Groei & Bloei

Members can now view and change their data, which saves, in time, a huge amount of time and manual work

Roland Petit dit de la Roche Head of Administration at Groei & Bloei

February 2024: Groei & Bloei modernises membership administration system with integrated Procurios platform

Groei & Bloei is an association for lovers of gardens and gardening in the Netherlands and Belgium. The association has existed since 1872 and has 24,000 members divided into 119 independent sections, each with its own board. Moreover, Groei & Bloei publishes the largest gardening magazine in the Netherlands and Flanders. Roland Petit dit de la Roche has worked for the association for over 35 years and has a broad portfolio of responsibilities, including ICT. Three years ago, it was time to swap the standalone Linux machine containing the membership administration for an integrated platform. The choice fell on Procurios' platform.

'Members can now view and change their data, which saves, in time, a huge amount of time and manual work'

Digital maturity

The past 35 years have seen incredible technological development. This has consequences, especially for an association with such a rich and long history as Groei & Bloei. "We once started with a typewriter, which was then replaced by a computer on which we kept our member's data," Roland explains. "This system kept expanding as our association grew. Until it no longer fitted the bill." The Linux machine that the association was running contained a Cobol application that had several links to the internet using CSV files. As member and department demand for automation grew, Roland realised it was time to modernise the system. "We used to work a lot with CSV files that we copied back and forth. That did indeed become a bit laborious. In the Procurios platform, members can now view and change data in their own environment. This makes a huge difference."

Optimal solution

When choosing a new system, the organisation took time with things. Roland attended several meetings on association automation and saw presentations by various suppliers. He also visited multiple suppliers' users to see how they used the software and how this could translate to Groei & Bloei. Although Roland had a robust advisory role, the final decision-making process involved an immediate colleague and the board. "We first looked at the functionality and then spoke with three parties, with my primary focus on cost. Initially, of those three, Procurios seemed the most expensive, but when we added up all the costs at the bottom line, it turned out to be quite different. The other vendors charged low initial costs but a much higher yearly fee." Roland made a budget in which he spread the costs of the different solutions over ten years. "After all, that is the minimum time you want to work with a solution. We also assumed various adjustments would be needed in that timeframe. So, we then looked at available generic features and determined which would have to be custom-built and how they related. Based on that, Procurios' platform emerged as the most optimal solution for Groei & Bloei."

'Members can now view and change their data, which saves, in time, a huge amount of time and manual work'

Listening to customers

Because the association's former system had grown organically and contained a lot of customisation, implementation and migration took work. Working closely with Procurios, the existing IT landscape was mapped out, including which data needed to be transferred and how to get it into the new system. At the time, Roland spent two weeks at Procurios' office alongside the programmers. "This allowed us to consult quickly and discuss how we would like certain things to be set up. I could also indicate our challenges and discuss how to solve them. We were the odd man out for Procurios regarding customers because we had been running on our system for so long and wanted to take many things from it to our new platform. This was a challenge because I had to explain things that were quite obvious to me to the developers at Procurios. Fortunately, I have always worked with our own developer, so I was able to make our intentions pretty clear." Roland's knowledge and experience provided a fresh perspective and sometimes brought about discussions about efficiency and generic or non-generic functionalities. "It was nice to find that the people at Procurios were open to my comments and views. As a result, some things were built into the platform by default, meaning other associations now also benefit from them. The strength of Procurios is that they listen to you as a customer and take feedback weighted and valued into new developments."

Expanding constantly

Groei & Bloei expanded the Procurios platform module by module. The association now uses the CMS, CRM, Finance, My Growth environment, the webshop and insights. Yet there is still room for optimisation, and Roland keeps looking for ways to get even more out of the platform. "I still visit the Procurios office from time to time. I like talking to their consultants about a certain challenge I am facing, and sometimes it turns out there is already a simple solution in the system", he says. Of the different departments in the Netherlands and Belgium, only the member administrators have access to the Procurios platform, which only allows access to the data specific to their region. "We deliberately chose this because personal data privacy, as the GDPR requires, cannot be guaranteed otherwise. Still, we wish that our departments can eventually pass on their own board changes. This is currently still done by e-mail, which is processed manually. As a result, changes are not visible in real-time."

"The online community of Procurios users is a valuable source of knowledge and information."

Valuable community

Roland highly values the Procurios Club, the user group where members can ask questions about the platform. "I like this very much as like-minded people are helping you. Moreover, as different associations, we sometimes encounter the same thing: features have not yet been realised or developed. I notice those are put on a shortlist at Procurios, which they then set to work on. In doing so, they invest in us as users. We are not just customers buying software; they listen to our wishes and needs. I find that very powerful from a supplier." Roland advises new Procurios customers to start using the user community. "Sometimes others will come up with a solution you hadn't considered yourself. There is also contact between users offline; for example, I will soon be consulting with several fellow users on how we can handle billing and sending reminders to members better. That knowledge exchange is precious."

Advantages

The most significant advantage of the new platform for Groei & Bloei is that the association can now better serve its 119 departments, says Roland. "Previously, they had to retrieve files from an FTP server manually, and not everyone was equally adept at this. Departments now have faster access to up-to-date data to use for newsletters, for example. Also, our members can now take care of much more things online. Changes made on the platform are visible in real-time. They can easily change their data, view invoices or go to the archive of published magazines." Roland sees the relationship with Procurios as particularly pleasant and equal. "They don't feel superior but collaborate with customers, looking for possibilities and also indicate which nuts are too tough to crack."

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Would you like to know whether Procurios can do something for your association or foundation? Please contact me!

Martijn Merkens - Business Developer + 31 343 59 60 45 martijn@procurios.eu LinkedIn

Customer stories: This is what our customers think of the Procurios platform

Gieneke Flohr at ChristenUnie

Doordat we nu alle informatie in één systeem hebben staan, kan er veel meer automatisch. Ik hoef me geen zorgen meer te maken over koppelingen en wat er mee mis kan gaan. Dat scheelt een hoop uitzoekwerk!

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Gieneke Flohr data-adviseur at ChristenUnie

Vincent Stoops at Davidsfonds

Procurios has both the technical knowledge and business insight to understand what our organization needs

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Vincent Stoops Deputy Director at Davidsfonds

Nynke de Monchy at Parkinson Vereniging

Wij zijn niet over één nacht ijs gegaan en hebben zorgvuldig voor de software van Procurios gekozen. Het werken met het Procurios Platform is erg prettig. Er zijn vele mogelijkheden.

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Nynke de Monchy communicatiemedewerker at Parkinson Vereniging

Karin Burghouwt at Royal VEMW (commercial consumers of energy & water)

By working so closely with the Procurios team, we gained a lot of insight into how to start, where to invest our valuable time and discover what is really needed and what is not.

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Karin Burghouwt Secretary association affairs at Royal VEMW (commercial consumers of energy & water)

Marjan Sewradj at KNCV

We hebben een ingewikkelde ledenadministratie en veel partijen zeiden dat Procurios ons kon helpen. Dat bleek te kloppen!

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Marjan Sewradj ledenadministrateur at KNCV

Sophie Bijloos at NVZD

We werken goed samen, Procurios zoekt naar de beste kwaliteit, denkt met je mee en het systeem is makkelijk in gebruik.

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Sophie Bijloos beleidsmedewerker at NVZD

Grégory Marchandise at UBA

Because of Procurios our members/visitors receive personalised content, tailored to their interests; both on our website and in mailings. This leads to twice the engagement on emails.

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Grégory Marchandise Digital Manager - Expert Content Marketing | Marketing Technology at UBA

Jeffrey Teggelove at VODN

Door het Procurios platform kunnen we nu veel zelf, voornamelijk gericht op de communicatie met onze leden: uitnodigingen sturen, bijeenkomsten organiseren, ruimtes reserveren, etc.

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Jeffrey Teggelove algemeen secretaris at VODN

Liesbeth Baldee at Harteraad

Procurios bleek de goede match te zijn door niet alleen betaalbare software en de mogelijkheden ervan, maar ook omdat het systeem heel toegankelijk in gebruik bleek te zijn.

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Liesbeth Baldee office manager at Harteraad

Raimond Fifis at MOS

Now we can give our energy to more substantive matters that contribute to a future-proof association

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Raimond Fifis Managing Partner at MOS

Roel Mathies at Milieudefensie

Onze droom is dat we ooit met alle duizenden leden één-op-één kunnen communiceren. Met het CRM van Procurios groeien we daar naar toe.

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Roel Mathies coördinator servicelijn at Milieudefensie

Folko de Haan at Groenlinks

Het systeem werkt gebruiksvriendelijk en neemt ons erg veel werk uit handen. Het is logisch van opzet: je komt er snel achter hoe alles werkt.

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Folko de Haan datamarketeer at Groenlinks

Dirk De Man at ZORG.tech

Procurios developed a completely new, catchy website that is appreciated by both our colleagues and our members.

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Dirk De Man Secretary at ZORG.tech

Stephan Loerke at World Federation of Advertisers

Many organisations think that they're unique and that off-the-shelf software such as Procurios will limit them. But in fact, it's the opposite!

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Stephan Loerke CEO at World Federation of Advertisers

Pascale Braeckman at Willemsfonds

Wij zijn heel tevreden over de samenwerking met Procurios en raden het zeker aan bij andere verenigingen: doordat het één systeem is worden er veel minder fouten gemaakt

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Pascale Braeckman communicatiemedewerker at Willemsfonds