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Case Study: The Royal College of Physicians Gains Advantage from Dynamics GP

Introduction

With multiple offices across the country, complex VAT arrangements and a need for in-depth reporting across the organisation, the Royal College of Physicians were struggling to maintain their high standards using CODA as their back office system.

The solution: A fully integrated business management solution with transparent visibility and in-depth reporting capabilities, supported by a knowledgeable partner they could trust.

The Business

The Royal College of Physicians is a registered charity that aims to ensure high quality care for patients by promoting the highest standards of medical practice. It provides and sets standards in clinical practice, education and training, conducts assessments and examinations, quality assures external audit programmes, supports doctors in their practice of medicine, and advises the Government, public and the profession on health care issues.

Established in 1518, the College is a professional membership organisation representing the concerns of almost 20,000 Members and Fellows worldwide. The College building in London, as well housing the administrative activities, provides a world-class international conference venue.

The Need for Change

The Royal College needed a business management solution that could address the complexities of their business needs, manage high volumes of data, deal with complex VAT regulations and above all enable them to extract valuable business data to identify regional trends and patterns in order to achieve cost savings across the organisation.

Their previous accounting system, CODA, had no integration capabilities and the Accounts Department found that routine tasks were taking a long time to complete. Reporting was cumbersome and time consuming with every department’s management reports being created and distributed by the Accounts Department monthly.

Charity Siwale, Financial Officer commented, “Departmental heads had to liaise with the Accounts Department for all their reporting and budgeting needs. Our payroll systems didn’t integrate and spreadsheets were widely used with no import or export functionality available to our back office systems.”

The need for change was essential if The Royal College of Physicians wanted to continue to ensure high quality care for patients.

Choosing Microsoft Dynamics GP and Advantage Business Systems

The Royal College agreed and documented their system requirements, reviewed what solutions were available within the market and short listed four systems based on their key requirements. These included SAP, Oracle, Sun Business and Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Microsoft Dynamics GP was selected due to its rich reporting and security capabilities along with the fact that it integrates with their Payroll System and the Microsoft Office suite of products. The fact that Microsoft Dynamics GP is widely used in the Charity sector gave The Royal College the security it needed to feel confident about its decision.

This need for confidence in having a solution with a proven track record within the charity sector filtered down when choosing a business partner. Advantage proved to have the relevant experience and The Royal College was impressed with the company’s professionalism, product and industry knowledge and the implementation methodology used by Advantage known as OnTrack.

Charity Siwale said “Advantage’s demonstration and implementation methodology was delivered in a personable and professional manner. Their Microsoft Dynamics GP product knowledge and experience was impressive and they had the relevant industry experience.”

The Implementation

Before Microsoft Dynamics GP could be implemented a clean-up exercise of the existing software needed to take place to reconcile existing reports. This data could then be transferred over to the new system. Following a series of scoping exercises and workshops, Advantage Business Systems ran a test implementation in parallel with the existing software before the full implementation took place. Charity Siwale commented “The implementation was done within the agreed timescales and the college was very impressed with the speed of the implementation and the assistance it received.”

The Royal College of Physicians also implemented FRx Report Writer to generate its business reports which can be accessed in real time over an internet browser. User rights were created so that department heads could only access reports which contained information relevant to their department. Integration Manager was also implemented to link Microsoft Dynamics GP with the payroll systems and other 3rd party products allowing the college to have a fully integrated business management solution with maximum visibility throughout the organisation without compromising security.

The Benefits

Through the roll out of Microsoft Dynamics GP, The Royal College has been able to increase visibility and efficiency, streamline processes and reduce errors and man hours spent by removing the need for manual intervention and the re-keying of data.

Microsoft Dynamics GP now provides management with up to date, accurate information when they need it so that they can manage the organisation more effectively. Reports are now written and distributed once, allowing for easy sharing of information and providing management with the insights into the organisation they need.

The Royal College of Physicians now has a centralised solution that not only alleviates pressure in the Accounts Department but which benefits the organisation as a whole.

Conclusion

The implementation of a fully integrated business management solution through Advantage was considered a huge success. The original business objectives and system requirements where fulfilled and the increased visibility into business activities across the organisation has had a positive impact on man hours across the board. Siwale describes The Royal College of Physicians’ on-going relationship with Advantage as “Excellent!” Charity Siwale continues, “We feel comfortable when liaising with the help desk and consulting staff. They are friendly, approachable and resolve issues quickly and smoothly.”

The Royal College of Physicians and Advantage are currently working on a project that will streamline their purchasing process. The solution, eRequest, will allow the Royal College to raise a purchase order and have an email automatically sent to the supplier - the relevant accounting transactions will be posted directly into Microsoft Dynamics GP. This will save further man hours and reduce errors and the re-keying of data.

In terms of The Royal College of Physicians future plans for the development of Microsoft Dynamics GP, Charity Siwale stated “We are looking to implement Microsoft Dynamics GP, Version 9.0 or 10.0. It will be great to have a more web based solution, whereby sales invoices can be emailed directly to the customers. We will be able to gain even greater functionality through the reporting tools. It will be interesting to see all the new functions available.”

In conclusion, on both Microsoft Dynamics GP and Advantage, Charity Siwale commented “I have in the past recommended Microsoft Dynamics GP as a business management solution and Advantage as our preferred partner – I have no hesitation in continuing to do so. Advantage plays an important role in all our software solution decisions. They are proactive in letting us know what solutions are in the marketplace and how they could benefit our organisation.”