NetSuite Helps Education Company Save Money While Growing its Business

Nobel Learning Communities

"We always had the information, but it existed on 150 machines and it took 2 weeks just to get the schools' numbers. Now, even with our school count up to 190, we can see it all in one place and in real time." Nobel Learning Communities

Company at a Glance

Location:
West Chester, PA
Industry:
Education
Applications Replaced:
Sage Accpac, home-grown applications

Solutions

NetSuite

Customer Success:

  • Saved approximately $200,000 in capital equipment, network, and maintenance costs over an equivalent server-based system.
  • Time to implement took just 45 days, compared to a projected implementation for a server-based system of at least nine months.
  • The company has now grown to manage 190 schools without adding IT headcount.
  • Nobel's CFO can now get per-school or aggregated financial reports in two or three mouse clicks, compared to waiting two weeks previously.
  • NetSuite's ease of workflow scripting lets non-technical users create custom workflows, saving the company 1,000 hours of program developer time each year.
  • One company-written workflow to bill students for field trips or other special events has reduced the time to create invoices for 150 students from 4.5 hours to just 2.
  • NetSuite's process automation helped the company implement ACH payment processing, which has reduced invoice processing time from three days to one day.

Challenges:

  • Innovative education company with complex business model was unable to take advantage of growth opportunity because of poor business performance.
  • Nobel managed 150 pre-schools, elementary, and middle schools via limited software, and without wide-area networking.
  • Nobel's business software was unable to support the company's complex business model, which required multiple revenue-recognition accounting methods to handle everything from tuition payments to payments for special events, such as field trips.
  • Financial reporting typically lagged two weeks behind because schools had to calculate their own, complex finances, then FedEx disks to Nobel.
  • The company needed to upgrade, partly because it planned to add a new online business unit that would add another layer of financial complexity.
  • High equipment and network costs, plus long implementation time for more than 150 schools, ruled out migrating to a conventional server-based IT system.

Solution:

  • Nobel's IT vice president recommended a cloud architecture because of difficulties with server-based SAP and Microsoft installations in previous companies.
  • Managers can now use real-time dashboard KPIs to drill into new-student conversion ratios and other performance metrics for individual schools.