Federated Farmers provide a range of services and a powerful lobbying voice for farmers and rural families throughout New Zealand. Federated Farmers uses Sage integrated with Sage 300 to manage subscriptions and queries for its 18,000 members, providing the robust back-end system allowing it to focus on lobbying and better serving member interests.
"The integration of our systems has been fundamental as previously there was a lot of manual data entry.”
Run by 75 employees and hundreds of volunteers across New Zealand, it was imperative that Federated Farmers was able to closely monitor and balance the needs of its members. This required a complete view of all transactions, communications and payments, with rich reporting functionality and the ability to tailor services to member needs.
To eliminate manual data entry and automate processes, the decision was taken to integrate Sage CRM with Sage 300. Inputting data into one system will automatically feed into the other, creating a database of member details that is always accurate and up to date.
Sage CRM and Sage 300 facilitate an end-to-end process for subscriptions, invoicing and managing member queries. Now used by 50 staff throughout New Zealand, Sage underpins the majority of business operations, recording membership details and billing information. It also provides a repository for regional and statistical data that helps with its work.
With integrated Sage systems, Federated Farmers was able embark on a long-standing plan to re-engineer its billing processes. One of the reasons for the upgrade was to introduce a system of pro forma invoicing to tidy up its balance sheet. In a typical month over 12,000 invoices could be sent out, a process that has become much more streamlined with the introduction of Sage software. Renewals are automatically generated; orders are produced and invoices matched against receipts. All interactions between staff and members become a matter of record, captured in Sage CRM.
A big challenge for Federated Farmers was attracting new members during the recent recession. Recruiters were hired to promote the organisation to prospective members. Sage CRM played a pivotal role in lead management. Prospects were recorded remotely by the recruiters and then assigned to the internal membership team for follow up.
On top of the efficiency gains, the revamped and integrated system gives it richer insights into its finances at any given point in time. Underpinning all its activity is a more accurate source of data. “The system automatically runs processes that update Sage CRM at the same time the data is entered into Sage 300 and vice versa,” explained Gillian Bright, Administrative Services Manager.