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2020: The year of ERP

Posted by  Rob Gethen Smith

At the Nethope Global Summit this month in Puerto Rico, we heard many times that 2020 will be the year of the ERP. And the reasons are clear: cloud adoption has reached a critical tipping point, organizations have been investing in digital engagement, getting their ducks in a row the last few years aligning CRM and Content Management systems and other systems in the cloud. Faced with increasing operating complexity, competition for funding and growing need to demonstrate impact now is the time to invest in streamlining back-office processes.

But how do you make the business case for a big scary project like ERP? Not-for-Profits and NGOs often have trouble making the case to invest in what is seen as back-office administrative systems. The costs of procrastination, however, might be higher than you realize. Legacy Finance and HR systems are often fragmented with poor integration to many other important systems, clunky processes for your people to complete simple tasks like time recoding and expense entry. You may also have trouble tracking and allocating spending accurately to the right projects and grants. Never mind having the data and analytics to make quick, or even predictive, strategic decisions and changes.

But, consider...

  • The waste on sub-optimal grant allocation - Poor expenditure management means that NFPs are unable to ensure that all costs are allocated to the correct source of funding (grants).  Being able to link direct and indirect expenditure against the best source of funding, considering all grant conditions, optimizes funding and enables accurate donor reporting.
  • The impact of project overspend - Improved financial controls can help ensure projects do not overspend. Proactive budget checking on transaction entry and approval helps make sure general funds are protected from project overspending.
  • The time your people spend on data entry - Within NFP, it is still common for data to be captured manually in multiple systems.  Modern ERP streamlines data entry enabling people to do more meaningful work.
  • The cost of organizational change - the unpredictable nature of delivering social impact programs means that NFPs must continuously pivot and adapt to their changing environment to ensure they are maximizing their impact. An agile back office is essential to enabling responsiveness in the field and to help beneficiaries in the best possible way.

With modern cloud ERP, purpose-built for not for profits and NGOs, you can mitigate these risks while also benefitting from a solution built on our true SaaS People Platform, which Holger Mueller has said is “one of the most innovative ERP platforms on the market.” Benefit from constant upgrades and configuration options purpose-built for the specific needs of Not-for-Profits and NGOs that won’t require IT intervention or maintenance like the customizations of old, as well as a community of likeminded users. Depending on your organization and requirements, you could see savings in a matter of months after implementation.

Contact us to schedule your free business value assessment and we’ll help you develop the business case to convince your organization that digital transformation is the next step. Or, join our webinar, The True Cost of Doing Nothing: Making the case for modern cloud ERP in Not for Profits, to see real example benefits and a business case for an organization like yours, December 3 at 11 am ET / 5 pm.

Rob Gethen Smith

Rob is a digital technology and business change specialist having worked in the NfP sector for the last 20 years. Prior to Unit4, he was a partner at charity and membership specialists, Adapta Consulting, where he advised charities and non-profits on the effective use of information systems. He is also a trustee for the international animal welfare charity SPANA. Rob has worked as CIO at Anthony Nolan, Southbank Centre, Tate and Macmillan Cancer Support, and as Customer Engagement Director at Blackbaud, developing business and technology strategies and leading change initiatives.

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