DPT is proud to support our West Michigan Veterans through sponsoring an event benefiting Folds of Honor, especially a week before Independence Day, for which so many have sacrificed for us to continue to enjoy. Folds of Honor has a tremendous mission to provide educational support to spouses and children of America’s fallen and wounded soldiers.
This year was West Michigan’s 1st Annual Patriot Golf Tournament at Sunnybrook Country Club. DPT’s Jack Kelly, Amy Flick, Henry Morley, and James Reinhardt participated in the tournament put on by a host of volunteers and organizer Brad Laackman. What a great time had by all, supporting a great organization and cause!
Jack Kelly probably shot the longest drive of his life – one of the most unusual features of an event based on supporting our military was the ability, under close supervision, to “drive” a golf ball from a rifle. Here’s the mark that was left on the ball after its 360 yard firing:
DPT is not only happy to support a great patriotic cause, but this is also part of our broader core values of community involvement. We have supported a number of local organizations, ranging from Bethany Christian Services, to Grand Rapids Active Commute Week. If you’d like to learn more about that, please visit our Community Involvement page.
If you’re interested in donating to Folds of Honor, please go to www.foldsofhonor.org
My wife Julie and I are both West Michigan natives with a passion for family and community. Our two sons, Caleb and Hunter, both attend Grandville schools and are involved in extracurricular activities from cycling to robotics. We are firmly rooted in the community and value our family and friendships that we have established over the years.
In business, I have been fortunate enough to experience tremendous growth throughout my career while working for great companies. These companies have ranged from small to large, which has provided me great insight into cultural assimilation, methodologies, practices and ultimately leadership. My roles within these companies have ranged from technical, to project leadership, to my most previous role as Chief Operating Officer.
As with all career decisions, I thoughtfully considered DPT after partnering with the company and developing a strong relationship with the leadership team. Following several months of dialogue, it was evident that the vision of DPT was closely aligned with my values, core competencies and ultimately my professional vision. In having met several DPT clients before coming on board, the client relationship focus and value was evident, adding icing to the proverbial cake.
I am looking forward to coupling my experience with the professional powerhouse of analysts and technical architects DPT has on staff. I believe in today’s technology world, there are significant opportunities for DPT to add tremendous value to the existing portfolio, ranging from business intelligence to field services. Ultimately, it seems natural to add additional data driven applications, analytics and clean data to the Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Process Management (BPM) and Project Leadership (PL) practices DPT has today.
When considering the growth of data over the past several years, DPT has the ability to help the market bring even more meaning to this data. It is estimated that 1.7mb of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet by 2020. It is also estimated that more data has been created in the past two years than in the entire previous history of the human race. These statistics among many similar statistics surrounding data were of interest to me as a business leader and are of equal interest in helping drive clean and meaningful data for our clients. As the saying goes, “knowledge is power” and I am looking forward to getting this knowledge into our client’s hands.
I am excited to bring my leadership ability in business and technology as well as my strong partner and client focus to DPT.
Have you heard of the CRM Death Spiral? Maybe you’ve experienced it. Over time, people stop using CRM because it doesn’t work for them, the data isn’t meaningful, and they don’t have the training and processes in place to know when and how to use it. So they gradually stop keeping it up to date. When this happens, the reliability and usability of the data decreases even more, which leads to less confidence in the CRM solution, which leads to less use of the solution… and the cycle continues.
If you want to get your CRM back on track, or are wondering how to get started with CRM the right way, here’s a look at the top five CRM success factors to help you avoid the Death Spiral:
CRM strategies are more likely to fail if compelling reasons for adoption aren’t provided to all users. For example, most sales people believe CRM is “big brother software” instead of a solution to help maximize their selling time and close more deals. Proper CRM strategic planning and design should provide obvious and clear value to the end users – to be more efficient and effective, AND to management – to enable better decision making.
Many CRM projects that fail are driven by a “load the software, train the users, and we are done” mentality, which severely limits chances for success. This approach ignores the potential for users to revert back to past practices. Successful CRM takes a comprehensive approach that promotes user adoption, best practices, and continuous improvement.
Selecting a software package first will lead most CRM projects right to failure. Likewise, defining processes and functionality before aligning the strategic drivers and measurements will also lower success rates. The proper sequencing of business strategy alignment, process standardization, requirements definition and tool selection is a key factor in determining success.
“What gets measured gets done.” This philosophy applies to CRM via management of sales (close ratios), marketing (campaign ROI), and customer service (resolution efficiency). Without an accurate compass CRM projects can drift away from what is truly important. Properly tied to business drivers, metrics are the necessary feedback component that drives improvement.
Scope control is important. Well-intentioned projects can go awry with trying to take on the world or focusing too narrowly on a small piece of functionality. Use of proven Project Leadership techniques for effective scope, stakeholder, and resource management will increase the odds of success with CRM.
I am very excited to be a part of the DPT team where so much of my education and experiences come together to better serve our customers. One could call my education and career path downright eclectic. With a technical background in computers and advanced degrees in intercultural studies and counseling one could wonder what common denominator they share: Each of them, at their core, are people and solution-focused. The same can be said about DPT. I am encouraged that DPT puts their focus on the customer and problem-solving first, and when necessary, using technology as part of the solution. Taking the time to listen to the clients’ issues and problems in order to thoughtfully resolve them is a key strength of the DPT team and one that attracted me to join them.
As a Michigan native, I have lived in the Greater Grand Rapids area for over 25 years and thoroughly enjoy the variety the area offers. From great entertainment venues and restaurants to the many parks and hiking trails in the area, don’t be surprised if you spot me at a favourite restaurant catching up with friends or taking a walk at a local park with one of my canine roommates. Filled with some of the most giving and gracious people, West Michigan is a great place to live and work. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of a company that believes in building strong relationships with a focus on local companies.
Were your fundraising events successful? If you’re like most nonprofits, your initial reaction would be to put those funds directly into your client services. While this is a great way to support your mission, this routine needs to be balanced with investing in organizational improvements that will streamline your nonprofit operations and ultimately, advance your mission to reach more people. Thinking more like a for-profit business can help you make solid investment decisions.
It's about more than just communication preferences and data you're already collecting. Watch a 90 second video to learn how to leverage CRM and CRM processes to provide additional value to your customers through better marketing strategies, service strategies, and all other customer touchpoints:
In our previous we outlined four areas in which a nonprofit can benefit by leveraging for-profit business strategies and tactics. One of those areas is specific to honing your mission and adjusting your marketing strategies to align with new social enterprise models.
With the advent of benefit corporations that are for-profit but include a positive impact on society, and the growth of philanthropic foundations funded by for profit companies, the lines between nonprofit and for-profit entities are continuing to blur. Nonprofits have more competition than they’ve ever had and it’s not just other nonprofits.
You’ve probably seen examples of nonprofits expanding their mission across other business ventures – whether through opening a thrift shop, or being set up as a division of a for-profit corporate umbrella (Amway, Kellogg, and Wege Foundations among others). Some nonprofits are even beginning to invest like venture capitalists – funding startups and publicly traded companies in an effort to bring a life-changing product to market faster. [For more information, please see Fortune Magazine: "Charities Are Making Big Money by Acting Like VCs"]
Another example of new competition is for-profit companies becoming B Corps (Benefit Corporations). The benefits of becoming a B Corp are around sustainability. They are certified to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency [www.bcorporation.net]. Using their prowess in manufacturing and industry, these corporations are working to solve social problems, if not necessarily “missions.” While missions serve individual people, social responsibility and sustainability are becoming part of the nonprofit spectrum while having a hand in the for-profit world because of the inherent benefits of creating more sustainable businesses.
For most nonprofits, it’s important to stay focused on your mission and deliver exceptional and efficient services. For-profits can leverage their skills and abilities and apply them to sustainable and social objectives, but nonprofits need to learn from and adopt those same for-profit skills to hone their mission, gain efficiencies, and focus on the right metrics and benchmarks.
For example, more nonprofits should leverage sales and pipeline management techniques to drive their development efforts. This could include standardized donation processes, donor nurture campaigns, discipline around project execution, and managing and monitoring closing ratios. Another good example is implementing customer service best practices such as leveraging internal knowledge bases, utilizing voice of the customer surveys, and effectively measuring service delivery in order to report on directed donations.
DPT’s third year of sponsorship for THE Project included presentations from 15 teams and 11 schools. The students were polished, enthusiastic, and engaging as they addressed the problem of improving the affordability of higher education in Michigan. Keynote speaker, Lt. Governor Brian Calley, kicked off the awards presentation by talking about the importance of making college more affordable and keeping talent in Michigan, saying “Talent is the currency for economic development.” He concluded with a call for employers to hire disabled Americans (click to learn more).
DPT’s Henry Morley addresses the student teams
Michigan ranks 45th in the Country in terms of Higher Education affordability for its residents. Michigan student loan debt is growing at an alarming rate and ranks tenth highest (as of a 2012 study). We spend a little more than half the amount on education as the national average per state. Lastly, state governmental support for higher education has been cut since the recession. Things are in rough shape and we need a plan to fix it all. As part of THE Project 2015, the student teams put a project together to resolve this situation. Read more on THE Project website.
Congrats to the Cornerstone University team – 2015 winners of THE Project! The winning team had a creative self-funding solution and was engaging, enthusiastic and professional in their presentation.
The winning team from Cornerstone University pictured with Lt. Governor Brian Calley – Madison Drew, Nathan Mahoney, James Hardman, Brad Orr, Julia Martin
As a local partner to many Michigan-based organizations, DPT is proud to support this event that focuses on improving higher education in Michigan – ultimately making Michigan residents more employable and productive, creating a better economy for everyone in our community. As a part of the event, we also participated in THE Project’s annual Reverse Career Fair where businesses could interview participating students for internships and other employment opportunities. For more information, please contact THEProject@wmpmi.org
In a previous blog post we outlined a number of areas in which a nonprofit can benefit by leveraging for-profit business strategies and tactics. One of those areas is looking at the concept of investment versus costs. Many nonprofits focus on driving down administrative costs, thinking of it as “overhead” instead of an investment that will drive future growth and greater impact in your community. Investing in efficient processes and systems can help you generate more donations, provide more services, and ultimately help more people. The “how” might be different than a for-profit business, but the concept of measuring the value generated from your efforts and investments in these areas is still a worthwhile activity.
While driving down nonprofit administrative costs is often internal, that perception is also heavily driven by demanding donors and foundations. Websites such as www.GuideStar.org and www.give.org give readily-accessible information about the percentage of nonprofit income dedicated to fundraising and administrative costs, in comparison with the funds allocated to programs and service delivery. Because donors are demanding to know the numbers, you need to be able to defend the value in investing in marketing, process efficiency, and operational improvement projects to ultimately help more people. Just like in the for-profit world, it’s all about getting a return on that investment.
A great example from the for-profit world is looking at marketing return on investment (ROI). They understand that a dollar invested in marketing services, should drive three times that amount back in sales. Similarly, for-profit businesses regularly invest in information systems to support operational efficiency. As a nonprofit, thinking more about the efficiency of your operational and client delivery processes can free up time and potential dollars to provide additional services. If you can be ten percent more efficient, then you have ten percent more to invest in helping more people.
Develop a business case. Nonprofits typically think in terms of lowering their ratio of admin costs to service delivery dollars, instead of investing funds strategically to drive even more donations. Instead of making decisions off the cuff, developing a business case is a valuable for-profit technique that nonprofits should leverage. Develop a solid business case, involve a comparison of both benefits and costs, and align decision making around investment instead of just cost.
Whether its spending time and money on fundraising, marketing, or improving the operational side of your nonprofit, basing your decisions on return on investment will help you fulfill your mission and provide more services, ultimately, helping more people.
If you have questions about developing a business case, we’re here to help. Please get in touch to learn more.
Reflecting on 2014, you find yourself satisfied that your team had a pretty successful year. As the leader accountable for operations, your team was able to deliver on all of the promises the sales team laid out in the market. However, there were costs… stress, tension, resource attrition, overworked staff and occasional customer service issues. Looking forward, the sales goals for 2015 are higher yet and have you wondering if your team is prepared to deliver on the new wave of sales promises that are sure to come. How will you manage resources to balance fulfillment and operating efficiency goals? If this describes you, here is the first of five key focus areas that may affect your success rate in 2015.
The sales team and operations team must have aligned goals. This seems simple enough, but a key impediment to successful sales/operations synergy is the existence of unintended conflicts. These conflicts are created by misaligned metrics, goals, incentive plans, performance measurements and job design responsibilities. The best case scenario is to have a clear set of goals that are aligned from the organizational level down to the primary process roles on both teams. This makes it easy for each person to understand how their work contributes to the success of their team, the other teams, and the organization as a whole.
This does not mean that all goals are team based nor are they identical. However, they must all “fit together” and not drive contradictory activities. Additionally, goal sets provide an important lever to complement the leader’s coaching effort to align actions across teams.
Download the rest of the article to discover four more focus areas for success in 2015. Click the image below to get it now!