Recently an existing GBST union client using Unison™ as its in house membership system implemented such a solution and integrated between their web processes and the Unison™ database.
Posted In: gbst digital, Life and Policy Administration, Memberships and Associations
Many unions over the years have invested in on line information for existing members including methods for members to make payments and for potential members to join the union. True paperless joining systems in the trade union industry are few. Most unions talk about having a paperless join system as they allow potential members to download forms from their website for the new member to complete and return. This has mainly been because of a concern to have physical proof that authority has been given for direct debit or credit card payment options by having a signed form at hand. Even though a union may have an electronic method of joining they may still manually input the completed forms into their database and save the hardcopy for their files.
Unions see the advantage of allowing members to join and access information on line as it enables the member to join, make payments and access information at any time available to them rather than try to contact an office that is already working at maximum capacity. Unions see new memberships coming from their web pages as a tremendous bonus to their membership base as no organising time is used to recruit these new members.
The challenge for a trade union is that due to the large demand for their industrial, professional, training and legal services, in house manual processing of these requests plus a potentially large number of new membership requests, member detail updates and payment processing is placing a tremendous workload on their membership department. The staff is focused on the timely processing of these requests which leaves little time for other membership related work or staff development.
Recently an existing GBST union client using Unison™ as its in house membership system implemented such a solution and integrated between their web processes and the Unison™ database. Unison™ is widely used within the organisation for all membership and organiser related work and reporting. The union want to reduce the amount of processing resources required for their web related requests, improve accuracy and timely processing. This required a re-design of their current membership related pages for new member joins, member payments, member updating of details and downloading tax statements and PI certificates.
The proposal included, when a new member joins on line all the information collected is batched and automatically entered into Unison™ ready for final processing also including a copy of the form in the member’s correspondence record; member credit card payments are processed real-time on line and recorded in their financial records in Unison™; change of details are also updated straight into Unison or can be pending membership approval. Union members will also be able to download their tax statements and PI certificates via the new web site.
The very successful integration and streamlining of both web and database processes will result in a number of tangible savings to the union not only in time saved but in increasing the value of member services available on the union website.
The following estimates are based on a union with approximately 50,000 members.
Estimated Total Saving per year 2.25 staff members + $48,000 postage costs
Please Note: These are examples only and each union should use their own estimates to determine total possible savings.