In our drive to make robust cloud systems accessible to non-profits, we’ve designed and implemented a cost-effective solution for Home-Start Bradford District.

The client

Home-Start Bradford District (HSBD) is an independent charity committed to promoting the welfare of families with young children. The organisation provides volunteer-led peer support, friendship and practical assistance to young families experiencing difficulties. It is staffed by volunteers who work in close liaison with the related statutory services and who also receive support and guidance from a professional.

The challenge

Home-Start Bradford District historically managed their workload via paper forms and spreadsheets. This was inefficient, making poor use of staff and volunteer time, and made accurate and timely reporting difficult.

Following a review of several products, Home-Start Bradford District selected Microsoft Dynamics 365 as their preferred case management system and engaged TrueNorth to be their technical implementation partner.

As a non-profit organisation with limited budget, cost was a critical factor in determining the solution.

The solution

TrueNorth delivered a solution with two main components.

Dynamics 365 Customer Service Module

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service provides the core of the Home-Start Bradford District case management solution. Dynamics 365 Customer Service is Microsoft’s cloud based, fully featured case management system. Out of the box the platform satisfied most of Home-Start Bradford District’s key case management requirements, and TrueNorth worked in conjunction with HSBD staff to extend Dynamics 365 to satisfy their specialised requirements.

The core Dynamics 365 functionality, combined with its easy extensibility and integration with Office 365, enables Home-Start Bradford District to manage all aspects of its cases. It provides a single, consolidated view of its relationships and activities, accessible from desktop and mobile platforms.

Search, analytics, and reporting are built in at various levels, from efficient ‘quick search’ across multiple entities, to advanced find and personalised dashboards. More advanced analytics can be carried out using Microsoft Excel and PowerBI, which has native connectors for Dynamics 365.

Microsoft make security a high priority in Dynamics 365, protecting against unauthorized access and keeping data safe, making it compatible with most modern compliance regimes.

Operational costs are minimised through Microsoft’s substantial discount on licences for non-profits, and our consultants ensured that the system required Professional rather than Enterprise licences.

Custom Referral Portal

TrueNorth delivered a custom referral portal for HSBD, allowing external agencies and individuals to refer families easily and efficiently to the organisation.

Built as an Angular single page application, served from an Azure Static website with integration via Azure functions, the portal offers performance and high availability at a very low cost.

Click here for a technical summary of the portal solution.

We’re delighted with our Dynamics case management system. It really has been a game-changer for us in allowing us to work flexibly and remotely, and in having a quick and easy overview of our work with all the information at our fingertips. Working with TrueNorth to develop it was a fantastic experience: they took the time to understand our requirements and worked with us to develop a system that met our needs, finding the best compromise between cost and functionality at each stage.

Working with Microsoft Dynamics has been intuitive and easy for staff to pick up due to its integrability with Office365 and staff’s existing familiarity with Microsoft software. Behind the scenes, with some basic training from TrueNorth we’ve been able to customise and extend much of the functionality ourselves which has meant we can continue to cost-effectively adapt the system to our requirements as they change and develop.

Ben Clymo, Systems Manager, Home-Start Bradford District

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