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Client Management Solutions For IRCC-Funded Settlement Agencies (2022)

Posted on:
May 28, 2022

What is this research about?

Researchers looked at the landscape of technology solutions available to immigrant and refugee-serving agencies, focusing on Customer Relationships Management (CRM), Case Management, Non-profit Software, Database Information Management Systems (DIMS), and Digital Business Platforms. The key functionality connecting the systems is that they each provide "a central database with a 360-degree view for every client interaction and serve to ease collaboration, streamline operations, and enable performance reporting." For this report they refer to all systems as CRM throughout the report.

What do you need to know?

Researchers looked at technology solutions (without making specific recommendations or endorsements). They also outline where this work fits into IRCC and the sector's digital mandate and future. They acknowledge that IRCC has embarked on a digitization process which will have an impact, and opportunities for the sector. According to the researchers: "By seeking to modernize processes using technology, IRCC and associated immigration agencies are in a stronger position to accommodate even more foreign nationals once the pandemic is over. To that end, AAISA's members seek to leverage a CRM system to address these modernization results as well as meet its own goals and objectives.

What did the researchers do?

A 26-question survey was sent in both official languages to IRCC funded settlement provider organizations in BC. They also conducted several, individual 90-minute exploratory interview consultations with contributors who volunteered to delve deeper into their client management solution experiences.

What did the researchers find?

They identified and created profiles of 15 CRM solutions currently in use in the sector. Four of these systems were custom developed from scratch by sector agencies. Each profile comes with a matrix of key functionality relevant to how it would be used by a sector agency.

Notably, two current built-by-the sector CRM solutions do not appear to be mentioned in this report. Both are IRCC funded and should be added to the analysis (both use Salesforce as their base, and Salesforce is analyzed in the report, but not in the context of how it's used in the sector):

  • WE Value Partnership/K2 - WE Value will streamline the intake process and support successful settlement outcomes through collaboration across a variety of local partners. YMCA-SWO settlement advisors will administer a capacity-focused settlement assessment and provide clients with appropriate referrals and a consistent settlement plan based not just on their needs, but on their values, gifts, talents and assets. New Windsorites will be more quickly and effectively matched to local organizations who can help them ensure better settlement experiences, sooner. Ultimately, WE Value will connect new immigrants to the community and the community to them, to ensure that the talents of newcomers can be realized more quickly and more fully by the Windsor community – socially, economically and culturally.
  • Gateway Connects - a pilot project aimed at positively transforming the experience of newcomers in Calgary by streamlining activities with an emphasis on data sharing, planning, welcome packages, and referrals to organizations. It is a novel approach to coordinating and delivering settlement services that aims to improve the effectiveness of the immigrant-serving sector and make it easier for newcomers to navigate the system. Gateway builds on the WE Value project foundation.

How can you use this research?

Importantly, the report provides a "Next Steps" section which outlines how important the role of non-techie agency staff are in the creation/selection, customization, and roll out of CRM systems in the agency setting. Researchers provide high level recommendations as well as typical selection and implementation steps and considerations. If you are embarking on a CRM selection or creation process, this report is essential reading to help you in that process.

Downloads:

CRM - Client Management Solutions sector review - AMSSA (2022)

Summary

Researchers looked at the landscape of technology solutions available to immigrant and refugee-serving agencies, focusing on Customer Relationships Management (CRM), Case Management, Non-profit Software, Database Information Management Systems (DIMS), and Digital Business Platforms.
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