Salvation Army - Edmonton Centre of Hope Gains Control of Spend With Planergy
Part of the larger Salvation Army organization, which serves over 400 communities across Canada, the Edmonton Centre of Hope is committed to delivering their core values of service, hope, dignity, and stewardship to community members
As the centre reorganized and onboarded additional hires, the team at Salvation Army – Edmonton Centre of Hope needed a solution to create budgets, introduce transparency and accountability, and provide spend visibility, while controlling spend and inventory.
Spend management can be tricky with all its variables, especially when you’re an entity that’s part of a larger organization, like the Salvation Army Edmonton Centre of Hope.
Seeking to improve and better manage their overall procurement and fiscal processes, the Edmonton team decided to work with Planergy and implement Spend Management software.
Alwyn Miller, Facilities Manager, explained “My director wanted our center to have better control over purchasing, and also be able to generate reports based on department and/or category”.
Prior to Planergy, the staff were using an Access database and Excel spreadsheets, which offered no quick or easy way to compile insights to truly understand spend trends and inventory needs. They also struggled with lack of accountability and visibility – who was making purchases and how often were those purchases made.
This led to other concerns – are the purchasers over/under budget; was the best vendor used; was there a purchase a need vs. existing inventory; were there opportunities to save; etc.
The entire PO process was full of time-consuming manual tasks, including occasionally commuting for approval to be finalized.
Alwyn shared, “Once a PO was printed, it had to be signed off by one or more directors. In order to get approvals and signatures, someone has to either physically take the PO to one or multiple buildings, fax it, or email it, with the hope that it would be signed and returned in a timely manner”.
Dean Erikson, Director of Business, added, “We were trying to centralize our purchasing, put in place budgeting parameters, and track relevant vendor information. The Planergy team helped us achieve those goals and a lot more”.
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The implementation of Planergy’s Spend Management software helped mitigate one of Edmonton’s biggest “time-wasters” – commuting to get POs approved and signed. POs can be reviewed, edited, and approved within the platform from any location.
Having a centralized, automated system helped forge greater transparency and accountability across the entire organization’s five buildings. The team had the ability to create specific budget limits and parameters for specific staff members – 100% spend visibility and budget control.
Also, being able to establish defined lists of approved go-to vendors, not only optimized vendor relationships, it standardized inventory tracking. Every item ordered can now be accounted for.
Further, the advanced reporting capabilities available in Planergy proved to have a significant impact on the organization’s procurement and purchasing processes. Custom reports can be built per department and/or per category.
“Now when talking to department heads and they want to order something, we have better visibility into what’s actually needed and what we have,” added Dean.
Reaching well beyond dollars and cents, the real-time spend data invited conversations within the team regarding spending habits, trends, and opportunities to recalibrate spending, as well as discussions with vendors about options to save.
Planergy helped us recalibrate our spending and improve our spending habits. Using real-time reporting and insights to see what and where the spending is happening showed us our presumptions were incorrect and helped us identify savings.
Director of Business
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