These days, government organizations and their private-sector partners are hot topics.
Specifically, organizations dedicated to protecting the environment have received more press and public support. But for any organization, increased prominence brings new demands.
It was this situation that the National Park Foundation (the NPF) was facing when Tatenda Murandu joined as director of information technology. Because the organization was gaining steam, its operations were in need of a big overhaul.
The organization couldn't keep meeting its goals while managing its document processes and other operations the old-fashioned way – and neither could the organizations that rely on it.
The NPF, which was founded in 1967, acts as the official private-sector fundraising organization for the National Park Service, providing money and support for the agency's critical initiatives. And the growing environmental consciousness nationwide made the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 a perfect time to enhance, expand and double-down on these programs.
So when Murandu joined the NPF in 2017, the organization was experiencing rapid growth.
Murandu saw immediately that at this scale, paperwork bottlenecks and other inefficiencies stood the risk of piling up, to the detriment of the NPF's vital work and the parks and citizens that depend on it. The only answer was digital transformation.
The NPF wasn't entirely analog when Murandu arrived, but its use of advanced IT was outsourced and piecemeal. Legacy systems required an increasingly complicated system of workarounds to keep them going.
The processes for grant applications, contracts underpinning corporate partnerships, and other documents that support the NPF's work needed to be more efficient. The routing process demanded a dedicated staff member going desk to desk, assuring each document was seen by the proper individuals and signed. It was a process that may have worked in the past, but as the organization had begun to scale the amount of paper to push – and the room for error – increased drastically. By 2017, the NPF was managing between 400 and 500 documents per year.
There had been some limited work with consultants to build a system that would at least move parts of the process online. But Murandu wanted a solution that would not only replicate analog processes on the cloud but leverage the full power of cloud-based automation to remove the bulk of built-up busywork – enabling the NPF to be as efficient as possible. With SpringCM, he found exactly what the NPF needed.
Murandu and his team found a range of impressive document management products on the market – all of which offered enhancements representing a big leap from their manual document processes. But only one solution provided a true all-in-one, full-featured document management.
"Once we got a SpringCM demo, we were wowed,” Murandu said.
And it wasn't just the next-gen document management and routing features – integration with other tools was also huge. With one of the NPF's departments already using Salesforce, SpringCM's easy Salesforce integration could increase the value of the tool. And with an eye toward a future of full digital transformation, the NPF saw further benefits to SpringCM being easy to integrate.
"We wanted a tool that would give us the API flexibility and could integrate with any CRM/ERP that we ended up choosing down the road," Murandu said.
The choice was obvious – and the implementation got underway.
At SpringCM, a DocuSign company, every partner -- regardless of size – is top priority. So as things got rolling, SVP of CLM Sales Dan Dal Degan met personally with the NPF. From there, SpringCM was with the NPF at every step of the implementation, assessing organizational needs and pointing out opportunities to best make use of the tool. And since becoming a SpringCM customer means becoming part of a community, the NPF was also introduced to other customers who gave them experience-based advice on how to leverage SpringCM.
The NPF's grants, programs and corporate partnerships teams were the first to go live with SpringCM. And if there was any anxiety about technological change, it's been replaced by excitement over how simple the new system has made once-tedious processes.
Using SpringCM is making things easier for everyone. Teams have full visibility into their documents at every step of the process. They have the ability to see where a document is in the pipeline and who last touched it, to make sure everyone stays on-task. They can quickly compare and review documents to assure accuracy – doing away with backtracking, confusion and duplicate work. And with eSignature implemented, what was once a process of catching the right person at their desk at the right time, pen-in-hand, now only takes a second.
With its document management processes in order, the NPF is looking at even more creative ways to leverage SpringCM throughout the organization – and that's only the beginning of its digital transformation.
SpringCM and the NPF have a bright future planned. The NPF's HR department and gift officers are slated to be the next to benefit from SpringCM, with additional phases of deployment to come.
"We see a lot of opportunities to build workflows for our entire organization," Murandu said.
And as SpringCM demonstrates its value as a next-gen streamlining tool, it's serving another crucial purpose for the NPF. SpringCM has gotten staff excited about the potential of automation.
Those inside the organization, already happy about Murandu's success with the SpringCM project, are now excited to see the digital enhancements in CRM, ERP and grants management headed their way.
And so as the digital transformation continues to take the NPF down new avenues of efficiency, the national parks cause has a stronger, more efficient ally in its corner.
And whatever technology the NPF integrates with SpringCM in the future, it will happen as a team.
"[We're] looking at technology as more than a service but as a partner in accomplishing [our] mission,” Murandu said.