Introduction

From humble roots dating back to 1986, Lorge has gained an unstinting reputation as a preferred business management and intelligence solutions provider in South Africa, with a growing footprint in southern Africa.Over the years the news has covered success story after success story dealing with projects for various national and multinational clients across a plethora of sectors, from ICT to manufacturing and many others. It’s thus unsurprising that industry specialists today refer to Lorge as a ‘giant’ in the industry and a trusted ‘business partner’ rather than a vendor. The company’s committed management and employees still keep their feet firmly on the ground, though, never forgetting the basic principles of customer service and diligence that have held the company in great stead over the years.

In 2017, Lorge celebrated another year of successful projects and satisfied customers, including assisting some unique clientele, with highly specialised needs.

Assisting ICT company Delta 9: primary goal

Lorge prides itself on intimately understanding client needs, following a specific methodology including carrying out a requirements workshop, signing off a requirements document, providing a prototype and facilitating testing until final approval. In April 2017, renowned software development specialist Delta 9 approached Lorge, as it was seeking a suitable service provider to help it integrate two of its primary in-house systems. Its chief goal was to effectively integrate the two independent systems for ease of internal management, improve overall efficiencies and ultimately enhance customer service levels for its clients. This would basically help Delta 9 keep control of customer system issues as well as performance-related issues, by creating one system to monitor and manage all issues passed between the company’s responsible parties.

About Delta 9 and its services

It is highly unlikely that you haven’t encountered software development company Delta 9 in your lifetime, as it is the creator of UniCare, the computer-based healthcare administrative system found at both private and public medical facilities. It is used by healthcare providers in South Africa, Mozambique and Namibia, and was developed in-house from start to finish. Clients of Delta 9 include well over 100 private and public hospitals and clinics. The UniCare system is responsible for the efficient management of various aspects of hospital administration such as pre-admissions, admissions, billing, electronic claims, credit control, dispensing, stock control and various others.

Integrating two systems using Sage CRM

While the UniCare system is robust and Delta 9 continues to thrive, the growth of the business and its client base saw the emergence of a crucial need. This involved finding one convenient solution, a single platform to keep track and more efficiently manage two very important business systems. One was for keeping track of issues raised by the customer support staff, and another to keep track of issues that have been passed on to development. The new system needed to be capable of effectively handling Delta 9’s existing client base of well over 100 private and public hospitals and clinics.

Discussions with Lorge began in April 2017 and the process got under way in May and was completed by July of the same year, involving about 15 users. Chris Stevenson from Delta 9 said: “The team at Lorge were very professional, organised and adopted a measured approach that allowed us to communicate with them effectively. Being a specialised business and software specialist in our own right, we were impressed at how quickly they were able to grasp our unique needs and understand how we needed their usual solutions to be adapted to match our specific requirements.”

Unpacking the recommended solution

Lorge was able to deliver an integrated solution, using Sage CRM, which was customised to Delta 9’s requirements. The CRM workflow helped it to manage customer support in a more efficient way. It needed assistance to log issues relating to software at the hospitals and clinics. Delta 9 staff members were trained by Lorge on how to utilise the new system from an administration level, which was a great success as they were quick to grasp the knowledge needed to use it independently. They are now able to handle all their first level queries with ease. Sage CRM is essentially used to manage and drive business rules to customers and to monitor the development phase of products. Since the company had already been using the Sage ERP (financial) package, Lorge was able to integrate Sage CRM with ease.

How it works practically

First, Customer Support receives a query about an issue. It then logs the issue on the new system and either deals with it or passes it on to Application Support to address. Application Support deals with the issue by fixing something in the program or database, or agrees that it needs development time. It will then reassign the issue as a development issue and pass it on. After development, it then gets passed back to Application Support, which tests it and passes it back to Customer Support. It is then tested again and the team at Customer Support agrees on implementation.

The new system also controls the roll-out of any changes that occur across the customer base and it keeps track of what has been implemented and who had been unavailable at the time. The system is more efficient in managing daily tasks and gaining insight into what is outstanding and for how long, which was a gap in the past. One aspect of handling issues also deals with knowing which module was involved, and once again this is readily addressed in the new system.

Michael Camacho, Lorge’s Product Manager, commented: “The team at Delta 9 were very efficient in learning how to use the new system and quickly took expert ownership of it. They are now able to run with it on their own and deal with first line queries internally. Lorge is still called on periodically for additional support, but Delta 9 feels that they have what they require and are currently enjoying the benefits of the solution.”

The new implementation also made it possible for Delta 9 to save money through a streamlined solution that’s handled from one platform and hence requires payment to one vendor as opposed to several. Invariably, this reduces other expenses such as administrative and training costs as well. The system is user friendly and since Delta 9 is a development company, it was able to take ownership of the system and manage it themselves. This is part of Lorge’s commitment when aiding customers, so they can be supported but also have the opportunity to take full ownership of the product as soon as possible.

In closing

The actual implementation process only took about six weeks to complete, which is a remarkable turnaround time for solving a significant CRM and operational issue. Stevenson concluded by saying the company, thanks to Lorge’s effective understanding, and the smooth and efficient implementation of the relevant CRM solution, was now strongly positioned to monitor issues, to handle internal processes and to ultimately improve the customer service experience of their healthcare clients. The advantages further flow to benefit the ultimate beneficiaries, which are the patients and those receiving medical treatment at the end of the day. This makes it an even more rewarding experience for Lorge, knowing that in some way its expertise will ultimately serve to benefit not only Delta 9, but also the community at large.

For further information on Lorge’s BMS/BI solutions or to channel a related enquiry, simply contact the company’s Marketing and Sales Coordinator, Bronwyn Delport, on (010) 594 9800.

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