Anna wants to study engineering and robotics, and is considering Plymouth University. She applies online to attend an open day and is provided with a QR code. When the day arrives, she doesn’t have to queue to register – she simply signs in with the code. Then, on the train home, she receives an email requesting feedback on the event and is sent information about how to enroll. Anna applies and months later is thrilled that she has been accepted.
Plymouth University’s student recruitment and admissions process is being powered by Salesforce, as is its graduate recruitment programme. In fact, by the time Anna starts her first graduate job, Plymouth University will have a complete record of her student and employment journey stored in Salesforce.
“With Salesforce CRM we can provide prospects, current students and alumni with a much better experience. We can attract high calibre individuals and place them in the right jobs when they graduate,” explains Stephen Gerry, Program Manager at Plymouth University.
For Plymouth University, Salesforce doesn’t just improve the student experience – it also brings together previously disparate departments and faculties. Standardizing processes means an efficiency boost for administration teams, helping them to manage information and communications with between campuses in South West England and as far afield as Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.
“Salesforce gives us a 360-degree view of students, events, business partners and alumni ambassadors. This has unified university departments and eliminated time-consuming pen-and-paper processes,” adds Gerry.
For example, the university can now send information out to prospective students in minutes, which before Salesforce would have involved days of manual work.
Plymouth is the first UK university with plans to deploy Salesforce across its entire institution, but the university is no stranger to leading the way with new and innovative ideas. “Our agility sets us apart from other institutions,” confirms Rupert Frankum, Technical Project Manager at the university. “Salesforce gives us the flexibility to embrace this.”
Following the success of managing Student Recruitment and Employability with Salesforce, Plymouth University is now rolling out its Student Admissions activities and is extending its use to Research and Innovation and Academic Partnerships in 2015, where the team sees the highest Return on Investment.
By integrating the solution with a central government feed, the university will be able to track grants and avoid missing funding opportunities. “Even with just a 10 percent increase in funding leads, we could potentially generate an additional £5 million a year for research projects,” comments Amy Worman, Product Owner at the university. “It’s a relatively small project to generate a massive boost in funding.”
Still in the first phase of a three-year plan, the Salesforce implementation is opening doors to greater agility, faster processing and more satisfied students.
“The next intake of students will benefit from the Salesforce solution from open day to graduation,” says Gerry. “With a unified approach and automated processes, we can focus on playing the long game: getting graduates a good education, and giving them every opportunity to get not just a bill-paying job, but a great graduate role.”