Central Park Conservancy Case Study

Central Park Conservancy used a paper-based requisition system with multiple copies for approvals and records. Without an electronic system in place, the Conservancy could not track where the requests were or which requests were most current. This led to a lack of control and mess when it came time to place the order.

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SUCCESS STORY

Central Park Conservancy used a paper-based requisition system with multiple copies for approvals and records. Without an electronic system in place, the Conservancy could not track where the requests were or which requests were most current. This led to a lack of control and mess when it came time to place the order.

Key requirements for the procurement solution included approval workflows based on the type of purchase, department, and spending authority, with complete audit trails and full visibility of actual expenditures and pending commitments.

The Central Park Conservancy is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring New York’s Central Park to its original splendor. Today, the Conservancy is responsible for the day-to-day operation and enhancing Central Park Conservancy’s relations with the public. Central Park Conservancy raises funding from private sources and uses contributions from the City to maintain and improve the park.

Challenge – Lack of Control. Chaotic Ordering.
The Conservancy used a paper-based requisition system with multiple copies for approvals and records. Without an electronic system in place, the Conservancy could not track where the requests were, or which requests were most current. This led to a lack of control and chaos when it came time to place the order.

Requirements – Approval Workflows. Track Audits. Integration with Blackbaud.
Key requirements for the procurement solution included approval workflows based on the type of purchase, department, and spending authority, with complete audit trails and full visibility of actual expenditures and pending commitments. The solution had to accommodate diverse purchasing needs for buildings, grounds maintenance, programs, and fundraising events.

Central Park Conservancy required a seamless integration with Blackbaud Financial Edge to prevent duplicate data entry and for accurate encumbrance and accrual accounting. Another requirement was access to procurement documents through Financial Edge and PaperSave.

Solution – Paramount WorkPlace Requisition & Procurement with customized integration for Blackbaud.
Based on a recommendation from PaperSave, Central Park Conservancy evaluated and selected the WorkPlace solution.

Paramount and Central Park Conservancy began the planning and implementation. This process included the development of specific enhancements to the WorkPlace interface. Customizations were made for Blackbaud software which allowed for extreme detail down to the transaction level within WorkPlace. Beth Haskell, Director of Information Technology said,“Paramount’s integration to Blackbaud was why we decided to go with WorkPlace.” The integration ensures that costs are properly allocated to each data element for reporting of encumbrance and actuals within Financial Edge. “The team was extremely helpful and customized the integration in a very timely manner,” Haskell added.

Once the implementation was complete, Central Park Conservancybegan formal and informal user training. Haskell and the Paramount consultant worked together to provide remote training for the employees.

Benefits – Time & Money Savings. Better Monitoring. Unified Processes.
Central Park Conservancy now has:

  • ERP integration
  • True encumbrance accounting
  • Spend visibility
  • Purchase approvals

With a streamlined procurement process, Central Park Conservancy appreciates the time savings results. Features such as the duplicate button for requisitions, email approvals and the elimination of redundant spreadsheets to track encumbrances contribute to this benefit. Employees can use their extra time to be more efficient in other areas.

The WorkPlace integration with Blackbaud allows the Conservancy to monitor revenue, expenses and net results for events and programs. This takes into account encumbrances for open purchase orders and accruals for received goods and services. WorkPlace has allowed Central Park Conservancy to unify requisition, purchase order, encumbrance, invoice, accrual and actual.

Implementing WorkPlace has also served to reinforce purchasing policies, overall strengthening the approvals and spend management of the organization. Management at Central Park Conservancy is very happy with their decision to implement WorkPlace. The Conservancy expects additional savings by combining multiple requisitions into purchase orders and taking advantage of vendor contracts for more economical volume purchases.

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