Crimson Case Studies

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Transforms Grant Provider Response Times

Charis Grants Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner


Charis has been dedicated to aiding utility providers in supporting their most vulnerable customers by facilitating access to grants for clearing energy debts. In the past 15 years, Charis has assisted their clients in managing over £100 million in funds, many to comply with regulatory obligations.

The Problem

Charis handles thousands of financial assistance requests annually, necessitating a quick response to those in urgent need. The company depended on a custom-built application and various manual, paper-based methods to bridge gaps in processes.

However, as administrative demands grew and data became compartmentalised, it was increasingly challenging to maintain efficient operations and provide high-quality service to the customers of their clients.

Additionally, Charis faced hurdles in launching new schemes due to the inflexibility of their IT systems, which could not easily adapt to the distinct requirements of each client or the functionalities Charis aimed to provide.

The Solution

Following a recommendation from another Microsoft Partner, Charis engaged with the Crimson team for a solution. Charis chose Crimson, attracted by their proven success and their effort in understanding Charis’ specific needs.

After a detailed analysis, Crimson suggested utilising Microsoft Dynamics 365 to cater to the business’s requirements.

The adaptability, CRM features, and advanced workflow capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 made it the perfect platform to craft unique workflows and consolidate customer information securely within the Microsoft cloud framework. Moreover, the compatibility of Dynamics 365 with other Microsoft applications promised an easier adoption for users.

Collaborating closely, Crimson and Charis’ IT department developed integrations between Dynamics 365 and Charis’ .NET-based online application forms, as these account for approximately 90 percent of grant applications.

The Outcome

Transitioning from an outdated custom application and manual data handling has significantly streamlined the grant application process for Charis. What previously took days now takes mere hours to determine if an application fulfils the required criteria. The system now prompts for any missing information from applicants, reducing the need for time-consuming communications.

A unified system view now exists, consolidating all relevant documents and data in one secure location. Microsoft Dynamics 365’s integration with Charis’ telephone system improves efficiency by displaying the corresponding contact record during incoming calls.

Thanks to Dynamics CRM, the Charis team can now more effectively identify and prioritise the most needy applicants. The built-in reporting dashboards provide the leadership with a comprehensive overview of key operational and financial metrics, enabling real-time decision-making.

Adopting Crimson’s collaborative and phased project approach, the system was successfully launched within five months from its initiation, staying within the allocated budget.

“Choosing Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides our staff with a modern, flexible solution that will allow Charis to scale and meet the future needs of our clients. Crimson quickly got to grips with our requirements and the intricacies of our business, enabling them to actively contribute to an evolving solution. I am delighted that we are now able to provide an enhanced service to our clients and their customers, providing a much quicker and more holistic assessment service. ”

– Sam Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Charis.