Wild enthusiasm and meticulous planning: The secret to delivering digital transformation at the British Ecological Society

Kingfisher BES


The British Ecological Society (BES) is the largest scientific society for ecologists in Europe.  A welcoming and inclusive home for everyone in ecology, the BES supports new ideas, makes connections and increases the impact of ecological science.  The Society is working towards a world in which nature and people thrive.


BES issued an Invitation to Tender in September 2019 with the requirement to replace its existing CRM system.  BES’s objectives in making this change included gaining a full understanding of the member journey, providing meaningful management reports, holding complete and up-to-date information on members and stakeholders, providing value-based services to members and enhancing monitoring of inclusivity, equality and diversity.

BLC was selected to provide Dynamics CRM as well as APIs to enable BES to move away from its legacy systems as well as develop tighter integration with its existing website.

Scottish Highlands

Since Bluelight’s CRM launched, the overall time taken to complete routine membership tasks has decreased by almost 30%, which is a fantastic and much-welcomed result and, in turn, frees up time for staff to carry out other important activities.

  • Jon Wood
  • Head of Society Programmes
  • British Ecological Society



What BES determined to bring to the table was a human element.  It cannot be underestimated how powerful this dynamic was for driving the project forward.  

Jonathan Wood, Head of Society Programmes at BES, took on the role of championing the new CRM internally.  Alongside a dedicated Project Manager to oversee the day-to-day running of the project, Jonathan brought together a committed BES team that got heavily involved in every workshop, playback and training session.  Their enthusiasm and engagement at each stage of the project was palpable and compelling, creating an environment where everyone was excited for and motivated by the digital transformation.  This, in turn, created the foundations for excellent working relationships between client, supplier and other third parties.

In short, the team’s enthusiasm for the project made BES an absolute pleasure to work with.

We are so excited to start reaping the benefits of our new system. BlueCRM is going to make our lives so much easier, and we’re already seeing improvements in the member experience.

  • Jon Wood
  • Head of Society Programmes
  • British Ecological Society
Half a globe with buildings


By taking a highly collaborative approach, the project was delivered successfully, on time and budget, and went live in September 2020. 

The core elements of the project were:

  • Detailed analysis of business requirements

  • Dynamics CRM implementation

  • Data migration from legacy CRM

  • Launch of a new web portal allowing login, registration, profile and comms preference updates as well as online payments and event bookings

UK River

We had a great working relationship with the BLC Project Manager and Technical Consultants. When you have goodwill and a truly shared understanding, then success absolutely follows. We’re delighted with the results.

  • Jon Wood
  • Head of Society Programmes
  • British Ecological Society


The benefits BES is realising from its new CRM and Portal include the ability to:

  • Have a unified 360° view of its users all in one place

  • Produce powerful data analysis using data BES can trust

  • Increase the member base by capturing more information about event attendees, e.g. interests and areas of study

  • Tailor communication to members based on a database of interests and specialisms that can be updated through the portal

  • Allow all BES staff to have an overview of the contacts and their activity so information isn't siloed into teams

  • Work more efficiently and provide more resources to members

  • Increase oversight of sponsorship opportunities and donations that come from membership or online (also helped by the website allowing members to donate online)

  • Use the CRM to help build the base of member organisations in the Society’s newly launched information source, Applied Ecology Resources (a repository of papers, reports and studies on managing the environment)

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