Ontario March of Dimes plans Navision upgrade

A non-profit rehabilitation agency plans to follow up on its previous operating systems consolidation and server upgrade effort by getting the latest version of a financial and case tracking system that will include HR, payroll, business analytics, grant and constituent management modules.


to Steve Driz, provincial manager, management information systems, Ontario March of Dimes (OMOD) rolled out Microsoft Business Solutions-Navision almost three years ago. The solution, implemented with the help of Serenic Software Canada, allowed the organization to reduce the amount of time needed to prepare month-end reports to five days from 20 days and the amount of time required to prepare year-end reports to one month from three months.

“Most of the processes that we have in place at this moment are paper-driven,” he said. “It is our intention to reduce operating costs associated with these processes. By streamlining processes what I mean is moving from a paper-driven environment into an electronic environment with greater data accuracy…Your results, your reports, your performance will also depend on the validity of data that you enter into the system.

“You can’t achieve your business goals (if) you don’t have a clear picture of what’s happening on your financials or you cannot report accurately to the funder. To prevent this, some of these processes have to be streamlined. Therefore we’ll have additional components like HR, payroll and constituent management.”

Through the initial deployment, the OMOD was able to consolidate operating systems onto the Microsoft platform and to reduce the amount of clerical work required of employees who previously had to prepare spreadsheets and import the data into the organization’s original system. The older version of Navision will not be supported as of March 31, however, and Driz said the version soon to be implemented in November has a number of features the agency wants to use.

Serenic Software Canada focuses on building intellectual property in Navision specifically for the public sector and the not-for-profit sector, and a company executive said the reseller will continue to help the OMOD make the most of the product.

“Our goal is to help them streamline their processes so they’re operating as efficiently as they’d like to be operating,” said Nicola Dickinson, partner, Serenic Software Canada in Toronto. “We’re just looking to apply Navision to other functional areas that Navision is not implemented in…The kind of things we’ve done is a business case and really digging deep into what are they truly going to benefit from (through) the upgrade and the other additional modules.”

OMOD has spent money so that it can save money, said Brian Sharwood, principal, SeaBoard Group in Toronto. And the upgrade also shows that the organization isn’t like many no-profit entities that are struggling with even the simplest technologies.

“In theory this should create a lot of extra cash for them because of the amount of savings they’ll have from it,” said Sharwood, who has done work for not-for-profit organizations. “It also needs to be relatively easy to use because people in charity organizations are not exactly the most tech savvy people…Usually they have trouble with the basic stuff, and so it needs to be a very easy-to-use solution.”

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