Ford Health's CRM gets tick of approval

Health provider rejects Microsoft in favour of proven solution.

When its CRM system maxed out after six years of service, it was time for Ford Health to give it a check up.

Not only had its system grown old, but the company itself had also grown. The original four staff at the Brisbane headquarters has increased to 50 and spread to Sydney and Melbourne.

Ford Health provides health services to those in the corporate world. It's focus is on prevention rather than cure, where customers would typically come in for a comprehensive health assessment.

Its CRM was used by staff in administration, sales and service delivery, which includes doctors, psychologists, nutritionists and nurses. Irrespective of where the users were, they all hooked back into the same system, housed in Brisbane.

Ford Health was using FrontRange's GoldMine SE product. The company's IT manager, Daiken Pacey, said GoldMine was able to hold multiple databases, which was important to Ford Health.

"For a company that has a service delivery side, we needed our sales department to be split from call centre and medical because we cant have sales people looking at client information. GoldMine gave us that split database system.- we created two databases into our SQL server and we have them individually accessed," he said.

"SE worked extremely well. It had one drawback: it was based on a Borland database and could only hold 2GB of data. About 12 months ago we hit over 2 gig, so we have been archiving data into separate databases for over 12 months and we have been looking to go to a different software package.

Pacey said Ford Health decided on FrontRange's newer PE version after looking "closely" at Microsoft's CRM package

"GoldMine had key factors of why we decided to stay with it. And that is user friendliness -- the fact that it stays with a Microsoft look (GoldMine has an MS Outlook-like GUI] was a plus. But GoldMine could do so many other interfaces that we found Microsoft CRM would either lack or was a little bit too buggy for our needs. That's essentially why we choose GoldMine PE."

Ford Health flicked on the new system several months ago. The switch over from old to new took a weekend and passed without a hitch - much to Pacey's surprise

Pacey said running SQL reports is a much easier task now. "I don't need to tweak the system just to get a user to run a report. (used to crash the system)"

He said integrating third party software, such as the MYOB accounting package is also a lot easier with this version." It is going to be a real blessing on my part."

Ford Health will also look at a mobile solution and may also investigate incorporating VoIP into the new CRM.

Did he still hear from Microsoft sales staff about its CRM package? "Absolutely. This morning I had a MS guy on the phone."

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