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MS Access Membership (CRM) Database Conversion
The Problem:
A national plant society and public garden had a membership database originally developed using Microsoft Access. The organization maintained its records on a combination of the Access database and a variety of spreadsheets maintained on different computers. The Access database resided on a single computer so the person assigned to the computer was required to stop her daily work whenever someone else required database access. The database reporting was cumbersome and required regular investment to pay for a consultant who developed new reports and performed maintenance functions. The organization wanted to add new functionality to track new types of information as the organization grew and changed and wanted a single application with more robust reporting that was remotely accessible from various locations.

The Solution:
In order to minimize disruption to the organization we designed a simple workgroup productivity software application based on the data contained in the original database. We started by exporting data from the existing Access database into spreadsheets and used the “import” function in QuickBase to create new tables with the original data and data fields. 

 We then added new fields and linked the tables together using the system’s point-and-click table relationship builder. The advantage of this approach was that the system automatically generated a number of pre-built reports that provided management with a comprehensive view of membership information. 

As the final step in the project we created new tables for tracking information that was contained on a number of separate spreadsheets and imported the data from those sheets into the new integrated solution.

 The result is a system that can be accessed by staff from any computer and by members of the board of directors from anywhere in the country.

MS SQL Server Membership (CRM) Database Conversion
The Problem:
A membership-based non-profit organization was using a SQL Server-based application for tracking members and related information. The solution was one of a typical type  “off-the-shelf” solution available to non-profits. The solution could not be customized so, as often happens, the organization was left trying to use various fields for things they were not intended for and was unable to obtain the type of reporting they desired. Further, the system ran on an older PC-based operating system on a single computer. The organization had migrated to become an “all Apple” environment and wanted a solution that could be accessed from any computer in the office. Further, they wanted to minimize system maintenance costs.

The Solution:
We started by exporting their current data from the original system in spreadsheet format. We then imported it into a new, simple workgroup productivity software application based on the data contained in the original database. After adding and changing various fields we incorporated a number of new functions easily from modules in pre-built non-profit software from Crystal Bay that we had licensed to the organization. The last step was to add new reporting to focus on exactly the type of information they required from the system. A core advantage of the system was that members of the board of directors could be given access to the system for searching and updating contact information for members for which they had relationship management responsibility. Following implementation the organization was able to develop a companion solution for managing certain fundraising events during the year.

National Database Solution for a Non-profit Trade Association
The Problem:
A national, early-stage non-profit trade association needed an online database of member organizations as part of the process of attracting new members. The database would be accessible by a variety of constituents who would use it to compile national service statistics as well as to access the services of the member organizations. The association had a preliminary list of members with a core set of data but had not been able to agree on the platform or cost for developing a database. The organization was operating on a very tight budget during the early growth stage and wanted to have a system that new members could access over the internet for automated signup

The Solution:
Using the data import functionality in QuickBase we were able to import the association’s existing data and create a new application with the standardized reporting built into QuickBase. Over time we were able to add additional tables and functionality in order to expand the system to cover all anticipated information that the member organizations might submit. Using the initial database, the association was able to approach prospective members more easily to obtain the additional data to increase the utility of the system. A critical advantage in attracting new members will be the capability in QuickBase to develop different types of reports to accommodate each agency’s information requests.

Student and Class Scheduling Application for a School
The Problem:
A small school was using a MS Access database for tracking students, scheduling classes and managing donations. The database had become badly corrupted over the years as various consultants and internal users tried to modify it and develop new reporting. They also wanted to have the capability of expanding the system to manage volunteer activities and enable volunteer time tracking.

The Solution:
We were able to design a simple workgroup productivity software application based on the fields in the existing application so that data could be migrated easily from the MS Access application. The estimated cost of the project was one third of the cost of implementing their original MS Access application and offered the school with the additional benefit of significantly lower maintenance cost using the QuickBase online platform.

Event Management Application
The Problem:
A small non-profit with a small staff required a simple workgroup productivity software application that they could use to track the activities associated with their annual gala and live auction. They wanted to be able to have automated notification of changes and updates and color-coded reporting to help management focus easily on the activities that were off track. The organization was operating on a very tight budget.

The Solution:
We were able to create a very simple, lean project and task tracking solution with just the fields that they would need for managing the various activities. The project manager was able to access the system from her home-office and the Executive Director was able to receive automated notification of changes and updates and could track progress by logging into the system remotely without having lengthy staff meetings to review and communicate information that could be conveyed in a much more efficient manner.

Loan Management Solution for a “Micro-finance” Non-profit
The Problem:
A startup non-profit focused on providing various types of loans to low income clients required a simple solution to enable clients and “partners” to post loan applications over the Internet, to enable the agency to add additional information related to loan approvals, to enable tracking of loan payments and to enable automated notifications. The managers of the non-profit all worked in different locations, and it was essential that they have an online solution to permit remote access as well as to minimize the cost of hardware and system maintenance. Their original system consisted of an emailed posting of a static web-based application form and a number of spreadsheets used to track client, loan and payment information.

The Solution:
Based on the required data incorporated in the spreadsheets we were able to design a simple workgroup productivity software application that afforded internet access to remote users and provided the ability to have the relevant portions of the application form publicly available on the organization’s website when they reached that stage of growth. The solution integrated all the functions that were previously maintained separately and provided robust reporting, tracking and summarization of payment information. It also provided the organization with the ability to develop anonymous reporting based on demographic data provided by the loan applicants. This form of reporting will provide the organization with a more powerful case statement to attract future grant funding.

Strategy Execution Management
The Problem:
A number of our client corporations and non-profit organizations that have used our affiliated consulting services for strategy execution have found that they want to have a simple process for embedding disciplined execution tracking processes into their organizational culture. Generally, only the largest organizations have been able to afford the sophisticated, and often customized, performance management software necessary to embed effective project and strategy execution management. For years managers have been looking for ways to implement effective exception-based management techniques across the organization. Doing so has not been affordable. Furthermore, most organizations, especially non-profit organizations, all too frequently create strategic plans that languish for lack of efficient and effective ways to track implementation.

The Solution:
Using QuickBase, we have developed a simple workgroup productivity software application that can be customized very easily for use by organizations of varying level of sophistication. The application enables tracking of strategy from strategic goals through programs, projects and related tasks. Managers assign responsibilities, budgets, timelines and outcomes measures and are able to generate a wide variety of color-coded reports to show project status, timelines and variances from budget and due dates. Managers can easily extend the solution to include automated performance management processes and can then have their employee’s assigned tasks related directly to prioritized strategic goals. The result is better alignment and a clear understanding of project status and priorities across the organization and vertically up to the board level.

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