XXX and YYY merged in early 2012 to form XXX Group Ltd. The merger was born out of a realisation that there was a significant overlap in the business in terms of clients, candidates and service offering. The two businesses operated the same CRM database, but in very different ways with different coding structures and data field usage. The data sets involved were vast, with around 75,000 people, 22,000 companies and 12,000 assignments.

Digby Edwards took on the project to de-duplicate, cleanse and fully map the two databases as well as project manage the merge with the CRM provider.  All this needed to be completed within a 6 week timeframe with minimal impact on users.

The key highlights of the project …

Detailed functional skill coding was added to 32,000 records and location coding was added to records based on telephone dialling codes, postcodes, county and town names

Updated company records, cross referencing data against 12,450 data points.

Tidy up fields which had been misused by previous users.

A full mapping of all 1860 fields was undertaken.

All records were de-duplicated


As part of a strategic expansion plan which incorporated the launch of a US operation, XXX wanted to augment their existing CRM tool with a rapid build out of their reach within the US. They were prepared to purchase data, but were keen that this new data would not “pollute” their already well structured and well-ordered CRM database. The data would, over the course of time, be integrated into their existing CRM database.

This project was split into 2 key phases: Sourcing & Cleansing & the Database Build.

Digby Edwards brokering a deal to purchase ¼ million records from reliable freelance database providers. With a total of 97 different sources the data was de-duplicated and cross referenced against their existing data to provide a clean data set of some 87,000 records.

We built a bespoke multi-user, fully searchable database to house the data which incorporated export modules to prepare data for importing into their existing CRM as well as tool to enable the team to easily undertake basic research on the records utilising x-ray search tools and integrating it with LinkedIn.


Our client, a leading global talent agency with 11 offices worldwide and 70 staff, was keen to drive more business activity through their database (FileFinder version 9) and raise the standard of data integrity & use of the system.

In close partnership with the project stakeholders, Digby Edwards assisted in the reconfiguration of FileFinder and developed a bespoke set of bolt-on tools to their database which not only reported on activity but provided the end user the incentive, as well as the tools to get more out of their system. Key to the success on this project was to develop a series of incentives and powerful, insightful tools that were easy to utilise and manage on a day to day basis.

The suite we developed had 3 key elements:

Useage Reports: A real time management information tool showing various aspects of database usage, with comparative data analysed at user, role and team / office level over any given period of time. The data sets ranged from the number of documents viewed, through to the more basic analysis of records created / updated.

Hot Talent: A distribution tool to notify users of hot candidates with specific, sort after, transferable skills that have been entered on their database.

Mailshot Tools: An easy to use tool to select data for mailshots. Once the data was selected & checked the app would either send an email mailshot or conduct the print run for postal mailshots.


Our client was a newly formed business that had the backing to grow their headcount rapidly and wanted a system to manage their HR data. Existing HR systems were either too expensive or just didn’t suit their needs because they typically targeted large businesses. They wanted a system that covered all angles, so when a new employee turned up they had business cards, phones, and were part of the right email distribution lists etc.

Digby Edwards built a bespoke system that provided them the following: Ability to track and report on absenteeism, holidays, pay and benefits. Set up HR files, generate tailored offer letters and contracts. Facilitate all initial on-boarding processes such as ordering business cards, IT equipment and set up.


Our client, a leading global search firm operating across 3 continents with just under 100 staff, wanted to tighten up their data integrity and general use of the system.  Having recently gone through an intensive cleanse they wanted to introduce a system that would minimise bad data recording without becoming too prescriptive and heavy handed which ran the risk of users avoiding putting data on in the first place.

Digby Edwards met with the key stakeholders as well as a mixture of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ users to configure the database so the appropriate level of mandatory fields could be set.  We then built a reporting tool that automatically ran a weekly report highlighting omissions in data for newly created records.  This report was delivered to individual users and their line managers so users could amend records and update ‘temporary’ records that they had created.

Most importantly the tone was set right for the business with users buying into to the reports and not getting too bogged down in mandatory fields.

Due to the success of this style of ‘Sinners Reports’ has subsequently been introduced across a number of similar businesses.


Our client, an executive search firm, was about to embark on an entire rebrand which involved everything from name / domain through to all marketing collateral. As part of this all CVs and ‘current documents’ needed to be rebranded.

Once the new brand had been selected, Digby Edwards developed a series of scripts to go though the targeted documents, remove all old branding and replace it with the new brand. This affected thousands of documents but once the tested scripts were run the documents were rebranded within an hour.

In addition Digby Edwards developed a drag and drop facility to brand up and file new CVs that came into the business.


Our client is a professional guild with high profile members which, at the time had around 250 members and a regular flow of membership applications, but was running this from a mixture of excel spreadsheets and lists in word.  This desperately needed changing, so we spent some time with the business understanding what they did, how they operated and how we could make their working life easier.

We designed a bespoke database that not only efficiently and securely managed their membership but enabled them to take their data mobile.  The key features included the following: ability to raise and track membership fees, organise and administer regular events, run their annual voting, sync contacts with outlook within their respective distribution groups and automatically generate associated member’s paperwork and set up a filing system.


Our client utilised one of the leading CRM systems in its space which, whilst an excellent system, they couldn’t use it to accurately forecast their pipeline (work in progress and financials) and future business in the way thy wanted. The CRM system had its own generic forecasting system, but this clashed with the way they worked.

Working in close partnership with the CRM provider and key stakeholders a real time management information tool showing various aspects of database usage, with comparative data analysed at user, role and team / office level over any given period of time.

The solution, a bolt on reporting database, was designed to require minimal changes to their CRM system thereby reducing cost and disruption but did require some user retraining. The result was that the business was able to accurately forecast 6 months ahead and analyse previous data to keep a ‘reality check’ on individual users forecasts.


Digby Edwards was asked by a leading boutique search firm to undertake a review of their process as they were starting to struggle with research capacity, yet they had the right staffing ratios and previously robust processes. What they could risk was diluting the quality of their work.

Digby Edwards spent a number of days on site meeting staff & stakeholders to understand 3 key things from each team member: what they do, how they do it and why they do it. Once this was established they were then challenged with applying those questions to the colleagues they work most closely with in the search process. This simple, but effective review was then supplemented with their process and technical frustrations. Once complete, a review of their tools including their database & software was incorporated into the review.

Upon conclusion of the consulting period a detailed report was produced and presented. The report covered all aspects of the process and was delivered within 10 days once various technical suggestions had undergone an initial testing. A 12-point recommendation plan was delivered which touched on all aspects of the business ranging from training, technical enhancement through to collaborative and team working initiatives.