For 77 years, the Idaho Farm Bureau has been central to helping the Idaho ranching and farming industry, which generates nearly 20 percent of the state’s total economic output and accounts for one in every seven jobs, solve problems, innovate and build community.
But as it confronts the reality that farms are consolidating and the average age of a farmer continues to climb – it needed to examine and innovate its business processes, and ensure every farmer is engaged by offering relevant, valuable services to its members.
To have the opportunity to say “yes” to new offers and services for its members, it needed the ability to manage them better. But popular programs like discounted ticket sales to local amusement parks, handled by each office, were exceedingly hard to manage. Each office tracked sales on spreadsheets noting ticket serial numbers to track inventory. This left little time and energy to explore new opportunities, let alone efficiently manage them, that would benefit members and generate revenue.
“One of the reasons we implemented NetSuite was so that we could explore options. We could adapt quicker as things go on,” said Tyler Zollinger, Assistant Treasurer, Idaho Farm Bureau.
Swayed by its cloud architecture and unified platform, the nonprofit chose NetSuite. Idaho Farm Bureau went live in a month to manage financial processes for its headquarters, with the goal of extending the system to help each of its subsidiaries better manage budgets at the local level. With only Zollinger being able to help with the implementation, finding the right partner was crucial. Nationwide NetSuite Partner Cumula 3 Group acted like an extension of the team, ensuring a seamless and fast, go-live.
“They have been really excellent,” Zollinger said of Idaho Farm Bureau’s implementation partner. “I can’t imagine it going any better than it has.”
“We used to spend a lot of time talking about stuff that was linked together with spreadsheets,” Zollinger said. “We spend a lot less time talking about finances, and more time understanding.”
For instance, because it had access to end-to-end information on its finances, it could full-fund its pension plan, enabling it to take advantage of discounted PBGC rates.
NetSuite is also supporting POS transactions within each office, automating the management of popular programs like the discounted ticket sales. Sales information automatically rolls up to headquarters, and the system notifies each unique office when the supply of tickets is starting to get low.
By exposing ways to find efficiencies, and giving easy access to data to deliver innovative services, NetSuite ensures the organization won’t enter the nonprofit starvation cycle. Instead of cutting programs to shore up revenue, it can streamline operations to offer more benefits and services to its members, as well as make insight-driven decisions on new revenue streams.
“When we have a good opportunity now, we don’t have to turn it down because our infrastructure doesn’t support it,” Zollinger said.