Gas Alberta began in the 1970s as a government agency to purchase and manage natural gas supplies. In 2003, Gas Alberta Energy came into being in order to assist Gas Alberta with providing customers with market representation, consultation services and supply procurement services. Gas Alberta Energy now provides natural gas services to schools, hotels, manufacturers, First Nations communities and many more.
Throughout the over 15 years that Gas Alberta Energy had been in operation, much of the business had been managed in many little silos. They had been mostly operating using a number of Excel spreadsheets, and this process had become unsustainable. It became obvious to the organization that they were in need of a system to consolidate all this information.
The organization began their search for CRM systems, and ended up landing on Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales based on reviews and online research. The fact that Dynamics 365 is a Microsoft product was a major selling point due to the inherent familiarity of Microsoft systems.
Lori Turnbull, Manager of Consumer Services at Gas Alberta Energy, reached out to Microsoft directly to inquire about Dynamics 365 for Sales. Microsoft then recommended three Partners who were available to service businesses in the Calgary area, including Encore. After reviewing the three proposals, a decision was made to partner with Encore.
Gas Alberta Energy preferred Encore’s approach for an out-of-the-box solution, compared to the other Partners who were proposing many expensive customizations that they didn’t need and probably wouldn’t use. Lori felt that Encore’s suggestion for a Quick Start implementation; an out-of-the-box Dynamics 365 for Sales implementation approach designed by Encore for clients needing a scaled-down initial release of the solution, would be a huge improvement on the system of spreadsheets they’d been using. Encore’s Quick Start implementation has left the door open to scale up in complexity should the need arise as the organization grows.
“I think our overall business process will be improved tremendously once we get up and running with Dynamics. I’m excited to have it.” – Lori Turnbull, Manager of Consumer Services
Gas Alberta Energy’s primary goal was to gain a better overall view of their relationships with customers and improve customer service. They needed a centralized location to help keep track of many different accounts and contracts. In the past, they had difficulty communicating internally about customers, for example; an invoicing issue might happen in Accounting that was not communicated to Consumer Services, which then resulted in a less than great experience on the customer’s end.
The team at Gas Alberta Energy have found Dynamics 365 for Sales to be an easy to use, intuitive system. They benefitted greatly from training sessions with Encore on the system, walking through various scenarios and making changes on the spot. With the small amount of customization available with the Quick Start implementation, Gas Alberta Energy was able to make a few changes in the solution to be more reflective of their actual business.
“I’m happy we selected Encore and their Quick Start implementation and not the initial proposal from a competitor. I now know we would have paid too much for functionality we wouldn’t need initially.”
– Lori Turnbull, Manager of Consumer Services