IOM3 – Complex System Integration

The challenge

IOM3 approached us to help them rebuild their existing website and integrate it with their bespoke CRM – ‘Concept’ by Advanced NFP. Having formed out of a number of mergers and with roots dating back to 1869, IOM3 have very complex internal operational structures, systems and processes, and a disparate and dispersed membership. Their back-office systems and processes were to be considered within the development cycle with the expectation that the new tooling would at a minimum lay the foundations for future streamlining. The project as such was a complex digital transformation piece which touched many areas of the organisation and interfaced with numerous internal and external 3rd party systems.

IOM3 had recently attempted an unsuccessful integration with another supplier, so we knew it would be important to fully explore the implications of each step of the project, making decisions together with the client.  We enjoyed an excellent partnership, working extensively with them to explore how to deliver a fully integrated website to CRM solution that would deliver on all of their complex requirements from a strategic perspective prior to the more technical build.

IOM3 also required a fully updated website presence with a full User Experience and Graphic Design work cycle, the rebuild of the existing CMS within a newer and improved version and a complex data and content migration between the two CMS databases. All of this to modern website standards and resulting in the delivery of fully responsive web pages.

The solution

We ran the programme of activity in 2 distinct project cycles. One project focussed on the website user experience, design, build and development which was relatively straightforward to disassociate from the larger more complex CRM integration. At the same time the second CRM integration project was carried out, involving much more consideration for dependencies and organisational disruption.

We facilitated a number of critical phases of consultancy with them and their 3rd party suppliers to scope out the development of a bespoke CRM API toolset, defined and facilitated testing phases, and migrated thousands of pages of restructured content from an old CMS tool to a new and improved toolset. This dual approach enabled progress to be made on two fronts simultaneously whilst still ensuring a robust process of consultation, technical scoping, stakeholder alignment and testing could take place in continual cycles.

The Results

The website was delivered to a set timeframe despite the numerous technical challenges and complexities of working across suppliers both in a consultancy and technical build capacity.

  • The new site is now integrated for the first time with their very bespoke CRM tooling
  • Membership processes and systems have been interrogated and analysed, putting the organisation in a much stronger position to streamline and build for the future
  • The new website presents a fresh new online brand, optimised for viewing across devices (responsive design)and provides users with a vastly improved user journey
  • Back-office workflows have been improved, bringing in efficiencies and reducing unnecessary working practices
  • The new website tooling is now more user friendly and powerful for administrators
  • The depth of technical insight gained during the project empowers the internal team, paving the way for future phases of digital change which will now be easier to make in a more efficient and effective way.


The new website has also seen some massive improvements in performance:

  • Thousands of users have registered and created a personal profile on the site, as a stepping stone to becoming full members
  • By requiring existing members to log on and update their profile (in order to enjoy the new site functionality), member log-ins have increased 100 fold(!), facilitating member engagement.
  • Organic traffic to the site has doubled due to the SEO features on the new site
  • Visits to the homepage have increased by over 17%
  • Key pages such as jobs, events and the ‘Materials World’ magazine received a traffic boost due to an optimised user journey.
  • Session duration has increased by over 35%
  • Average pages per session has increased by 11%
  • Bounce rate has reduced by 13%

The new website has allowed us to present our activities in a much more visual way, give identity to our activity groups and make use of the great images that represent our industry sector. All in all that makes for a much more attractive site. We’re also pleased with the flexibility Drupal 7 gives us to manage and present our content, and in the back end the ability to manage users and view user data is very valuable. – Dr Nuna Staniaszek, Director of Communications at The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3)

We’re honoured to have had this project chosen by to be showcased on their site.

IOM3 is a membership organisation with over 18,000 members. The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) is a major UK engineering institution and a leading authority in the worldwide materials and mining community. The organisation's activities encompass the whole materials cycle; from exploration and extraction, through characterisation, processing, forming, finishing and application, to product recycling and land reuse. They are made up of many sub-communities and deploy complex membership structures.

Project Highlights

  • Integration of the new website with the organisation's bespoke CRM tooling (Concept by Advanced NFP)

  • Comprehensive interrogation and analysis of the membership processes and systems

  • Fresh new online brand

  • Optimised user experience, including site navigation and user journey

  • New responsive website design

  • Improved back-office workflows for efficient working practices and expanded toolset for website administrators