Altus Dynamics Blog

Get Back Lost Time, Relieve Purchasing Pain, and Empower Your Schools with a Modern Process

Posted by Nicola Dickinson on Nov 20, 2015 2:53:00 PM


Procurement is a key operational activity for every K12 school board. Your board manages the purchase requests, purchase orders, and invoices of your many schools. And where does this administrative burden land? Directly on the backs of your finance department. But it doesn’t have to. You can ease your board’s “purchasing pain”, and save hours by giving your schools purchasing power.

What are the benefits of modernizing your purchasing processes? To answer that, we’ll look at a few purchasing pains and how they can be cured by implementing modernized processes

Time Stealer #1: One-Trick Pony = Time-consuming burden on staff

For the last few decades, K12 boards have often used highly specialized software to perform their purchasing duties. Although they included a similar requisition process, these systems had no receiving functions. School staff would enter a purchase order, it would be posted, and then when the bill was paid the system would reverse the purchase order and put in the actual amount on the school’s budget. Sure, these systems were good tools for managing a few aspects of procurement, but in the modern world they are a one-trick pony.

  • Time Saver: With a modernized solution, you get more functionality and save time by empowering your schools. Using new functionalities, schools can:
    • Issue their own purchase requests to be approved by their principal and the board finance team
    • Manage their own receiving

Time Stealer #2: Manual Accounts Payable

K12 boards are all-too familiar with older solutions that don’t have accounts payable functionality. While these solutions have requisitioning capabilities, there’s no connection that allows for AP automation. That means board staff could end up spending hours manually inputting their accounts payable.

  • Time Saver: Your board needs a modern process that provides users with fantastic accounts payable functionality and automation capabilities. Although users must be sure to enter their invoices with the correct dates for building year-end statements, this high level of automation means one thing for you boards: more time!

Time Stealer #3: Too much paper!

Paper document management causes two pains for your organization. Firstly, paper is very costly to manage and store; the average 4-drawer filing cabinet takes up to 9 square-feet of space and costs $1,500 annually. Also, they are very susceptible to tampering and damage. It is believed that 70% of organizations would fail within three weeks if they suffered a major loss of paper-based records due to fire or flood. Along with this, paper processes continue to take away valuable time to manage filing cabinets and sign documentation from your staff.

  • Time Saver: Go paperless! By digitizing your process, you can start sending your important invoices and financial documentation through your digital system, cut documents management costs, stop filing, and spend more time managing your schools.

In the past, school boards had fewer options for improving their procurement process. But now there are many viable cures to your boards purchasing pains that come along with modern innovations. By taking steps to improve your processes, you too can reap the associated benefits: empowered staff, better educational environments, and, most of all, more time.

Want to make sure that you're implementing the best processes at your board? Take a look at our 2015 Essential Guide to Improving School Board Operations.

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This Post Was Written By Nicola Dickinson
Nicola Dickinson is a Founding Partner at Sparkrock. She formed Sparkrock with a vision and mandate to deliver award-winning, meaningful and affordable technology solutions exclusively for the non-profit and public sector. With a passion for assisting non-profit and public sector, she provides true value by being an active member of the non-profit community.
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