Case Study: Doctors Without Borders

April 10, 2017

From Triage to Triumph in Seven Days: How Doctors Without Borders Went Live with Allocadia in Record Time

"We felt as if we were going through the process as a team, and never once worried about missing something and not getting a chance to address it.”

– Nadine Ahrabi-Nejad, Senior Marketing Associate

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One week from kickoff to go-live. 

That’s how long it took for the 15-person team at Doctors Without Borders to get up and running on Allocadia. While they give credit to Allocadia for this achievement, there’s more to the story. 

Having come out of another technology deployment a year earlier (a new project management platform), they knew how to prepare for this one. “We had a preliminary meeting with our entire team to discuss our pain points around budget management and how Allocadia was going to help,” recalls Nadine Ahrabi-Nejad, Senior Marketing Associate. People were nervous, for several reasons, including:

  • Concern that Allocadia would mean more work for them
  • It would be more complicated than using a spreadsheet
  • It would result in a significant process change

All of their concerns were predictable — using Allocadia is a different way of building marketing plans and managing investments. It was challenging for the team to see the upside of switching to a more advanced, more powerful, and more insightful system. 

So how did Doctors Without Borders overcome this resistance? 

“We acknowledged their concerns, made no effort to understate the learning curve, and focused the discussion around how Allocadia was going to resolve the planning and budgeting challenges we had and which everyone agreed were real problems,” says Ahrabi-Nejad. “We emphasized that all their concerns would be addressed through training. Credit to the team - everyone went in with very open minds.”

The Allocadia Approach

Recognizing how important it is to start on a positive note, Allocadia approaches every new deployment with a clearly articulated plan of attack. “We’ve done hundreds of deployments since 2010, and have learned how to make the process quick and painless, and how to set up our customers for success,” says Kyle Woo, Allocadia professional services consultant. “It’s always important to start by listening to customer expectations and identifying what they’re concerned about. Then it’s about establishing confidence in our approach.”

Allocadia brings a detailed and thoughtful onboarding plan to the table, tailored to the unique concerns and requirements of each customer. “Their plan was much more thorough than the one we got from our project management platform vendor,” affirms Ahrabi-Nejad. “We saw right away that our concerns were well understood and our needs fully addressed. The team breathed a huge sigh of relief after being walked through the plan by our customer success manager.” 

From that point on, it was smooth sailing. From training to going live, the process was clean and easy. Even the most reluctant marketers at Doctors Without Borders agreed that not only was it easy, but that they were actually excited about planning and budgeting for the first time! 

From the pace of training and its hands-on case study format to the minor tweaks to analytics, every stage was completed without issue. The proof: every member of the Doctors Without Borders team felt ready to dive into Allocadia from the moment the platform went live.

“Having Allocadia really invested in our particular use case helped us get the results we wanted, providing a way to manage our plans and budgets in ways that we weren’t even aware of,” says Ahrabi-Nejad. No longer a one-and-done effort, the Doctors Without Borders marketing budget became a living, dynamic resource that helps them better manage their investments and plan for the future.

“The work that Doctors Without Borders does around the globe is truly inspirational, and it’s a genuine honor to be a part of that,” says TJ Begley, vice-president of Professional Services & Support. “While we naturally take great pride in every customer, there’s an extra layer of satisfaction in getting this group up and running as quickly as we did.”

Bringing in Allocadia meant a big change to how Doctors Without Borders would run marketing. But a thoughtful and thorough plan combined with regular communication, clear milestones, and ample training made short work of the transition. With Allocadia behind the scenes, they’re now well on their way to improving how they manage marketing performance.

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