Since its establishment as a New Zealand brokerage in 1996, LINK quickly created a market-leading presence connecting business buyers and sellers. The local success lead LINK to expand overseas into Australia, South Africa, and the United States, however as LINK expanded, they promptly learned that their current IT system wasn’t fully meeting the needs of their growing business.
LINK’s offices around the world were all using different platforms and housing disparate information. This inconsistency of data made it difficult to accurately find and report on company activities, making daily activities extremely frustrating for LINK. Company Information was disorganised and often easily lost. Without a common platform, system integrations required manual intervention and website maintenance took additional time, causing unnecessary delays and prolonged IT work.
Duplicate data across systems was also damaging to the customer experience. Customers would receive multiple emails and face issues logging into the web based portal, resulting in confusion and irritation. Furthermore, LINK acknowledged the need for a mobile app to make viewing their business listings easier for potential customers and to make accessing business data quicker for staff.
The challenge for Magnetism was to create a common system that could be easily monitored and controlled across the global offices. The new CRM needed to bring together the disparate information, as well as support the newly developed internal and external mobile apps.
Magnetism considered all the needs of LINK’s growing business and implemented technologies from the Microsoft stack to guarantee LINK a dependable and extremely efficient solution. The solution includes a solid base of Azure and Office 365 to cater for daily users and integrates with Microsoft Dynamics 365 as the back-office system.
The Microsoft Azure and Office 365 foundation has given the ability to move LINK completely off an on-premise system and transition them to the cloud. Azure and Office 365 provide a scalable platform, take away the need for maintenance, and keep LINK’s Office productivity suite consistently up to date without implementing any upgrades.
The Azure and Office 365 foundation supports core technologies such as Sharepoint (where users can securely store documents), Power BI (which offers compelling insights and predictions for business performance), and Exchange (where users can gain mobile access to email), among others, to create a two-part base for the solution.
On top of this base, Magnetism used Dynamics 365 to build out LINK’s back office component. Customised APIs extended Dynamics 365, enabling it to manage all of LINK’s offices and provision any differences or rules required throughout the global regions.
Dynamics 365 uses a single tenant capable of handling the worldwide offices — meaning it also brought all of LINK’s data together. Pulling from Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365, Magnetism used Xamarian to develop a customer facing mobile app in a very short space of time and is now available on the iOS, Android and Windows App Stores. The customer facing app allowed users to search, enquire, and be notified about new business listings. The internal Dynamics 365 app gave brokers access to their records while on the go.
Pictured above are the building blocks used from the Microsoft stack to deliver a full business digital transformation.
Watch a quick 2 minute video about the move from on-premise to the cloud.
LINK’s quick expansion into overseas markets and disparate information across offices made the need for a CRM system to support their business needs essential. Since the launch of the new CRM system in New Zealand, there has been a 40%-60% increase in enquiries captured.
LINK can now complete reporting using CRM dashboards and Power BI which contain consistent information. The dashboards improve visibility across the business by offering insights into performance accessible by both franchise owners and brokers. Even better, the data can be filtered globally, per country, regionally or even at a broker level. This level of detail is revolutionary for LINK, and helps to further facilitate their unique approach of separating their business brokers into specialised divisions.
Centralising all of LINK’s data into a CRM isn’t only positive for LINK’s current business, it also simplifies the process of setting up new offices during future expansion.
Typically, when opening a new office, there is a lot of backend work required. The solution created by Magnetism eliminates this work, allowing for a new office to be opened in a matter of days instead of months. LINK can now look to continue expanding into new markets and stay confident their systems will support them.
While implementing the solution, Magnetism ensured the customer experience was consistent by cleaning up the duplicate data and resolving the customer email communications issues. This paired with the new mobile app have both resulted in improved customer satisfaction.
Web platform improvements created a smoother and faster customer experience on LINK’s websites. The New Zealand website saw an 11% increase in page views, 7% drop in bounce rate, 12% more time spent on pages and an 18% increase in customers viewing additional pages. Across the international offices, website page speed increased dramatically, from 30% to 90%.