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Unions 21


Over 18 months, ASLEF worked on a digital transformation project to move its database from one which mainly stored member records and supported subs collection to a CRM with new digital functions, including an integrated website, and enhanced data reporting.

Working closely with ASLEF’s elected officers and staff, Unions 21 provided project management for the scoping, tendering and implementation of the new CRM and integrated website.

Simon Weller, ASLEF Assistant General Secretary said:

""We worked with Unions 21 on our digital transformation project because we wanted database and website expertise from colleagues who understand unions and their specific needs.

Unions 21 colleagues took time to understand and challenge ASLEF’s strategy, structures and ways of working to make sure the new system and website would deliver what the union needs now and in the future.

We were encouraged to think about how we could ‘do things differently’ to find new and better ways of supporting members and reps as well as easing our own workload, smoothing our processes and improving cross-team working.

From here, the Unions 21 team managed the tender and selection process using their knowledge of what we required to identify and introduce us to database and website suppliers. Then they oversaw the implementation of the new platforms, working closely with suppliers and union colleagues to get to launch this May.

As with every tech project, there have been bumps on the road, but I’ve relied on U21 colleagues to intervene, find a way forward and keep the project on track and on budget.

The new system provides a robust and compliant cloud-based space to manage member and rep records, payments and check-off, to store our stakeholders’ contacts and to engage with both these groups through new digital channels. This has reduced the reliance, and the risk, on separate teams to manage data.

We’ve new data dashboards showing, for example, snapshots of member density, join and leave stats and event sign ups. And we’ve new reporting tools which everyone with permission can access to, for example, create filters for targeted comms work or run reports on trends in membership activity so we can make better decisions.

At the same time, the new website has offered members and reps an intuitive space for information and support, with a log in area for reps to view member details, email and set up events, and for members to engage with their union.

We’re still exploring the full capabilities of the new system - and we’re learning where we need to extend our skills. Our work has been made so much easier with U21 colleagues who, despite the limitations of the pandemic, have supported ASLEF to step into new, exciting, sometimes a bit scary, ways of working which will stand us in good stead for the future.""

Team working on this project: Vic Barlow and Duncan Robertson