The Scottish Ornithologists’ Club (SOC)

Earlier in the year SOC were looking to switch a membership database from MS Access to a CRM system.  They had been researching options but felt they would benefit from some technical advice in terms of CRM software and applied for a Tech Surgery.  CITA volunteer, John, talked with the charity to get a clear idea of their current technology set up before outlining key elements which needed to be considered when making changes.  The discussion included software type, creating a requirements specification, data migration and project resourcing.

More recently the charity were looking for support as they considered tenders for a new website and applied for an IT Consultancy from CITA. The scope of the review was to identify any significant differences between the two tenders (with an emphasis on the technical aspects), review the proposed costs and advise on any potential for lowering those costs, identify any instances where more information was required from the bidders and identify any requirements missing from the invitation to tender.

How did CITA help?

“I was initially sceptical when a colleague suggested involving an external party in our deliberations regarding which company to appoint to re-design our public website. I was concerned that the individual wouldn’t have the time and perhaps incentive to consider the decision as carefully and thoroughly as we had internally. However without the necessary knowledge and technical know-how, I was struggling to compare and contrast the tenders, and felt I was a long away off from making an informed decision about who to appoint. I needn’t have fretted – John was a terrific help and the service provided way exceeded my expectations!

With only a small team and limited resources, the speed at which John managed to grasp our objectives and the position we wanted to get to at the end of the consultation was a huge relief as it meant I didn’t have to spend a lot of time explaining the background to the project. John quickly and ably got to work reviewing my tender document, comparing the final two tender agreements received, highlighted any concerns or things to look out for across the agreements and very helpfully, provided us with a summary of these action points and list of things to be mindful of as we look to sign a contract with our chosen company.”

What difference did CITA’s support make?

“In terms of saving us money, I have no doubt that we would have ended up having to pay for external consultancy in order to help us with our decision making if we had not found CITA. And importantly, the expert advice that we have received has provided us with confidence that the money that we have finally committed to spending on our chosen service providers (CRM software and website developer) will be money well spent.

John’s efforts were exceptional and I am so grateful to him for his assistance. We could not have felt in safer hands. Thank you very much indeed.”