Sometimes, our stories can best be told through our clients’ eyes. Here, Old Town IT shares some of our most interesting projects and how we turned challenges into successes for our clients.
Client: The American Speech Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the professional, scientific, and credentialing association for audiologists, speech-language pathologists and speech, language, and hearing scientists. It has 140,000 members and affiliates.
Challenges: ASHA processes 140,000 dues renewals annually, most occurring within a 10-week period. A seamless deployment of the new system was critical to implementing this strategically important application.
- The legacy application did not interface directly with netFORUM or allow for real-time processing.
- ASHA was missing the opportunity to gather key demographic data during this interaction with its members.
- ASHA needed a more streamlined, intuitive means for members to make online contributions or donations.
Approach: Over a four-month timeframe (from discovery to implementation), Old Town IT developed the Online Dues Renewal (ODR) application using eWeb, netFORUM’s CMS/Web application toolkit. Old Town IT staff worked with ASHA to test 170 case studies or scenarios of the renewal process, taking into account new functionality for demographic survey and additional payment options.
Old Town IT also streamlined call center staff system interfaces so they can quickly and efficiently locate registrants. In addition, the project team collaborated with ASHA staff on load testing the new application prior to launch.
ODR now offers the following functions: verification of an open invoice; payment of full or partial open invoices; processing of special interest group membership; a selection of optional payment amounts (e.g., contributions/donations) to add to their dues payment; demographic survey capture; real-time credit card validation; and real-time membership activation for recently lapsed members.
Results: Based on project objectives established with ASHA, the new ODR system achieved the following results:
- Old Town IT developed the ODR application to interface directly with netFORUM, allowing for a more streamlined and engaging online experience for site visitors.
- Renewals are processed in real-time, eliminating the lag-time between online payment and the import process. This allows ASHA staff to assist members immediately instead of having to wait until the next day to make changes to their membership or payment.
- The application efficiently captures member demographic data through a user-friendly online survey, enabling staff to better analyze industry trends.
- The ODR also has the ability to prompt an “additional payment” option for donations or PAC contributions, creating new opportunities for ASHA to appeal to members.
- The new system offered many new online features: members now have the opportunity to proactively manage their membership (addresses, payment options, etc.), tag their special interests and update survey information.
- ODR shows different surveys for the Association’s two constituent groups: ASHA or NSSLHA.
- Deployment of the ODR system was achieved in time for the upcoming dues cycle with no downtime during project transition.
Additionally, there were several other measured successes as a result of this ODR implementation:
- On December 31, a day ASHA was closed for normal business, it processed 4,797 payments (over $1.1 million).
- ASHA reduced its operating costs, primarily due to less reliance on an outsourced call center during peak hours.
- ODR management uses considerably less staff time by eliminating the transaction import process from the legacy dues payment application.
- At its peak, the application reliably handled 29 payments in a minute.
Old Town IT has developed a robust, configurable Online Store for use with netFORUM. Implemented at the American Chemical Society, Community Associations Institute, the National Association of Convenience Stores, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the store transforms how site users now transact commerce with these organizations.
American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society (ACS) store offers significant flexibility for business owners, ensuring that the right offers are made to segmented audiences. The store is feature-rich, offering the ability to easily manage product families and the capability to promote selected products on a home page. A keyword-searching feature is available to easily locate products.
Key discount features of the store include:
- Custom discounts, such as buy three, get two free
- Audience-specific discounted pricing
- Time-sensitive discount allotments
The store is integrated with the ACS Single-Sign-On infrastructure so site users who login to the ACS website can enter the store without having to login a second time. The store can be used as a means to deliver free and discounted items to a specific audience. This feature integrates the inventory and Customer Relationship Management modules. Business owners can use Categorization, which offers them the flexibility to group products with like attributes and provides users with a tool for hierarchical browsing of items for sale in the store.
Community Associations Institute
For the Community Associations Institute (CAI), all previous bookstore activities were processed outside of netFORUM. With this new store, Old Town IT used our standard Storefront and developed significant modifications to the baseline netFORUM checkout to deliver additional functionality.
The store dramatically streamlined internal processes and established significant operational efficiencies. Value-added features include:
- Discounts by category: buy three of any product in a given category and get a discount
- Group registration: member pricing based on relationship when adding the membership to the shopping cart
- Tell a Friend: enables product-specific URLs to be emailed to other users
National Association of Convenience Stores
The National Association of Convenience Stores implemented the templatized Old Town IT Storefront, offering business stakeholders greater control over product management while giving users a more modern, streamlined user interface.
Of particular benefit to NACS is the ability to tag products of similar interest to the customer. Users are guided through the purchase process by a graphical wizard, indicating where the user is in the purchase process. This store is integrated with the NACS SharePoint login and account creation process.
Custom shipping functionality was developed that allows for increased flexibility in assigning charges for rush deliveries as well as tagging individual products with specific shipping fees.
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Old Town IT created an “Amazon-like” login as well as a streamlined single-screen account creation process for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). This included a “Google-like” type-ahead field that searches for an organization match in the database or adds a new denormalized organization name if a match is not found.
The AIAA store also provides member pricing when membership and dues are in the shopping cart, a currency converter, and “apply credit” functionality.
Old Town IT implemented a seamless integration of the store with AIAA’s new Ektron Content Management System and developed Single-Sign-On functionality with Ektron, eWeb, and a third party eLibrary platform.