Food For Life

Website, schools' portal and systems integration

The brief

FFL needed to reach their wide range of audiences with up to date and relevant information about the great work they do across the UK.

Their previous site had become confusing, out of date and unmanageable in terms of structure, and content. The site did not reflect all the important work that FFL are involved with, promote the varied activities that those involved with the award scheme were carrying out, or keep parties up-to-date with the buzz surrounding the programme.

To date they had found schools were signing up to their award scheme, but were not submitting necessary criteria and completing awards. Our brief was to improve school signup, school award completion rates and help to get more FFL commissioned areas throughout the UK.

FFL also needed to gather all their data, both from online and offline sources, into a central repository, a customised instance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Having achieved this, the requirement was then to improve reporting to all stakeholders within the business. Finally we needed to provide a platform that would enable FFL to be self-sufficient in terms of day-to-day updates on what was to be a very dynamic site, and provide the marketing tools needed to deliver their multi-channel digital strategy.

What we did

We began the project by defining the various audiences that FFL wanted to reach, conducting an audit of existing content and discussing how to make relevant content accessible. We then mapped user journeys and ensured that the site content was easy for FFL to update. Our designers created a new online brand which worked well with established offline branding.

The new site brought all content together, including blogs, resource libraries, award leader boards, news and social media, and also allowed content to be automatically targeted based on site visitors location.

We made an intuitive schools portal area that is easy for schools admin staff and FFL administrators and managers to use. We provided all the functionality required for schools to calculate their award progress, submit criteria and for the FFL support team to validate or feedback on submissions. All this data was collated with two-way synchronisation with Microsoft Dynamics 2013.

Platform selection Sitecore

Platform selection Sitecore

As with any project choosing the right platform is critical to ensuring a brief can be fulfilled and a long term solution is in place that will provide ongoing flexibility and extensibility. Due to the size and complexity of the FFL requirement, we needed an enterprise platform that would allow our developers to build bespoke functionality, as well as provide the tools needed in the form of content management and from a digital marketing perspective.

For these reasons we went with Sitecore, a proven market leader in the provision of CMS and customer experience platforms. Sitecore’s Digital Marketing Suite (DMS) is a powerful set of tools that enable its users to deliver real time personalisation, powerful engagement analytics, automated marketing and much more.

Having this toolset at their disposal will enable FFL to send targeted communications to different audience groups, whether its resources and tips to schools part way through award completions, or Local Authorities that need further information on the benefits of commissioning FFL to work in their area.

Systems integration - Microsoft Dynamics with Sitecore

Systems integration - Microsoft Dynamics with Sitecore

FFL had previously used a mix of online and offline data management, which had been kept in sync manually. Having previously developed their CRM solution to be tailored to their business needs and processes, it was paramount that any online solution used data stored within the CRM and helped to automatically update the information held. Our sophisticated back end systems integration includes an application layer integrating Microsoft Dynamics with Sitecore. Third party back end integration and two-way CRM synchronisation have allowed FFL to work with a familiar interface, eliminating the need for a steep learning curve and data duplication.

Nuts & Bolts How Food for Life worked perfectly

  • Sitecore logo
  • Microsoft Dynamics logo

Food for Life says...

"We want to say a huge thank you to our FANTASTIC developers @Element78 for doing a brilliant job on the FFL website!"

Food for Life, @SAfoodforlife