform a lot more queries on our data and get more information out of it.
Ben: And PowerObjects was very good about taking us step-by-step through the process. The level of customization that PowerPacks, PowerSuccess, they were going to allow us to have a solution that we knew was going to provide everything that we needed.
Kristy: Our PowerSuccess Engineer is definitely dedicated to seeing Birkie succeed. He's attended some of our events so he really knows how we need to use the data and what we use it for. He knows our system in and out, and is always there ready to answer any questions. PowerPacks have been very helpful for us. These PowerPacks make it very easy for us to integrate with different software platforms.
Colleen: I use PowerGlobalSearch probably most of the time because it has everything in it, the event order, the waves. It has all the inactive information that I can pull up from the previous years. If I didn't have PowerGlobalSearch, I'd be using a number of different spreadsheets or programs.
Nancy: I use PowerMailChimp nearly every day in my work. It's the main tool that I use to communicate with our sponsors, our participants, our vendors, and our volunteers.
Ben: One of the strong points that we have as an event organization is that we have a really streamlined registration process.
Kristy: Once someone registers on the Birkie website, the information then comes into our CRM as an event order. From the event order, then a registration participant record is created.
Colleen: I assign the wave placements at that time. PowerObjects helped us development an algorithm that's set up in CRM. This algorithm looks at the previous three years' races and places the participants in the wave they should be based on those three years' results.
Kristy: We just needed to implement a way on our website to have people change their addresses and email addresses, so our PowerSuccess Engineer recommended installing PowerWebForm.
Colleen: CRM for Dynamics 365 is one of the most integrated systems I've ever worked with. Other systems I've worked with in the past weren't always a one-stop-shop.
Kristy: Having our information in the cloud is very important. Our race starts and finishes in different spots so it's very important to be able to be on the road, and in different locations, and be able to reach CRM.
Ben: The thing about CRM and Dynamics 365 as a platform, it allows us to organize all of our processes. It's given us a tool that has really helped us expand.
Kristy: It's been a very useful tool to make sure that we are really engaged with our participants.
Ben: I think PowerObjects is thought leader in the Dynamics 365 community. The expertise they bring, the confidence they bring, and the support they bring is something that allows us, as an organization, to grow.