Streamlining Customer Relationship Management across Swansea University

Swansea University began working with Crimson Consultants in the summer of 2013 with the introduction of a new CRM solution based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 to underpin a more robust admissions process which would deliver consistent processes across the separate Colleges across the University.






Based on the success of this project, we began a 3 year programme of further investment in CRM including an upgrade to the latest Microsoft version plus the introduction of an additional Crimson Accelerator for Business Engagement.

Although most observers will know universities for their recruitment and teaching of students, most institutions work closely with private and public sector organisations providing access to research & development expertise, facilities & equipment and training. Swansea is no different in this regard. Keeping track of thousands of external relationships and dialogues occurring within this environment is an ideal application for CRM and the University was keen to extend the successful use of the CRM solution for this function.   

What was implemented:

Based on its successful implementation of CRM for student admissions and the availability of “out-of-the-box” functionality which combined the commercial and education elements of the requirement in a ready-made Accelerator, Crimson was chosen to deliver the CRM enhancements over the 3 year term. During 2016 the focus was on an upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 2016, which has provided a much friendlier user interface, and the deployment of Crimson’s Business Development Accelerator. This provides core records for all organisations and contacts the institution is working with, tracking all interactions and communications with staff at the University. Potential business can be recorded in the form of opportunity records that can be viewed at any time.

CRM Benefits:

Claire Cowell, Student Admissions, commented:

Before the CRM system, we had no integrated system to record and manage enquiries from prospective students.  Its deployment has helped integrate and streamline central and College recruitment processes.  All areas across Recruitment and Admissions can now see student communications and are better informed when dealing with specific students.  This has improved the student journey from enquiry to enrolment, and given us the ability to build strategies and communication plans around this and report results with ease.

Paul Edwards, CRM Project Manager at Swansea University commented:

From a business engagement perspective, the upgrade provides us with a modern platform to push forward with our plans to roll-out the system across the University to enable the adoption of a “CRM Culture” and adhere to our professional service values. The use of a central CRM system will enable us to become more professional and joined up in managing the myriad of relationships that exist. In particular, where different individuals or teams have shared relationships, the use of CRM iEngage will ensure there is “one version of the truth”, promoting collaboration and raising awareness of existing connections and contacts. The user base is growing at a rapid rate with multiple teams across two campuses championing the system.

Cristina Magro, ION Leadership commented:

As a provider of leadership development training to businesses across Wales, CRM is a secure and effective way for us to store and manage large quantities of data and sensitive customer information.  I have to say…It was hard and frustrating to use the CRM at the beginning and the process to get the system up to our specifications was lengthy. However, with training and support from the project management team, things got much easier. Now, I am more confident in using the system and I am training the rest of my team.

CRM is helping us develop stronger relationships with our customers, maximising our sales opportunities and measuring our work easily. The more we use CRM, the more we can track our customer’s journeys with us, whilst providing clear KPIs to our funders and managers.  We no longer need to rely on multiple spreadsheets, and can support other teams and projects based at the University with referrals and introductions.

Quote from customer:

Claire Cowell, Student Admissions, commented:

We have worked with Crimson Consultants since April 2013 where we designed and deployed phase 1 of the current CRM in 4 months!  The Project Team were great to work with and very accommodating, the developers were patient with our requirements and since deployment in July 2013 the Customer Service aspect has been excellent.

Paul Edwards, CRM Project Manager at Swansea University commented:

The team at Crimson were as driven as us to deliver a quality solution within the agreed timescale and budget, providing excellent, timely support. As a local business, all employees from ‘top to bottom’ were readily available.  They demonstrated excellent customer care and were a pleasure to work with.

Cristina Magro, ION Leadership, commented:

Crimson has been very good at listening to our needs as a customer, they have developed bespoke solutions and made sure we got the training we required. Beatriz from Crimson came to the University to train our group of “Champions”, she was very patient and she seemed to grasp the different processes that exist in the different University departments very well. She was a great help in making sure that the transition to the new CRM 2016 version was as seamless as possible.

Quote from Crimson:

“It is great to be continuing the good work at Swansea University and myself and 2 other partners were delighted to be involved in the Research & Innovation Awards evening”, John Drew, Sales & Marketing Director, Crimson Consultants.