The EDC's board of directors has agreed to pay $84,939 for a year of access to software from Salesforce. The related press release states the new system will help "maintain an accurate, reliable database of companies, improve response times to client requests" and "provide the ability to implement and track performance."
The EDC's software plans follow the US Securities and Exchange Commission's investigation of the group's loan to 38 Studios, which Rhode Island taxpayers have already begun repaying.
The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) board of directors approved the selection of Salesforce as the agency's new client relationship management (CRM) system. The new client services tool will help the RIEDC to better provide data-driven, responsive, and effective assistance to Rhode Island businesses to help them grow.
"I am pleased that the RIEDC continues to make important strides to help Rhode Island businesses succeed," said Governor Lincoln D. Chafee. "Having these types of tools will enable the RIEDC to better serve clients, increase efficiency, and measure performance."
Through Salesforce, the RIEDC will implement a world-class, cloud-based system to centralize activity tracking and develop a comprehensive database for statewide economic development using data imported from multiple sources and interactions with businesses. The new CRM system will allow the RIEDC to: o Maintain an accurate, reliable database of companies o Improve response times to client requests o Increase efficiency o Increase transparency o Measure activity against goals o Provide information on demand o Increase cross-organizational knowledge o Provide the ability to implement and track performance o Allow for easy-to-use ad hoc reporting
"Access to reliable and current data and the ability to manage and track how well an organization is delivering services is the cornerstone to any successful organization. Board members explored a number of options. As one of the premier and most proven CRM solutions on the market, we determined that Salesforce will help RIEDC provide the greatest value to Rhode Island businesses and move our economic development efforts forward," said Tim Hebert, CEO of Atrion Networking Corporation and RIEDC board member. "I am looking forward to seeing everything that we can accomplish with this new tool."
"RIEDC is focused on creating the conditions for businesses in all sectors to thrive. A big part of that is having the right tools and data at our disposal to help businesses in a professional and consistent way when they come to us for assistance," said RIEDC Executive Director Marcel A. Valois. "Over the past few months, we have been working hard to reach out to businesses to assess their needs. This new CRM system is going to help RIEDC to better coordinate and manage our response to client needs and effectively measure our performance."
The RIEDC also has secured the services of Buan Consulting Services to help in the transition and implementation of the new CRM system. Buan Consulting Services, of Annapolis, Md., will assist the RIEDC in implementation, project management, data migration, and end-user and administration training; they will also remain on retainer for continued support.
The transition will take four to eight weeks to complete, and the total first-year cost will be $84,939.