The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)

Constantly improving member engagement across the world is the ACU’s top priority, so changing their CRM system is vital. The current system is hindering their development and inhibiting their ability to engage effectively with their members.  Doing this with a view on the whole organisation was a daunting task and one that they wanted to ensure that they got 100% right.  They were referred to Chrysalis Digital, who partnered with them to help throughout the planning and tendering process.

The ACU needed to evolve to a CRM system that could be used as a business tool, designed from the ground up with their business requirements at the heart. The current tool was cumbersome, it was only used as a member database and not in a consistent manner. Employees just didn’t see it as adding value to the organisation.

“Today a very simple information request can take hours, accessing multiple systems and then creating manual reports.  We are relying on the experience and institutional knowledge of the individuals in the team to compile any sort of report.  This is just not a good use of people resource” Liberty Oberlander – Head of Membership.

Chrysalis Digital conducted a full review of their current systems and business processes, using this, they created a report recommending the next steps and course of action to ensure that the ACU had a full understanding of what they needed and why.  The report was created using input across the business so that the ACU had a complete picture.

It was clear from this assessment that a new CRM system should be coupled with a new website.  The current website was not integrated into any systems and was sitting on an infrastructure that was no longer going to be developed or supported – opening them up to a big risk.  The website should be the workhorse of the organisation, currently, it was an inflexible tool that was built to reflect their internal structures.

Now was the time to move!

Chrysalis Digital helped the ACU build the business case for the change, using detailed business requirements, this was presented to the board and given the go-ahead. This approach ensures that there is a clear understanding of all the business needs across the organisation and avoids changing the requirements once you have started the project.

Once this process was complete Chrysalis Digital were able to work in partnership with the ACU to drive the tender process.  Having a full list of the business requirements ensured that Ben, from Chrysalis Digital, was able to tailor every question in the tender to align to their needs ensuring suppliers had a clear understanding of the requirements.

“Ben has expertly advised the ACU on the complex requirements for our website and CRM, he has provided us with an achievable plan to take us to the next stage of our digital engagement strategy.  He has also been a great support in resolving existing technical issues with our current systems.  He wears his expertise lightly and is very good at finding solutions and explaining technical issues to laypeople!” Liberty Oberlander – Head of Membership.

The team at the ACU know that ensuring the employees understand the benefits these changes will bring is critical to its success.  The current system has created a negative opinion; therefore, they are working on a rigorous change management programme aligned to the new rollout. This is designed to ensure that every employee understands the importance of the new CRM system and the value it can bring both to the members and them – complex/manual engagement reports will be a thing of the past!

The tender process is complete, suppliers selected, the goal is to roll out the CMS system in early 2019 aligned with rebrand activity, the CRM will follow later in 2019.

Chrysalis Digital provides a digital transformation service designed to help build a more agile, efficient and innovative organisation. With its broad cross-sector experience Chrysalis has helped many organisations map their digital path and through careful planning and assessment, choose the right technology partners.   Chrysalis Digital is 100% agnostic when recommending CMS and CRM suppliers to its clients.

If you need any help with the next steps in your journey, please call Ben Sturt on 07469 768990 or email