Our Clients: Raven Rescue

Raven Rescue, a technical training, equipment sales, and rescue service provider based in Smithers, BC and with operations across the country, began working with Oak Bay Softrends in the summer of 2012. At that time, they were a thriving business with plans for growth. They had earned a well-deserved reputation for courses and programs that wowed customers, delivering outstanding instruction at a level that required a thorough understanding of each customer’s specific needs.

“Our formula was simple: We answered the phone, we listened to what our clients needed from us, we sent them their paperwork, we gave them excellent value for money,” says Amy Copland, Raven Rescue’s managing director. “Our customer service vaulted us way ahead of other trainers.”

As Raven Rescue knew all too well, that kind of commitment to client relationships didn’t come simply, requiring a serious investment in man hours and effort behind the scenes. Business “as usual” meant repeatedly having to enter course information—times, dates, billing information and client contact data—over and over into several different software programs. There was lots of room for error and conflicting data, lots of inefficiencies, and the temptation to skip typing the same information in again “just this once” was constant.

After outgrowing one off-the-shelf solution, and struggling for two years with another that simply couldn’t meet their needs, Copland turned to Oak Bay Softrends. Turns out, what Raven Rescue got with Oak Bay was more than just software. “They’ve pretty much become an extension of our company,” says Copland.

The software Raven Rescue and Oak Bay developed initially was fairly simple and straightforward. Over time, and rather organically, says Copland, each time Raven Rescue staffers ran up against a limitation, or wanted to be able to do something new, the response from Oak Bay was, “Sure, we can do that.”

Today, the software handles all client records, invoicing, course logistics and scheduling, provisioning for training and safety courses, and even retail equipment sales. And there’s no plan to stop there: the ongoing development wish list has new functionality coming online regularly as the company gets bigger.

The software—fondly called Ravent by staffers—has made growing Raven Rescue into the medium-sized business it is today a lot less challenging than it might have been. “With this customized solution we have been able to keep up with our growth, to manage it, and to meet our mission of providing really good client service while the company has been growing rapidly.”

Copland has a deep appreciation for the way in which Oak Bay works with Raven Rescue. She lauds both the developers’ capabilities and their professionalism. Oak Bay, she says, delivers what they say they are going to deliver.

“Every time we’ve asked for something, the developer has been able to do it, which is amazing. He knows so much about how Raven Rescue operates that he can come up with solutions, rather than just waiting on us to make requests. It has become a complete partnership.”

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