Education Consulting Organization Adds Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics GP to Multiply Its Capabilities
Pacific Northwest Publishing and Safe & Civil Schools choose Microsoft technology to improve data accuracy and expand marketing opportunities.
REDMOND, Wash. — May 2008 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Pacific Northwest Publishing and its affiliate company, Safe & Civil Schools, both of Eugene, Ore., have chosen Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 and Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 to integrate their accounting, scheduling, customer service and marketing capabilities. The Microsoft Dynamics solutions will replace the organizations’ Intuit QuickBooks software and a paper-based system that had been augmented by electronic spreadsheets. Safe & Civil Schools provides behavior-management training to improve school safety and climate in school districts nationwide; Pacific Northwest Publishing publishes books and other materials used in the program and sold separately.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides powerful, role-based customer relationship management capabilities through models that can be deployed online or on premises, or be partner-hosted. The companies will use it to expand their marketing efforts and to automate their previous paper-based systems for tracking projects with school districts. Microsoft Dynamics GP is a complete and scalable business management solution that helps growing and midsize organizations get up and running quickly, with such features as business intelligence, reporting, budgeting and forecasting. This solution will integrate the companies’ accounting functions and replace the QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions software.
Pacific Northwest Publishing and Safe & Civil Schools are working closely with two Microsoft Gold Certified Partners: Gateway Solutions Inc., of Portland, Ore., will implement the Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution, and Borek Business Solutions of Eugene will implement Microsoft Dynamics GP. These new systems will be integrated with each other and with the organization’s current Microsoft Office suite.
The organizations work with school districts throughout the United States, including six of the 20 largest districts; much of the scheduling of training and consulting sessions has been handled by one person with her own paper-based file system and intricate electronic spreadsheets. Pacific Northwest Publishing and Safe & Civil Schools were looking for a way to automate these processes in order to ensure they would continue to meet customer needs promptly.
Pacific Northwest Publishing and Safe & Civil Schools selected Microsoft Dynamics technology after evaluating several other solutions, including NetSuite, Intacct and ACT! by Sage.
“We chose Microsoft Dynamics because it offered the best technology for our project scheduling and enabled integration between our two companies,” said Matt Sprick, chief operating officer of Pacific Northwest Publishing. “We were very impressed by how Microsoft Dynamics is able to adapt to our way of doing business.”
The organizations expect that their Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics GP technology will produce a number of key benefits to support their operations, including the following:
• Company growth. “We’re looking to allow growth without breaking our system,” Sprick explained. The previous system was unable to bring together the large amounts of data needed for the companies to expand. The Microsoft technology integrates that data, making it available in a powerful fashion.
• Improved data accuracy. With their previous system, Pacific Northwest Publishing and Safe & Civil Schools needed to enter the same information four or five times to record schedules, expenses, bills and invoices. Now data can be entered just once, reducing the chances of input error, and it becomes available for all accounting and operational functions.
• Better tracking of time and expenses. Pacific Northwest Publishing will be able to track its inventory more easily and thoroughly than it could before, and to manage projects better by tracking the time and expenses involved in getting its books to market. Safe & Civil Schools will be able to do a better job of tracking expenses related to each consulting job.
• Improved revenue. Microsoft Dynamics CRM will allow the organizations to organize marketing campaigns that are more focused than before. The solution will allow the publishing company to directly market books to individuals who have attended training; in turn, it enables the training company to offer sessions only to those who have bought its books. Workflows will be built to take advantage of these opportunities. The technology also will support the organization in tracking products and services customers have used so that it can show customers logical services that complement and expand the improvement they have begun.
• Improved business intelligence. For the first time, the organizations will be able to see the true profitability of long-term projects by aligning costs with revenue. Safe & Civil Schools also anticipates that Microsoft Dynamics GP will allow it to prepare better projections of the ultimate profit on a project at various stages of its completion. Also, Pacific Northwest Publishing will be able to initiate inventory reporting for its books, improving its ability to manage costs and delivery.
• Better project scheduling and planning. As the corps of consultants expands, Microsoft Dynamics CRM will provide a complete — and previously unattainable — view of any number of consultants. With this view, planners can determine who is available for engagements. The new technology also will provide information on which consultants are associated with each school project and the stage of each project. Moreover, these new capabilities can be implemented promptly and cost-effectively because only minimal training is required, because Microsoft Dynamics CRM employs the familiar Microsoft Office Outlook interface.
• Better financial insight. The accounting department will be able to keep separate income statements and balance sheets for each of the two companies but also consolidate them in reports. Since most customers work with both companies, and the organizations will be able to track revenues and expenses by customer, the integrated data will provide a more holistic view of the organization’s customer relationships, profitability and potential than its previous methodologies could.
• Supply-chain management benefits. Most publication projects need to be sent out for bidding individually, because paper prices fluctuate. With the integration of all bidding and contract data in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics GP, Pacific Northwest Publishing can track the vendors for each of its products and determine which printers have the right equipment to run specific jobs, as well as maintain a history of where various jobs have been printed in the past.
“These two Microsoft Dynamics solutions provide us with a strong and comprehensive foundation for continued growth,” Sprick said. “They will scale with our business as we expand our market.”
“Corporations with multiple companies, business units or locations find exceptional value in Microsoft Dynamics solutions,” said Michael Park, corporate vice president for the Microsoft Dynamics business in the U.S. for Microsoft. “By integrating data within and across the organization, Microsoft Dynamics technologies provide greater visibility and business intelligence for superior planning and business management.”
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