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MedicAlert Achieves ‘Astronomical’ Efficiency Gains With HubSpot

MedicAlert replaced an outdated, disconnected patchwork of legacy systems with HubSpot and positively transformed its non-profit business. Today, their teams are aligned and productive, they make better, data-driven business decisions, and they grow and innovate with greater ease.

MedicAlert Foundation Canada

MedicAlert Foundation Canada is a Registered Charity serving more than one million Canadians since 1961. Recognized by their iconic medical IDs, MedicAlert’s mission is to share health information with first responders when people have a health emergency.


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    Unique Registered Charity 

    MedicAlert Foundation Canada is a registered charity that manages Canada’s only Emergency Health Information database. 

    Their mission is to bridge a gap that exists in the Canadian healthcare system by providing high-quality health information to first responders when someone has a health emergency.

    Leslie McGill, MedicAlert’s President and CEO, explains: “What we do matters to 1.3 million Canadians. We’ve been helping people and saving lives for three generations.”

    The charity’s operations are unique and complex. They manage and protect a vast database of members’ health information. They generate revenue through member subscriptions, e-commerce sales of medical ID bracelets, and on and offline fundraising. They also provide an emergency response line that first responders call to give the right treatment at the right time.

    With subscriptions to manage, data to protect, customer service standards to maintain, and sales to maximize, MedicAlert has a lot of moving parts. Throughout its history, aligning multiple functions and keeping operations efficient has been a constant challenge.

    Outdated tech stack

    Before they discovered HubSpot, MedicAlert managed its front office functions and back office data with an outdated stack of technology. They used 13 different systems, almost none of which were integrated. 

    Their legacy CRM had been out of support for five years. While developers did all they could to keep the wheels turning, it was a muddled mesh of “spaghetti code” and a nightmare to maintain.

    Virtually every task and process was laborious and manual, adding time and cost for the operation. While they had software to manage purchasing, payments, and other finance functions, a lack of integration made financial reporting an exhaustive task. Data had to be exported from each system, then onerously manipulated on spreadsheets. Marketing and sales automation was non-existent. And because nothing tied together, it was hard to align departments and stay efficient.

    Managing subscription renewals manually was probably their biggest challenge. 

    Leslie says: “We had no functionality for auto renewal, so our team had to manually renew customers, once a year, once every two years, or once every three years depending on their subscription. It was very costly for us to do.”

    Flying the business “blind”

    Because of its outdated tech stack, MedicAlert had virtually no visibility into its data. It was almost impossible to generate meaningful analysis to drive decision-making. 

    What little they could see was siloed in specific channels and by the time it was pulled, it was out of date. They had no holistic view of the business and no central source of truth.

    “Because we couldn’t extract anything from our system, we flew almost completely blind when it came to decision making.  We had no leading indicators of performance which is a difficult way to manage an organization or drive growth. We simply couldn't see what was working and what was not,” says Leslie. 

    “We couldn’t see what subscriber behaviour looked like or anticipate what we needed to do to improve attrition. We were in the dark ages and felt we couldn’t make business decisions properly.” 

    Into the light with HubSpot

    MedicAlert was ready to come out of the darkness and embark on an ambitious digital transformation. But they needed to find the right technology partner first. 

    The business did comparative analysis on three different vendors—HubSpot, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics. They ruled out Salesforce, because it was “too expensive” and felt constrained by its data storage cap. Microsoft didn’t offer the system flexibility MedicAlert needed. HubSpot, on the other hand, offered everything on its checklist and more.

    Leslie explains: “HubSpot’s implementation costs were 10X less than Salesforce. And they seemed hungrier, more nimble, more willing to work with us, and more flexible.”

    For six months before they signed, HubSpot patiently worked with MedicAlert to make sure their next system was the right one. They had daily conversations to really listen and understand their challenges and requirements. 

    With trust and rapport in place, MedicAlert decided to implement HubSpot CRM to seamlessly connect its data, teams, and customers on one platform. They opted to add a variety of HubSpot tools, including Marketing Hub to improve analytics, Sales Hub to reduce acquisition costs, and Service Hub to connect with their members better.

    Implementer unlocks value faster

    To reduce effort on their part and unlock the benefits of HubSpot sooner, MedicAlert decided to appoint a recommended HubSpot Implementation Partner. 

    Leslie explains: “We were doing something that virtually nobody does—replacing an entire system. Everything was about to change in our world, so we felt we needed the support of a dedicated implementer.”

    MedicAlert selected Flawless Inbound to help ease the complex implementation.

    Custom, compliant solution

    With deep knowledge of HubSpot and proven experience delivering complex implementations, Flawless Inbound got to work. They maintained regular communication with HubSpot and MedicAlert, addressing challenges together, to ensure MedicAlert saw HubSpot’s value quickly and could start working towards their goals faster. 

    First, Flawless Inbound mapped MedicAlert’s data from the old system to the new one, including 1.3 million health records!

    To ensure customer data remained secure and compliant, they migrated everything to a secure storage location on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Then they set up an integration between AWS and HubSpot, so MedicAlert can use data as they need it, while maintaining data security and privacy, as required by law.

    Next, Flawless Inbound implemented all the new sales, marketing, and service solutions and plugged critical apps including Stripe and Power BI into the platform. This consolidation of tools instantly streamlined MedicAlert’s operations. They also implemented APIs to support easier compliance, automated the subscription renewal process, and custom built a range of invaluable solutions. 

    These custom builds included a portal where first responders can self-serve their data needs, and a dedicated eCommerce engine that makes it easy to buy products and services. 

    Leslie says: “At every stage, our implementation partner—supported by HubSpot’s developer and customer success teams—were really supportive of all of the things we asked for. I don't think we would have had that with any other provider.”

    New dawn of data 

    With every team and byte of data now connected in one place on HubSpot CRM, MedicAlert has moved “out of the dark ages and into the light”. They easily generate custom reports and dashboards to track KPIs across finance, marketing, sales, and service, keeping their finger on the pulse of the business in real-time.

    Leslie particularly appreciates the insights HubSpot unearths on subscriber and member behaviour. She’s also able to run A/B testing for the first time. By tracking members’ preferences and how they respond to marketing, sales, and service offers, they optimize campaigns to trigger more subscription renewals and lower their attrition rate.

    “We analyze all kinds of behaviour now and understand patterns that help us sell subscriptions and one-off products,” she says. 

    Operational efficiency

    Leslie sees “tons of advantages” to implementing HubSpot, but improvements in organization-wide efficiency and productivity are the most significant. IT teams have less laborious system maintenance, staff work productively on a reliable, connected system, and data-driven decision-making drives the business forward.

    “It’s less about sales volume and growth for us right now and more about operational efficiency. And the efficiency gains that we have made by implementing HubSpot are astronomical,” says Leslie. “We haven't been able to fully quantify it all, because we need a full 12-month cycle but, intuitively, I can already see the gains we have made and they are substantial.”

    Innovating with confidence

    HubSpot enables MedicAlert to build and launch new products with greater confidence. This is critical for boosting revenue and fuelling future growth. 

    The operation has a JIT (just in time) ordering system with their jewelry manufacture and engravers, which is seamlessly connected to HubSpot. So they launch new products with confidence knowing fees will be collected and orders seamlessly fulfilled.

    Liliane from Flawless Inbound explains: “MedicAlert is launching a lot of new products now and HubSpot empowers that. The sky really is the limit for them from here.”

    Exceptional partnership 

    HubSpot’s customer service standards consistently impress MedicAlert. They feel cared for and valued, despite being a relatively small company.

    Leslie says: “We had one problem not long after launch that was a significant issue for our subscribers. We reached out to HubSpot at 10pm and because the U.S. team was offline, they handed it over to their team in the Pacific Rim to solve for us. It was amazing.”

    As MedicAlert continues on its mission to save more lives, having a trusted partner in HubSpot is almost priceless.

    Leslie says: “HubSpot works with us through all kinds of challenges. They understand that the reason we press so hard for certain things is because we’ve been saving lives for three generations, and that’s a big weight to carry. HubSpot is a really incredible partner.” 

    “Before HubSpot, our technology was in the dark ages. Now, we can analyze data and understand patterns that help us sell subscriptions and one-off products. The efficiency gains are astronomical.”

    Leslie McGill

    President & CEO

    MedicAlert Foundation Canada

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