By implementing Microsoft Dynamics® GP with the help of Corporate Renaissance Group, Universities Canada has realized significant efficiencies in many of its accounting and enterprise resource planning processes. The flexibility of Dynamics GP allows for ongoing maintenance and adjustments as new opportunities for performance improvement are identified.
When Universities Canada decided to upgrade its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, MC Chartrand was charged with leading the project and ensuring that all of the association’s requirements were met in the implementation.
The ERP system upgrade was going to be a complex undertaking, as the organization was still operating on a Windows 95 platform in order to support its outdated technology. Adopting a new ERP would mean bringing in new hardware and overhauling all of the organization’s infrastructure at the same time.
When it came to selecting the new ERP solution, the requirements were not as complicated.
“We wanted a software that would be user-friendly with a look and feel that people would recognize, and something that would be easy to upgrade in the future,” said MC.
“More importantly, we were looking for a solutions partner to assist with the installation and work with us to minimize the risks, help us to review and optimize our internal processes, and put more controls in place.”
After considering three possible solutions, Universities Canada selected Microsoft Dynamics GP deployed by Ottawa-based Microsoft Solutions Partner, Corporate Renaissance Group (CRGroup). The decision was made primarily on the strong reputation that CRGroup had developed over the past twenty-five years as a business solutions partner.
“It was very important for us to have a partner we could trust,” explained MC. CRGroup’s proven track record was confirmed by references at other organizations.
“From the initial meeting with CRGroup, and throughout the project CRGroup continued to reinforce that we had made the right decision in choosing them.”
CRGroup helped Universities Canada build integrations to pull data into the new Dynamics GP system from external sources, including general ledger files, transaction files, and accounts payable files.
“The ability to make the Dynamics GP system work smoothly with our other applications was critical,” said MC. “This resulted in fewer changes to our processes and less disruption to our business activity.”
According to MC, the Dynamics GP implementation has addressed the requirements of Universities Canada very well. The implementation went as expected, with a heavy reliance on the CRGroup team, and the work was completed on time. In particular, MC says he appreciated the level of communication that was maintained throughout the project. “What I liked the most was that everybody was honest,” he says.
The project team continues to monitor the use of the system and still collects feedback and suggestions from end users for further improvements.
“We are still simplifying the process. The flexibility of Dynamics GP is great for the ongoing maintenance and adjustments as we find new opportunities – even now that we are a year and a half in. It’s a lot better than what existed before.”
Users at Universities Canada have found the new system to be very intuitive and this is especially noticeable on “cheque day,” according to MC.
“Without any doubt, the payment process is where I see the most change. There are so many efficiencies it’s incredible, and users are more at ease.”
MC is also very pleased with the functionality that allows data to be uploaded daily from various external sources including purchasing and sales. “It’s like a miracle,” he says in describing the amount of time and energy saved as a result of these system integrations
MC says the real benefit realized by Universities Canada has been its partnership with CRGroup. “We didn’t expect the level of service that we continue to receive. There is always someone there when we need help, and I know they will find an answer. You can’t put a price on that.” MC also notes staff at CRGroup remain consistent. “I always deal with the same people, which is a big plus. They know the history of the project and can understand what we are asking for without needing all the background each time.” The company has been in business for over 25 years, and many of its staff have tenures of 10 or more years at the firm.
“In the future, I would definitely work with CRGroup. They are very strong in terms of technology and business acumen.”
– MC Chartrand Assistant Director, Operations and Special Projects – Universities Canada