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In this case study:
Client: DC Child and Family Services Agency
Industry: Public Sector
Products and Services:
Microsoft Power Platform
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Microsoft Azure Cloud
Location: Washington, DC
The DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) is the primary public child welfare agency in the District of Columbia, entrusted with the crucial responsibility of safeguarding child victims and those vulnerable to abuse and neglect, while also providing vital assistance to their families. As a dedicated agency, CFSA is committed to ensuring the well-being and safety of children in the community, working diligently to prevent harm, intervene in cases of maltreatment, and support families in need.
The Need for Online Access to Social Assistance
The COVID-19 pandemic shed light on the inefficiencies ca used by manual forms and systems in place for the public to apply for assistance and essential child welfare services. The agency knew that to provide the best possible support to children and families, it needed to modernize its processes and make the application processes efficient and accessible online and mobile. More specifically, the agency wanted to make it easier to administer a subsidy program that gives financial aid to grandparents and close relatives caring for minor children whose parents cannot care for them.
CFSA partnered with Quisitive and collaboratively, they undertook a tight seven-month transformative project to introduce a Kinship Navigator platform to streamline child welfare subsidy application processes, optimize accessibility, and bolster support for DC’s community. The Quisitive team worked closely with the Agency to create a public-facing portal and mobile app to process subsidy applications. The result has been a transformation is how the public and staff process and track applications, and has resulted in more families gaining access to essential financial aid that helps to keep children safe and with their families.
Getting the Kinship Navigator App Up and Running
Through close collaboration with CFSA, Quisitive’s team conducted extensive discovery and research, pinpointing pain points in existing workflows and strategically devising automated processes for a comprehensive and user-friendly public website and application. Leveraging Microsoft’s Power Platform Power Pages, Dynamics 365, and Azure Cloud, as the core technology stack, Quisitive was able to develop an intuitive website and mobile application that allows families to submit applications, upload documents, and track important information they need to receive essential services and financial aid.
“Our experience with Quisitive was great. We were under a very tight deadline they brought a team together with different skills across user experience, software development, and mobile development. It is amazing how much work we got done in a short timeframe and produced an excellent product.”
Issa Barkett, Project Manager, CFSA
“When designing the Kinship Navigator platform, we needed to ensure that grandparents and close relatives could access the app and web portal easily. We used a user-centered design to ensure the platform was simple to use and could help these families navigate this process as easily as possible.”
Mark Nagao, Power Platform Solution Architect, Quisitive
Keeping DC Families Together
Since the rollout of the Kinship Navigator program, CFSA has experience a drastic uptake of applications for social services. Close to 8,000 families have accessed and used the app and website.
- Reduction in foster care entries
- More families gaining access to vital services and support
- Better child safety and security
- Faster processing of applications and reduced administrative time and costs
“The Kinship Navigator app helps us to achieve our mission of keeping families together. Any delays in families trying to access services could mean that a child is separated and ends up in foster care and this application solves that.”
Robert L. Matthews, Agency Director, CFSA
Working with Quisitive was seamless. They became an extension of our team. They took the time to understand our organization and users and brought our vision to life.”
Empowering Child Welfare: A Transformative Journey with Quisitive
Quisitive’s indispensable role in revolutionizing child welfare services in DC has left an enduring positive impact on vulnerable children and families, reinforcing the power of technology in fostering positive change and social well-being.
“We loved developing this solution with CFSA. Knowing that this technology impacts people’s lives and helps make their situations better is very rewarding, and is why we do what we do.”
Mark Nagao, Power Platform Solution Architect, Quisitive
relied on their judgment, and we are glad that
we chose Board as it met all our criteria. The
team at Quisitive is reliable, always available,
and solution-focused with great problem-solving
As a leader in beverage manufacturing & distribution in the Caribbean, Blue Waters Products Ltd. needed to evolve its financial planning, forecasting & reporting process to support further growth. Initially choosing the Board decision-making platform to replace Excel-based budgeting and reporting processes, Blue Waters Products Ltd. has since worked with premier Board Partner, Quisitive, to expand the use of the solution into scenario planning and projections, sales, costing & procurement, production planning, foreign exchange management, and cash flow management. Board is now being used by executives, department managers, budget contributors, sale managers, and finance for unified planning and monthly reporting and has transformed the company’s approach to planning & decision-making.
Established in 1999, Blue Waters Products Ltd. (BWPL) is one of the largest producers and distributors of beverage products in the Caribbean, manufacturing, and selling over 400 products, including the preferred brand of purified bottled water. Headquartered in Trinidad & Tobago, the company started with a dream and with just 12 employees.
Today, Blue Waters Products operates a world-class facility in Orange Grove with over 500 employees helping to serve over 20,000 customers. Named one of Trinidad and Tobago’s Best Managed Companies in 2019 by Deloitte, the company’s impressive growth and innovative business management practices have set the standard for beverage and distribution success in the Caribbean.
The Initial Challenge: Manual Planning and Siloed Data
When BWPL found itself in a period of fast growth, the finance and leadership teams realized that their existing budgeting, forecasting, and reporting methods in Excel were not sufficient.
At that time, most of the company’s sales, production, and financial data were kept in heavily formatted spreadsheets, which often led to lengthy delays in running quarterly reports or data queries and an immense amount of time spent consolidating versions of workbooks and distributing information. The process also did not allow for easy analysis or drill-down into critical transactional data. In addition, departmental data was heavily siloed. Sales volume budget and forecast numbers did not match what was used in production planning, and purchase orders were not considered in cash flow projections. This siloed approach limited the company’s visibility into key metrics and the accuracy of forecasts. The leadership team knew that the days of solely spreadsheet-based planning were behind them. They needed financial management and a decision-making platform to support growth and provide decision-makers with faster, better information.
“Our company has always retained a strong focus on continuous improvement through IT-driven systems,” said Manzur Mohammed, Head of Finance at BWPL. “We knew if we invested in a solution to optimize our planning and analysis, it would lend efficiencies and value that would propel our company into the future.”
The Solution: Unified Planning & Reporting
Having worked with Quisitive in the past to implement other key business systems like Microsoft Dynamics for enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management, and emPerform for employee performance management, BWPL knew the team could assist in finding and launching a new financial management solution. Manzur Mohammed, Head of Finance at BWPL, had a particular set of solution criteria in mind and tasked Quisitive with finding a solution that could deliver.
- Easy financial and management reporting and dashboard
- Seamless integration with Microsoft Dynamics ERP
- Ability to accommodate complicated budget calculations involving SKU and customer channels and personnel expenses
- Audit trail capabilities with versioning
- Automated workflow with approvals
- Security and flexibility
After analyzing the company’s needs, Quisitive recommended the Board decision-making platform.
“Since Quisitive is our strategic partner, we relied on their judgment, and we are glad that we chose Board as it met all our criteria. The team at Quisitive is reliable, always available, and solution-focused with great problem-solving skills," said Subrian, CEO, BWPL.
Being a premier Board Partner and having implemented the solution at other similar companies, Quisitive knew that to ensure a successful launch of Board, they would have to undertake a phased approach involving several departments and teams.
“We split the implementation of Board into key stages that would allow us to review, evaluate, and plan much better,” said Quang Dinh, Lead Solution Designer at Quisitive. “We worked closely with different functional areas of Blue Waters Products to plan and execute critical short-term milestones while simultaneously ensuring a smooth launch and integration of other Board modules and tools.”
“Knowing BWPL’s vision and growth plans, Quisitive worked with us to implement models to serve our immediate needs best as well as assisting us to introduce new models to meet our long-term goals,” said Manzur. “We started with the cost center costing and budget models. After finishing that, we extended to the sales budgeting model, which feeds data into the cost budgeting model to provide full Income Statement reports.
Next, we implemented the sales reports and dashboard model, pulling data from multiple operational systems of ours. Then we included trade asset reports and analysis to help us make the best use of our marketing dollars. Finally, we implemented a full-scale production and procurement planning using budgeted volume sale, bills of materials, and real–time purchase orders to plan our production and inventory.”
Integrated & Timely Business Decision Making
Using Board, BWPL has been able to experience the many benefits of automated data management & approvals, integrated planning, and real-time stakeholder reporting.
Significant Time Savings
“Board has helped cut the processing times of our budgeting and forecasting cycles significantly,” said Manzur. “Instead of doing quarterly forecasting, we are now forecasting monthly, all the way from revenues, production, procurement, operating costs, and personnel expenses. Board users can work on their forecast, review their monthly and quarterly expenses, and review their sales, all in one platform anytime as they wish.”
Monthly Forecasts & Scenario Analysis
“The biggest benefits that we have experienced using Board is being able to forecast monthly and conduct effective scenario analysis,” continued Manzur. “This was not possible before using spreadsheets and has helped us to make sound and timely production, procurement, and financial decisions.”
“The dimensionality concept of data stored in Board and the ease of adding groupings, attributes, and hierarchies are significant benefits for us,” said Manzur. “We can slice and dice and review our data from different angles very easily, giving us a multi-faceted view of our business that would only be possible with a solution like Board.”
“Using Board and the Board Report Central framework developed by Quisitive, our super-users can quickly and easily create their own reports and dashboards for analysis,” said Manzur. “This has resulted in trend analysis and insight that helps our leaders and Board of Directors make better decisions.”
Flexibility & Scalability
“Board’s flexibility and scalability are key and are why we have been able to get a phenomenal return on our IT investment,” continued Manzur. “There is simply no other application that offers the flexibility, feature-set, and usability that Board has delivered.”
“Board has helped us to transform how we approach budgeting & business planning. Quisitive helped us tap into the full potential of this powerful solution, and Board is now our company-wide decision-making platform,” continued Manzur.
The Future of Board at BWPL
Quisitive continues to work with BWPL to extend the Board platform even further by enhancing existing models and creating new models that will track select initiatives and non-financial metrics, including:
- Using Board to create a customer ROI analysis model to evaluate returns at the marketing spend and customer levels.
- Enhancing the sale budgeting process with integrations that will allow for the automated insertion of values and allow for planning & insights at the product SKU level.
“Board has helped us to transform how we approach budgeting & business planning. Quisitive helped us tap into the full potential of this powerful solution, and Board is now our company-wide decision-making platform," said Manzur Mohammed, Head of Finance, BWPL.
In this case study:
Client: Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG)
Industry: Sports & Entertainment
Products and Services:
- Financial Forecasting & Reporting
- Operational Analysis
- Scenario Planning
The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) embarked on a journey to replace its manual Excel-based budgeting and reporting process with a sophisticated and flexible financial and operational analysis and reporting solution. With the help of Corporate Renaissance Group (Quisitive), a Premier Board® Partner, OSEG implemented the Board decision-making platform and has since realized significant time savings, better quality, and timeliness of reporting, and improved scenario planning for decision-making. Board now supports OSEG’s complex budget allocations and operational budget forecasts and has allowed OSEG to cut the time needed for budgeting and reporting by 50%.
Ottawa’s Destination for Sports, Entertainment, Shopping and Dining
OSEG was founded in 2008 to re-establish Canadian Football League (CFL) football in Canada’s Capital Region. OSEG partnered with the City of Ottawa to develop the plan and oversee the transformation of Lansdowne into a destination of choice for live events, cultural activities, shopping, dining, and recreational activities.
Lansdowne has transformed into Ottawa’s premier venue for concerts and major sporting events with over 100 games and events each year. Today’s Lansdowne is a live-work-play district featuring the TD Place stadium and arena complex, which hosts two sports teams: The REDBLACKS (Canadian Football League) and 67’s (Ontario Hockey League). The complex seats 24,000 for stadium sports and concerts, and up to 9,000 guests for arena sports and entertainment. Lansdowne also hosts two condominium towers and townhomes with a combined 280 units, a 360,000 sq. ft. shopping/entertainment district, an office tower, 1,300 underground parking spaces, and an 18-acre urban park. OSEG is comprised of 10 companies and 34 departments to manage this complex enterprise.
In 2017, David Porter joined OSEG as Senior Vice President of Finance & Technology to manage finance, information technology, and box office operations for all the legal entities within OSEG’s corporate structure. Having more than twenty years of experience as a CFO and a background in financial technology, David set out to simplify and improve financial planning at OSEG.
“It used to take our finance team days to prepare monthly and quarterly financial reports for executives. Our budgeting process took even longer, and we didn’t have an easy way to do effective scenario planning,” said David.
The Challenge: Manual and Time-Consuming Budgeting and Reporting
After launching in 2008, OSEG implemented key business systems to help with ticket sales and resources planning. Microsoft Dynamics™ ERP was used to manage accounting functions and a third-party solution was put in place to manage and track ticket sales. To track financial trends and provide leadership reporting, the finance team had to manually export and compile data from those systems into Excel. The process was time-consuming and posed several challenges for OSEG, including:
- Outdated data being used in budgets and reports
- Different versions of the same reports being shared
- Difficulty verifying data being extracted from other systems
- A lot of time spent cleaning and consolidating data and spreadsheets from multiple sources and departments
- Lack of scenario analysis and forecasting capabilities
- No dashboards or visuals for quick analysis
- Difficulty incorporating ticket sales data into operational reports
- Inability to generate multi-year budgets needed for planning
- Microsoft Dynamics ERP
The Situation: Versatile and Robust Financial Analysis and Reporting
Having worked with Quisitive and the Board platform at a previous organization, David knew how Board could be used as a transformational solution for OSEG and deliver financial reporting, integration with Dynamics, allocations, audit trails, versatility, budgeting templates, administrative control, security, and workflows.
OSEG made the decision to implement Board and contracted Corporate Renaissance Group (Quisitive) to help lead the project. Being a Board and Microsoft Partner and having more than 31 years in the technology and Dynamics space, Quisitive helped to plan, implement and shape how Board was used at OSEG.
“Quisitive was very professional, responsive, and hands-on at every stage of our Board implementation and demonstrated a high level of expertise not only with Board but also with corporate performance management processes and principals. They offered best-practice suggestions and guidance and were incredibly flexible – which is rare for a solution provider,” said David.
OSEG and Quisitive knew that a successful launch of Board would require thorough planning. “Multiple discovery sessions were held with OSEG to make sure that the scope and deliverables of the project were well defined, understood, and documented by both parties,” said Quang Dinh, Lead Solution Designer at Quisitive. “It was important to us that David and his team were active in every step so that together, we could design their perfect system that could scale and create value.”
Working together, OSEG and Quisitive were able to launch Board in less than 180 days. “We were able to implement the first iteration within 2 months from start to finish to meet our budget cycle,” said David.
Automated and Timely Budgeting and Planning
One of the biggest advantages to OSEG is Board’s ability to create a centralized and automated process for timely budgeting and planning and to deliver granular real-time dashboards for instant insights.
Using Board, OSEG has been able to:
- Provide one integrated solution for financial, operational, sales, and resource reporting for better decision-making
- Enhance budget agility, financial analysis, and scenario planning
- Reduce the time spent cleaning and consolidating data and preparing reports by half
- Improve staff utilization by reducing the people-hours needed in the reporting process
- Improve the timeliness and accuracy of budgets and reports for better decision-making
One Integrated System
Integrating all its ticket sales, ERP, and financial data into one system has enabled OSEG to save weeks of time, centralize financial reporting, and establish data confidence so that leaders can trust the data being displayed and use to make better, faster decisions regarding the business.
“Board allows us to take all ticket sales, financials, and resource data into one place so it’s ready at our fingertips in real-time for analysis. Our users can easily drill-down and drill-through to the transactional level and even review digital copies of supplier invoices right within Board. Board offers a level of granular analysis that we need to for proper planning across the enterprise. We can even budget food and beverage and consider the impact of occupancy at games and events.”
Board provides the flexibility and adaptability required to meet OSEG’s specific needs, enabling the organization to keep all critical data tied together in one system and produce in-depth reports with detailed variance analysis
Enhanced Budget Agility, Analysis and Scenario Planning
Using Board, OSEG can now update and reference budgets and forecasts very quickly, produce scenario and variance analysis, and analyze data from multiple sources with ease. This was particularly helpful in 2020 when the global pandemic and related public lockdowns created massive uncertainty for businesses like OSEG.
“Board has definitely helped to improve the accuracy of our budgets and provide decision-makers with various scenario analyses. When COVID-19 hit, we were able to issue our revised forecasts in a very short period, helping executives to weather through very difficult times. We had more time to review, analyze, and make sound financial decisions. Board gave us that agility and insight,” said David.
Thanks to Quisitive’s team and Board’s flexibility, OSEG now has one active budget, one active forecast, and two other detailed future year budget versions in place at the same time, with data seamlessly flowing amongst the four.
Timely Reporting and Drill-Down
The finance team at OSEG now enjoys fast, timely reporting and the organizational decision-makers are experiencing the benefits of real-time reporting and drill-down into core financial insights.
“Our users are very happy with the ability to access various reports and dashboards anytime and from anywhere,” noted David. “Our executive team particularly enjoys the dashboards that are available at their fingertips where they can drill-down and drill-through to the transactional level and can even review digital copies of supplier invoices right within Board. Everything is right there in Board all the time!”
The ability of Board to offer such granular visibility has been a huge advantage for the organization.
Reduced Budgeting Time and Improved Staff Utilization
Since implementing Board, OSEG has cut their time spent on budgeting and reporting by half, saving weeks of time. In addition, because users enter budget data directly into Board, all financial reports are available immediately, eliminating the need for data consolidation and cleaning, and giving decision-makers uninterrupted real-time access to financial information.
“We used to have multiple Excel budget workbooks being distributed, edited, and compiled. It was a lengthy and difficult process especially when there were different versions of the workbooks. Now, users enter budget data directly in Board and financial reports are immediately available.”
The Future of OSEG with the Board Decision- Making Platform
OSEG plans to continue to expand the use of Board for balance sheet and cash flow analysis and will work with Quisitive to extend the use of Board to other areas of the organization.
“Board is an incredibly flexible platform and we have been able to work with Quisitive to implement modules and functions gradually as we need,” said David. “This flexibility allows us to save costs and roll out enterprise wide corporate performance management on our schedule.”
“Our modules are completely customized to fit our needs, which is a level of flexibility that none of the other platforms were able to offer—and means the future opportunities for us to leverage Board is limitless,” said David.
City Harvest, New York City’s largest non-profit food rescue organization, quickly realized that depending on spreadsheets for effective financial planning and reporting was an inefficient way of handling the numerous projects and daily transactions they manage.
City Harvest’s Finance team partnered with Quisitive to implement Board as a solution to their spreadsheet woes. This move resulted in drastic improvements in City Harvest’s financial business processes, including:
- Improved financial planning & streamlined budgeting administration
- Integration of multiple data sources & account segments into one platform
- A reduction in the budgeting timeline by 20 days
- Increased accuracy of data collected
- Faster access to information and reports
Feeding New York City
City Harvest began in 1982 when a group of concerned New Yorkers saw nutritious food going to waste in restaurants and realized that this food could be redirected to soup kitchens and food pantries to help feed neighbors in need. Since then, City Harvest has rescued more than 750 million pounds of food, and delivered it, free of charge, to hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens and community partners across New York City. The organization now manages a fleet of 22 trucks, 160 full-time employees, and 10,000 volunteers annually who collectively help feed the nearly 1.2 million New Yorkers experiencing food insecurity. City Harvest is New York City’s private response to hunger, and the work they do is supported by individual and corporate donations and foundation grants.
The Need for Board at City Harvest
Prior to using Board, City Harvest was using approximately 200 spreadsheets for corporate budgeting and planning. Since these spreadsheets were not connected, financial information had to be gathered and manually inputted and consolidated from many sources, which was time-consuming and contributed to delays in budgeting timelines.
City Harvest needed to ensure that its financial administrative processes were working as efficiently as possible to address the organization’s multi-faceted business model and support its aggressive growth plans.
City Harvest began searching for a corporate performance management platform that integrated well with their existing Microsoft Dynamics™ GP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and made it simple to manage complex allocations and projects.
A new system would need to meet their requirements and deliver on results:
- streamline the budgeting process for the entire organization
- meet budget timelines and create actionable reports
- manage complex cost allocations and projects
- reduce staff costs and time spent on budgeting
- streamline decision making and data entry processes
Moreover, they needed a partner that could fully support their vision and work with them to launch a new system in a tight six-month timeline.
City Harvest reviewed many systems and ultimately chose Board because of its flexibility, simple interface, powerful reporting, audit trail capabilities, multi-contributor access permissions, ability to track personnel expenses, robust administrative controls, advanced security, integration with Dynamics GP, and impressive modeling and forecasting options.
City Harvest engaged Quisitive, a Premier Board Partner and leader in financial management consulting, to plan and implement their Board Solution. Board was configured to:
- provide managers with access to reports
- give each staff member a unique login
- allow staff to edit and view budgets based on set permissions
- provide error-free, dynamic reporting with built-in cost allocations
create validation reports to ensure that correct information is captured consistently
provide data integrity across many users for increased confidence in the numbers being presented
City Harvest’s Journey with Quisitive & Board
Quisitive worked with the City Harvest team to plan a successful launch of Board. Understanding how to configure Board appropriately meant that the Quisitive team had to be extremely responsive and hands-on. No stone was left unturned. Quisitive ensured the Scope of Work was well defined and updates were communicated regularly and that users were given the training needed to be successful.
Quisitive’s in-depth knowledge of financial systems and flexibility in understanding business models and reporting requirements helped ensure that Board was fully configured and launched in time for City Harvest’s budget season.
Well-Defined Scope of Work
Both the Quisitive and City Harvest teams needed to clearly understand what was required and the best features of Board that would solve the issues. The scope of work was detailed and there was regular communication between both teams, thus eliminating confusion and increasing the speed that Board was implemented.
Quisitive worked with City Harvest to make use of Board’s ability to add modules ‘piece-by-piece’. As such, the team was able to focus on developing use-cases and functionality that would allow for the greatest short-term impact and allow the City Harvest team to launch Board within 6 months. Quisitive also worked with City Harvest to stagger the implementation to allow for testing, user feedback, and refinements to ensure that each component and process was rolled out as efficiently as possible and continued to build on success.
Guided User Training
Training was an essential component of this stage of the process. All staff members were trained in how to effectively use Board.
Since launching Board in January 2019, City Harvest has been able to realize significant benefits and improvements to their financial planning & reporting process; including:
- Reduced budgeting timeline by a total of 20 days, resulting in a faster budgeting & reforecasting season.
- Easy access to real-time budgets and reports by managers, increasing visibility into key financials and improving the accuracy of budgets & reports.
- Establishing one uniform source for financial and operational data across the organization.
- Provided more accurate insights into future budgets & financial forecasting.
City Harvest plans to move beyond the budgeting function to include integration of financial data from other sources. One such integration involves tracking salary and benefits information for employees.
They also plan to use Board as a data warehouse for storing and efficiently using all of their financial data.
Moreover, City Harvest is excited to see what benefits they will realize from Board’s forecasting capabilities across cost centers and amidst a time of rapid growth.
“Using Board, managers have an easier way of working with and understanding their budgets. This has improved the participation in and accuracy of our data and reports. We can now spend more time ensuring continued sound fiscal management of City Harvest.”
Greene Tweed is a specialty engineering and manufacturing company that engaged Quisitive to execute a specific vision: a Smart Factory solution.
Learn how Quisitive built the Azure infrastructure to enable their vision with a solution that spans from source through reporting. With this new solution, Greene Tweed can now leverage Azure Data Factory to make more informed decisions based on real-time data and predictive modeling.
Other topics in this video include:
Watch the video to learn more about how Quisitive helped Greene Tween build their Smart Factory and improve safety efficiency, and productivity in their factories.
See more of our work with Greene Tweed in our other video, Quisitive Builds Modern Data Platform for Greene Tweed. Watch Now >
When Greene Tweed decided they wanted to take a more holistic approach to their data governance, they looked for a partner who could help them build a modern data platform with advanced analytics capabilities and the ability to scale.
Machine data, enterprise asset data, and corporate data from CRM systems, ERP systems, and more needed to be brought together and correlated appropriately to glean deeper insights for the business.
Watch the full video to learn how Quisitive created a robust, modern data platform at Greene Tweed that has allowed the company to realize its vision of being a truly data-driven organization.
Other topics covered in this video include:
The Challenge: Moving Beyond the Annual Review Process
Prior to implementing emPerform, this prominent City in Texas faced significant challenges with its existing performance review tool. The system was difficult to manage due to its lack of configurability and user-friendliness, making it challenging for supervisors to communicate with employees about their performance and provide feedback that could facilitate growth and development.
The City’s Council recognized that they needed a more comprehensive performance management solution that would help increase the quality and frequency of performance discussions. The once-a-year performance review process was not sufficient, and they needed a better tool to support their goals.
The Impact of emPerform at the City
After launching emPerform, the City has experienced significant benefits for HR, employees, and managers.
1. Improved Performance Review Process
emPerform has greatly improved the performance review process at the City through the implementation of more regular check-ins. The upgraded process has increased communication frequency between supervisors and staff, simplifying the process for both parties and improving efficiency.
Their primary goal was not to reduce time spent on the process but to provide more opportunities for feedback. emPerform helped the City achieve this balance, leading to motivated employees and a clear path to success within the organization.
2. Consistent & Frequent Feedback and Discussions
By using emPerform, the City has facilitated more frequent feedback discussions between employees and their supervisors. This has resulted in better clarity and understanding of job expectations, leading to improved employee performance and experiences.
“With emPerform, we have experienced a significant improvement in our ability to have frequent and meaningful performance conversations, it’s a substantial shift from our previous review process and the benefits are undeniable.”
3. Targeted Employee Development Planning
The City leveraged emPerform’s flexibility and configuration options to enable development-focused questions in both employee check-ins and end-of-year assessments. As a result, managers can create and track targeted development plans for each employee.
By focusing on the future and development, employees and managers are having more productive discussions, employees are getting the tools and guidance needed to achieve their goals, and the organization is able to better align and retain key performers.
4. Improved Team Communication
Using emPerform, the City has strengthened communication between employees and supervisors by introducing more frequent opportunities for feedback and discussions.
As a result, the workplace has become more collaborative and supportive, fostering greater engagement, motivation, and alignment among employees toward the organization’s objectives.
The City is dedicated to continuously improving its performance management process so it can effectively manage its growing workforce. As part of their efforts, the City Council plans to explore integrating a 360-review component.
By providing regular feedback and opportunities for development, the City is committed to equipping its employees with the necessary tools and support to achieve their goals.
Client: Arthur Health
Industry: Healthcare Provider
Products and Services: Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power Platform, Quisitive MazikCare
For full customer story visit the Microsoft website here.
About Arthur Health
Arthur Health, a healthcare solutions company based in Canada, is reimagining traditionally compartmentalized models of care through a clinically integrated network approach. In 2019, Arthur Health teamed up with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and University Health Network to scale a rapid-access clinic model of care for low-back pain. In a pilot, this led to sustained reduced wait times, better access to local care, and higher patient and provider satisfaction, so Arthur Health plans to expand it. Arthur Health used Microsoft partner Quisitive’s MazikCare platform and Microsoft technologies to develop a patient-centered solution that the company hopes will spark changes to primary and specialty care in Canada.
Launching a cloud-based solution for collaboration and care close to home in less than a year
Ontario is a large province, and Arthur Health knew that empowering patients in rural, northern, and remote communities to receive the right care closer to home would require a robust digital healthcare solution. To create an integrated, cloud-based healthcare network that houses and shares information, Arthur Health needed technology that was user-friendly, flexible, and scalable. “We needed to choose a solution that was extensible, agile, and provides the highest level of security for handling patient information, so that was the attraction to Microsoft,” says Dr. Christian Veillette, Chief Technology Officer of Arthur Health.
As Arthur Health began exploring solutions to evolve a clinically integrated network, it was introduced to Microsoft partner Quisitive, a company with extensive experience in both Microsoft cloud solutions and the healthcare industry. “We approached Microsoft with our vision, and it directed us to Quisitive,” says Dr. Nizar Mahomed, CEO of Arthur Health. “The company’s depth of understanding of the Microsoft universe and of healthcare complexities would allow us to achieve our vision of an evolving model of care and care delivery, and its MazikCare platform allowed us to innovate faster.”
The Arthur Health team moved quickly to enhance its digital health platform. It drew on Quisitive’s experience to develop a care-coordination platform based on Microsoft Power Platform and Quisitive’s MazikCare in only nine months. The team configured standardized complex-care assessments for providers in the network as well as customized workflows. Communication among medical providers all over Ontario is a central piece of the new system, and Arthur Health created this critical element using the communication and automation capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365. “At the end of the day, you need a process to integrate care because the providers are geographically dispersed,” says Dr. Rampersaud.
Arthur Health then began work on the final puzzle piece: an e-referral service that would allow medical providers to quickly send patient referrals and information. It typically takes about one year to develop and deploy an e-referral service in the Canadian healthcare system, but Arthur Health activated its service in only three months, in part through using the security frameworks in Microsoft solutions, fast healthcare interoperability resources, and MazikCare DataFusion.
Scaling a pilot program that reduced patient wait times by 80 percent to serve more than 10 million adults
The rapid-access clinic model of care was adapted from the successful pilot that ran for five years in metropolitan, urban, and rural and northern healthcare settings. Using an interprofessional shared care model for LBP management that linked primary to tertiary care, the pilot demonstrated immediate improvement in access to care. The average wait time for participants to have a specialized LBP assessment and individualized management plan plummeted from between six and 12 months to two to four weeks—a decrease often of around 80 percent. Many people who would previously have waited in pain and with reduced mobility to see a specialist instead found care closer to home with a physiotherapist or chiropractor supported by a regional centralized specialist. Patients gained unparalleled access to specialized care and payers realized immediate cost savings from a reduction in unnecessary tests such as MRI scans.
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) approved expanding the pilot to serve the provincial population of more than 10 million adults. Arthur Health’s partnership with MOHLTC and University Health Network helped create meaningful change for patients and providers through the company’s growing clinically integrated network digital platform. “At scale, satisfaction rates for both patients and physicians have remained greater than 90 percent, according to our surveys,” says Dr. Rampersaud. “The provincial program has happier patients and happier providers, and it has significantly reduced unnecessary MRIs, emergency visits, and specialist referrals to deliver a return on the investment from the Ontario Ministry of Health.”
Supporting more than 8,000 primary care providers with a clinically integrated network
Arthur Health is excited by the potential for further growth and is eager to expand its clinically integrated network platform beyond specialty care. More than 8,000 primary care providers are using this program to refer patients throughout Ontario, demonstrating that patient-centered care delivers better outcomes closer to home. Dr. Veillette sees the next step as incorporating more features of Dynamics 365 to help providers communicate seamlessly and close the circle of care around individual patients. The physicians at Arthur Health are also excited to explore using predictive models as Microsoft further develops its AI capabilities.
“The next step will be predictive health management through analysis,” says Dr. Mahomed. “With the capabilities that Microsoft is building out, five years from now this program will be much smarter and more efficient.”
Streamlining Non profit ERP: Small charity migrates to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central in less than four weeks with the help of Quisitive.
The Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation (ORCF), an Ottawa-based non-profit, struggled to manage finances effectively due to an outdated ERP system. The lack of multi-segment coding made it challenging for ORCF to allocate costs accurately and report activities to tax authorities. Additionally, the solution’s on-premises server was approaching end-of-life, causing further complications for the organization.OCRF realized the need for a modern cloud ERP solution to address these issues and improve financial management and reporting.
After careful consideration, the organization partnered with Quisitive and migrated to Dynamics 365 Business Central. With Business Central and custom apps developed by Quisitive, ORCF has been able to improve productivity, ensure the accuracy and accessibility of financial insights, and increase the understanding of cost drivers for better decision-making.
About ORCF: The Voice for Cancer Survivorship in Eastern Ontario
Founded in 1995, ORCF supports cancer patients and survivors in Eastern Ontario. The foundation operates two main business lines: fundraising and patient support delivery, providing person-centered care to cancer patients. ORCF achieves its mission by offering innovative cancer research, a world-class clinical trials program, and increasing access to care in the region. ORCF’s patient-focused approach and commitment to providing high-quality cancer care and support has earned ORCF a reputation as the voice for cancer survivorship in Eastern Ontario.
The Challenge: Relying on a Legacy On-Premises ERP System & Server Approaching End-of-Life
Before launching Business Central, ORCF’s on-premises ERP system was causing significant challenges for the organization. The systems’ shortcomings increased manual work, errors, and confusion regarding the organization’s financial landscape. To overcome these challenges, ORCF recognized the need for a modern cloud-based ERP solution that could provide advanced features such as multi-segment cost coding, automated workflows, and robust controls that could operate seamlessly in a remote work setting.
ORCF’s decision to migrate to Business Central with Microsoft Partner, Quisitive, was based on several factors:
- Quisitive’s excellent reputation in the local non-profit market
- The non-profit pricing offered by Microsoft
- The multi-segment coding feature of Business Central
- Automated workflows for approvals
- Business Central’s off-the-shelf functionality
- Quisitive’s ability to develop custom applications for employee expense approvals and credit card reconciliation, which would round out the scope of the project needs
Getting Started with Business Central in Less Than Four Months
ORCF’s finance team worked closely with Quisitive to plan and launch Business Central in just four months.
“We knew it was time to look for a new ERP solution that could meet our financial management needs and support a remote work environment brought on by the pandemic," says Jason Kempt, Vice President, Finance & Administration at ORCF.
The implementation process also involved Quisitive creating custom Business Central apps to streamline processes and improve efficiency. One of the custom applications created was an employee expenses app that allowed users to scan receipts and enter expenses, which would then be routed for approval. The credit card reconciliation app automated data entry and eliminated the need for paper. Statements were sent to cardholders and imported into the app, which would then translate the expenses and route them to the unit for approval.
Implementing Business Central and Quisitive’s custom apps resulted in significant time savings and improved organizational efficiencies. The ORCF was also able to generate more accurate and accessible reports. The workflows for purchase requisitions and employee expenses were much more user-friendly and efficient than the previous processes, which staff members were very pleased with.
Getting Started with Business Central in Less Than Four Months
Since launching Business Central, ORCF has experienced substantial enhancements in its financial management processes. Multi-segment coding has enabled them to understand cost structure more effectively, while automated workflows for approvals have streamlined operations, saved time, and enhanced productivity. With real-time reports based on accurate data, ORCF now has the information they need to make informed decisions quickly. Overall, Business Central has been a game-changer for ORCF, providing them with the necessary tools to efficiently manage their finances and support their mission.
Improved Productivity and Efficiency
Automating requisition and expense workflows and enabling cloud-based document storage and retention in Business Central has resulted in faster delivery of month-end reports and easier day-to-day financial management. ORFC’s finance team can now complete tasks more efficiently and accurately, allowing them to focus on more strategic and value-adding activities.
“Business Central has made our entire organization more productive and informed,” said Jason. “The multi-segment reporting helps non-financial users understand the cost behaviour of our business and we can produce timely financial data and reports without Excel," says Kempt.
Enhanced Accuracy of Cost Allocation with Multi-Segmented Reporting
Business Central’s multi-segment reporting (or dimensions) has improved the accuracy and allocation of costs. By eliminating the need for manual work to allocate central costs to business activities, dimensions have provided a deeper understanding of cost behavior within the organization.
Increased Accountability and Better Decision-Making
With Business Central, ORCF can easily toggle between budget accountability and the full cost of business activities, including support functions with different budget holders. This visibility has increased accountability on the expense side and facilitated informed decision-making. By providing a clear picture of cost drivers for business activities, Business Central has empowered ORCF to allocate resources more effectively.
Streamlined Expense and Credit Card Reconciliation
Quisitive’s custom-built employee expense and credit card reconciliation apps for Business Central have significantly simplified ORCF’s reconciliation process. With the employee expense app, employees can easily upload photos of receipts or attach PDF invoices to an online form, freeing up their time and streamlining the process. The credit card reconciliation app automates data entry, reducing the chances of errors and saving time for both employees and managers.
“The employee expense app is great,” said Jason. “Employees can take pictures of receipts or attach PDF invoices and upload to an online form—which automatically routes for approval. This app has saved a lot of clerical time and puts the onus to code things properly on the business user. Lastly, the approved document makes a properly coded A/P entry in Business Central for the accounting staff to post.”
“With the new credit card reconciliation app in Business Central, manual data entry has become completely unnecessary,” continued Jason. “Because the corporate credit card user pre-populates the form with transactions from the bank via CSV upload, everything is done quickly and without errors. This has saved us days of work and ensure our costs are accurately reported.”
Greater Accessibility & Flexibility
As a cloud-based solution, Business Central offers ORCF complete accessibility and security. Staff can now access the system and data from various devices, allowing them to work remotely or in different locations. Additionally, automatic updates and upgrades eliminate the need for IT staff to manually install updates on a server or individual devices, ensuring that all users are using the latest version.
ORCF continues to enhance its financial management processes in Business Central while exploring more advanced features to identify opportunities for improvement. With their focus on becoming more proficient in the core product, including the fixed assets module, ORCF aims to stay ahead of the curve. Their dedication to leveraging technology and innovation to support their mission highlights their commitment to driving success for the organization and the community they serve.
NAIFA moves its ERP to the cloud with Sage Intacct to unite multi-entity accounting processes and better serve its chapters.In this case study:
Industry: Financial Services
Products and Services: Sage Intacct, Migrating from local servers to the cloud, Security improvements, Licensing, Reporting and insights
The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) was established in 1890 in Boston. Since then, it has been delivering on its mission to advocate for a positive legislative and regulatory environment, enhance business and professional skills, and promote the ethical conduct of its members. As a proactive and dynamic organization, NAIFA empowers new services for its members whenever possible. But with nearly a hundred chapters spanning 50 states and over 40,000 members, things can get complicated.
The Need for a Cloud ERP and Accounting System
In 2018, NAIFA began offering association management services for its 90 chapters across the country, including much-needed accounting services. NAIFA knew that this new service offering could not be supported by its existing accounting platforms. The organization’s structure was already highly complex, with foundations and PACs not only at the national level but also run by many branches. This new service offering meant they had to find a new solution to accommodate the existing customizations and new scale needed to serve its members properly.
The organization’s leadership board was also pushing to migrate all business systems to the cloud. NAIFA’s existing platform was deployed on-premise, meaning users could only access the system using a VPN connection. Meanwhile, staff were using Sage 50, also installed on-premise on a local server. Security was a concern, and upgrades were becoming problematic. NAIFA knew that to support members with effective and secure accounting services, it needed to migrate its accounting platform to the cloud.
NAIFA had been working with Quisitive as a partner to support their Dynamics SL solution and knew that Quisitive was also an experienced partner across many ERP cloud platforms, including Dynamics Business Central and Sage Intacct. Staff were hearing great things about Sage Intacct as a solution for multi-entity accounting management and reached out to Quisitive to help them get started.
Rebuilding in the Cloud
NAIFA’s team approached the migration as an opportunity to review and optimize its accounting structure and processes. NAIFA’s team wanted to completely change their approach to accommodate the new reality of their organization, and this was the perfect time to evaluate what was working and what would be needed to accommodate the new multi-entity accounting services model they were striving to achieve.
Redesigning their accounting system from the ground up with Sage Intacct and Quisitive was a significant project, but it also presented NAIFA with a range of new opportunities to streamline processes and realize substantial results.
Uniform Chart of Accounts
One of the accounting team’s major needs was preparing a uniform chart of accounts. NAIFA’s increasing organizational complexity included four entities at the national level and almost a hundred branches, each with sub-entities of their own. Seeing the big picture for the organization’s finances was tremendously important. With the new chart of accounts in Sage Intacct, they can now create consolidated financial statements and view organization results in one place—which is a major strategic win for the organization.
Better Tracking of Finances
Consolidating the financial systems across the organization dramatically improved how the accounting groups could work and collaborate. The national office has been able to do more to help chapters, with both sides having more visibility into each other’s accounting. More complex invoicing and charging across the organization is also now possible, enabling the accounting team to track finances with greater precision.
Improved Financial Insights
Another significant benefit of using Sage Intacct is the reporting, dashboards, and insights that NAIFA has been able to leverage. Department heads can now clearly see critical financial metrics and reports on an ongoing basis and quickly drill down to the details they need for tracking and decision-making. They no longer need to navigate through and interpret a large, complex, and sometimes confusing spreadsheet to get information.
Improved Access to Financials
The move to a Cloud ERP also had some expected advantages. As 2020 progressed and the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a new era of virtual work, the growing NAIFA financial team was operating more and more remotely. Sage Intacct’s consolidated reporting and ability to maintain all entities in one environment online with 24-7 access have been highly valuable and set NAIFA apart in its ability to support chapters.
With these benefits, NAIFA’s move to the cloud is considered a major success across the organization.
A Better Way Forward
NAIFA’s move to the cloud-based Sage Intacct platform was a significant win. It enables their staff to leverage accounting data from any location and manage all their entities in one system. The organization no longer has to budget for and manage upgrades or worry about critical data security threats of disparate on-premise systems.
Innovative and fresh possibilities are already appearing with Sage Intacct at NAIFA. Having all financial data available in one place enables a much more detailed understanding of the operations of individual chapters and helps leadership navigate precarious times with greater agility. NAIFA plans to leverage Intacct’s budgeting capabilities in the future to provide a standard financial statement for each chapter and recommendations for their financing and budgeting.