St John Ambulance

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St John Ambulance

Business needs

Founded in 1877, St John Ambulance is the charity that steps forward in the moments that matter to save lives and support communities. Its highly trained volunteers keep people safe at events nationwide, springing into action to help with medical incidents and emergencies. The organisation also helps the NHS by responding to some 999 calls, as well as transporting patients safely. And every year around 500,000 people, including children and young people, learn how to save a life through its first aid training in communities and workplaces.

Each week, the customer service department at St John Ambulance receives around 5,000 incoming e-mails from customers—requests for information, bookings for first aid courses, workplace safety courses, and orders for the replenishment of first aid supplies.

And traditionally, explains Simon Wyatt, St John Ambulance project manager, these e-mails had been routed manually to the appropriate teams and individuals within St John Ambulance’s 60-strong customer service function.

“Basically, we were ‘eyeballing’ every single incoming e-mail, and manually forwarding it to the right person,” he recalls. “There had to be a better way.”

Challenge

But what, precisely? As an organisation, St John Ambulance had tended to standardise on the Microsoft technology stack, although it had yet to make the move to a full-blown ERP system.

And so, relates Wyatt, in April 2017 St John Ambulance reached out to Microsoft asking for recommendations regarding prospective partners who could help in identifying and implementing an appropriate solution.

“We’d already reached the conclusion that it was likely that we were talking about a solution in the shape of CRM system, and that a likely outcome might be Microsoft Dynamics CRM,” he explains. “The challenge lay in constructing and configuring a system that would maximise the benefits that we could extract from the investment.”

Seven prospective partners had initially responded to the initial request from St John Ambulance. Over the summer, their responses were evaluated and a shortlist of three prospective partners identified. By late September, a decision had emerged: the solution would be Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, implemented and configured by eBECS.

Why eBECS?

There wasn’t a single over-arching reason for selecting eBECS, explains Wyatt. Instead, he adds, eBECS simply out-scored the other prospective partners on a cross-section of comparison metrics.

“We liked the thoroughness and accuracy of eBECS’ responses, we were impressed by the calibre and responsiveness of the eBECS individuals who we met, and we were reassured and impressed by their ability to describe to us how Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM would work with the rest of our IT infrastructure,” he sums up. “On the attributes that we were looking at, eBECS scored consistently highly.”

Solution

The project began in the autumn of 2017 with a discovery and planning workshop, with the eBECS team working with St John Ambulance stakeholders to first of all flesh out a detailed specification, and then construct an implementation timetable.

“As an implementation approach, we found this two-stage process to be incredibly useful,” says Wyatt. “Not only did it serve as a confidence-building exercise, but it resulted in the delivery of a detailed specification that nailed down the scope and cost of the project. We could see, demonstrated for us, a rough solution that would give us an idea of the ‘look and feel’ of the end solution, and at the same time we knew exactly what it would cost to put it in place.”

By design, the system was to be simple and robust, aiming to deliver solid functionality from out-of-the-box Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM capabilities—an objective that minimised risk and cost, while still delivering a highly visible system that would have a significant impact on the organisation.

The contract for the final delivery of the project was signed in January 2018, and the new system subsequently went live in June 2018.

Benefits

The benefits quickly became apparent, and are widely recognised by the users themselves, says Wyatt.

“Obviously, we’re saving a lot of time by not having to sort and allocate all our incoming e-mails. But there’s also more control: all our customer contact is in one place, rather than in different in-boxes, and it’s possible to quickly see the status of a case at a glance,” he explains. “Consequently, there’s better case ownership, and it’s possible to readily identify who has ‘touched’ a case, and what they have done. So there’s a lot more accountability.”

Reporting has also been transformed, with real-time reports and dashboards proving instant insight into service levels, case loads, and response times.

“The benefits couldn’t be clearer,” he sums up. “Much higher efficiencies, better control—and a transformed customer experience.”

Solution overview

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St John Ambulance is the charity that steps forward in the moments that matter to save lives and support communities. Its highly trained volunteers keep people safe at events nationwide, springing into action to help with medical incidents and emergencies. The organisation also helps the NHS by responding to some 999 calls, as well as transporting patients safely
eBECS
CRM
Not for profit
UK

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