Project Description

The Scottish Ornithologists’ Club (SOC)

The Scottish Ornithologists' Club

“The expert advice that SOC received has provided us with confidence”

The Scottish Ornithologists’ Club (SOC) exists to promote the study, enjoyment and conservation of wild birds and their habitats across Scotland with 15 local branches across the country and a growing membership of over 3,000.

SOC was looking to switch a membership database from MS Access to a CRM system.  They had researched options but felt they would benefit from some technical advice in terms of CRM software and applied to CITA for a CITA Review Service.

CITA introduced a volunteer, John, who talked with the charity to get a clear idea of their current technology set up and their future needs before outlining key elements which needed to be considered when making changes.  The discussion included software type, how to create a requirements specification, managing data migration and project resourcing.

Following this, SOC felt comfortable to move ahead with the changes, but requested further support through CITA Advisory Services as they considered tenders for a new website. The scope of the review was to identify any significant differences between two tenders (with an emphasis on the technical aspects), review the proposed costs and advise on any potential for lowering those costs, identify any instances where more information was required from the bidders and identify any requirements missing from the invitation to tender.

How did CITA help?

SOC were initially sceptical when it was suggested involving an external party in our deliberations regarding which company to appoint to re-design our public website. There was concern that that an external party wouldn’t have the time nor incentive to consider the decision as carefully and thoroughly as SOC would want. However, SOC recognised that without the necessary technical knowledge and know-how internally, they would be unable to compare and contrast the tenders, to make a fully informed decision about who to appoint.

“I needn’t have fretted – The CITA Volunteer – John – was a terrific help and the service provided way exceeded my expectations!”

John was able to quickly understand SOC’s objectives and the position that they wanted to get to. John was then engaged to review the tender documentation and analysing the responses to the tender. John was able to use his knowledge and experience to help SOC by highlighting concerns and providing a summary of action points and a list of things to be mindful of in the ensuing commercial discussions.

What difference did CITA’s support make?

SOC said that “I have no doubt that CITA saved us money. SOC would have otherwise had to pay for expensive external consultancy to help us with our decision making. The expert advice that SOC has received has provided us with confidence that the investments that we have made in new CRM software and improved website is best value for money.”

“John’s efforts were exceptional, and I am so grateful to him for his assistance. We could not have felt in safer hands. Thank you very much indeed.”