At Descanso Gardens, FRONDS enables the staff to interact more effectively with their membership of 18,000 people. FRONDS at Descanso Systems is known as “DGES,” an acronym for “Descanso Systems Enterprise System.” That moniker hints at the advanced capabilities of FRONDS, that is can do more than just manage donors; indeed, it runs the Point-of-Sale in the front office Visitor Center as well as the membership renewals and ID card printing in the back office.
Prior to the installation of FRONDS, Descanso Gardens utilized a mix of disjointed software applications to manage donor, membership and operations. Donor management was provided by DonorPerfect, membership workflow was processed through a series of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word documents, and operations was being tracked through the use of receipts and cash register printouts that were later manually transcribed into Excel workbooks. Accounting issues were difficult to resolve, and there wasn’t any visibility as to which members were visiting on which days for marketing and fundraising purposes.
Today, having their donor management, membership workflow and operations all centralized in FRONDS save the staff tremendous time, freeing them up to address more important issues. Because of the depth of integration and compatibility with their workflow, FRONDS enables Descanso personnel to take advantage of a number of features that previously were not available to them. For example, FRONDS’ System Dashboard shows the staff the current weather conditions and real-time visitation and sales figures, and compares them to the same day of the week of the previous year.
Descanso executives wanted just one type of Point-of-Sale device in their Visitor Center that could handle cash and card transactions, membership, class, train & tram, and event ticket sales. FRONDS has a built-in interactive Point-of-Sale (POS) cash register that is 100% web-based and compatible with all major web browsers including those for iPads and other tablets and which is also touch screen and barcode scanner enabled.
Descanso Gardens executives report how FRONDS is already proving its value:
- Instantaneous reporting that will help us manage our enterprise better
- Tracking member behavior, which improves our knowledge of a key, core constituency
- Integrates POS with membership management
- Provides us with much more powerful tools for member fulfillment and satisfaction:
- instant enrollment and addition to the database
- near-instant fulfillment of membership cards
- much faster renewal process
- better “member experience” at check-in
- much better control of entrance gate
- Much simplified and more user-friendly donor tracking, moves management, reporting system that is also much less expensive than the current systems in wide use such as Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge and DonorPerfect
Even though they had been using a different commercially available web-based donor management package, they will still realize a 25% savings in overall work effort by using FRONDS which aligns more closely with their fundraising and membership management requirements.