Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, In Kind Direct distributes new, usable consumer goods, donated by some of the UK’s best known manufacturers and retailers, to charities, not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises working in the UK and abroad. They work with not-for-profit organisations and companies to help ensure that everyone has access to life's essentials and that no usable product goes to waste.
In Kind Direct were already using Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009, and wanted to stay with Microsoft but were looking for a new partner. Their previous partner had merged with a large London firm whose market outlook is not focused on the Not for Profit market so it made sense to In Kind Direct to look for match in values elsewhere.
All donors need to be kept up-to-date with the impact of their contributions, so efficient reporting is key to In Kind Directs' operations. Products need to be traced from initial donation through to the end user: like a block-chain approach to stock, which is fed back to the donors. Not only to they operate as a charity, but having to work as a B2B, brings in its own requirements too. Having spoken to several other partners, they finally found a fit with TES when we demonstrated not only our understanding of their sector but also what they wanted to achieve going forwards by upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics 2018. In Kind Direct were concerned about the potential complications of bespoke solutions, however, we offer a specific product for the charity sector and were able to offer this in order to minimise issues.
As a complex upgrade project, both time and understanding were required from both parties. Large data sets, integration with third party solutions and future international roll-outs added layers to the project but we designed a plan to ensure resources were used effectively during the upgrade. Phase one was the upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018, and phase two is the implementation of our bespoke Dynamics 365 CRM.
The upgrade included integration with an eCommerce solution and warehouse management system, whilst also getting ready for Microsoft Dynamics CRM to be connected too. With the inter-operational benefits and an understandable user interface, new staff found the new system to be intuitive, enabling them be up and running with minimal training, which also invaluable for temporary or voluntary members of the team. The previous reporting platform was outdated and heavily reliant on IT and training. Now, Jet Reports ensures working in Excel is fast and efficient. By adding in Power BI and Dashboards, reviewing stats is easy and quick, without needing technical support. Previous heavy customisation has been replaced by standard features (and a few small modifications where needed) to deliver an enhanced process providing both greater internal and external efficiencies. Rolling out to other countries will be straight forward using regional modifications to ensure a smooth set-up of international operations.
“Some things just work out much better than you hope for. TES knew where we wanted to get to and understood where we’d come from. From direct access to their technical lead consultants to the deep dive into our operations, they gave us the confidence that both of us knew what we were getting into. The upgrade impacted everyone in the company and TES allowed us the time we needed to make sure it worked for all. You can put us down as a happy customer! The prospect of changing supplier and upgrading is a big deal, but if you have the right partner it’s just not an issue.”
Neil Chawla, Head of IT