Rainforest Alliance increases operational efficiency with Scribe Software

Scribe Online provides greater data accessibility for sustainable practices certification program


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The Rainforest Alliance is experiencing operational efficiency and greater data organization thanks to Scribe Software, a global data integration provider based in Manchester. This year, Rainforest Alliance purchased Scribe Online — Scribe's integration platform as a service — to integrate the applications and data used in administering the Rainforest Alliance's labeling and certification programs.

The global nonprofit encourages thousands of farmers, forest operations and businesses to follow sustainable practices in agriculture, forestry and tourism through certification that ensures farms adhere to rigorous social and environmental standards set forth by the Sustainable Agriculture Network. Companies that source from these farms may be eligible to use the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal. 

Prior to the purchase, the Rainforest Alliance recognized there were a number of manual data management and data synchronization steps in its certification process. If not executed reliably, these manual steps could prevent employees from accessing real-time information key to the smooth functioning of the certification system. One example the company provides is that each step relied on the specific knowledge of individual employees and if someone was out of the office, data that was under their control would become outdated and cause significant procedural disruptions downstream. In considering its options, the organization set a goal to more fully automate several data processing steps among disconnected systems to improve visibility for their management team and others into the supply chains of certification clients.

"We were drawn in by Scribe's superior ability to get data out of one system and into another," said Eugene Kogan, CTO of the Rainforest Alliance. "Our certification process has many moving parts, and we counted on the Scribe's pre-made connectors to make our transition from manual to automated processes fast and smooth."

The Rainforest Alliance first created an integration that ran on an hourly basis and moved supply chain information, including data from certification and auditing procedures, from its home in Salesforce to their reporting database, housed in Microsoft SQL Azure. The step eliminated manual data pulls and ensured data never became out of date.

Next, it built an integration between Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, designed to move contact information for companies who are mid-certification to the master contact database.

Finally, the nonprofit built an integration between Salesforce and the accounting system, not only to record transactions, but also to move financial data directly to the data warehouse where it could be quickly accessed to enhance management-level reporting.

"Just a few hours after starting to use Scribe Online, we had a clear stream of data moving among our CRM applications, our supply chain system and our data warehouse, and the view across the entire certification process became much sharper," said Matthew Snyder, application developer at the Rainforest Alliance.

Removing manual intervention resulted in greater access and visibility into the journey of certified items from "source to store", improved the quality of the Rainforest Alliance's data and quickened the speed with which it could generate accurate reports. The firm now processes information about certifications in a more standardized, structured manner, resulting in better oversight of the process, according to a press release. Moreover, IT has seen a rise in uptime — as Scribe Online provides granular visibility into the health of key processing systems and exposing network issues as they occur.

"When dealing with cloud applications, such as Salesforce, many organizations have manual processes to extract the data and move it around the organization, especially for analytic purposes. A modern, digital business that wants to move fast and have accurate data always available may need more," said Shawn McGowan, CEO, Scribe Software. "The Scribe Online iPaaS offers an agile data and application framework on which our customers are building next generation businesses, and we're proud to help the Rainforest Alliance, and its stakeholders, realize these digital advantages."

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