It’s not often that business software can make the case that it’s saving lives, but that’s just what’s happening at the San Francisco SPCA with the help of NetSuite and NetSuite.org, the company’s corporate citizenship arm.
The SF SPCA is one of the most successful animal welfare organizations in the U.S., with a tradition of commitment and innovation that dates back to its founding in 1868. In fact, the non-profit organization is recognized for pioneering the “no-kill” philosophy that is increasingly being adopted at shelters around the nation and world.
Now, the SF SPCA (www.sfspca.org) is applying that spirit of proactive innovation to its business management processes with an implementation of the NetSuite cloud that has improved efficiency for 220 users in more than 20 departments, including adoptions, the spay/neuter clinic, finance, marketing, the veterinary hospital and others.
By freeing business users and its small IT department from the manual effort its previous combination of Excel and Blackbaud Financial Edge required, the SF SPCA is better able to focus its energies on providing superior animal welfare, care and advocacy, with more than 4,500 animals adopted out each year.
“NetSuite helps us save in both people’s time and overall cost, and we can use those savings to save the lives of more animals,” said Becky Correa, Controller and Director of Finance at the SF SPCA. “NetSuite is so user-friendly you don’t even need training. It’s given us new ability to track budgets and plan projects and is improving productivity across our entire organization.”
Recognizing the opportunity to improve its business processes, the SF SPCA engaged with NetSuite.org, which offers no-cost and discounted software to qualified non-profits and social enterprises. After comparisons against competing Intacct and Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) solutions, the SF SPCA finance team voted unanimously to go with NetSuite. Demand Solutions Group, a NetSuite solution provider partner, led the on-time and on-budget implementation, going live in summer 2010.
Better inventory management is among the areas in which the SF SPCA has realized improvement, with a 50% efficiency gain in managing some 5,000 SKUs, many of them for its veterinary hospital. Replacing a paper-based process, NetSuite enables the SF SPCA to ensure that supplies are appropriately stocked, providing continuity of care, avoiding costly emergency replenishment and positioning the SF SPCA for bulk discounts with suppliers.
In other areas, monthly financial close has been reduced from ten to five days. The SF SPCA is saving up to 30 hours a month in IT time, liberating IT staff from software and server maintenance to focus on value-added initiatives. The society has saved .5 FTE otherwise required in finance while streamlining expense reporting processes for both employees and approval managers.
The SF SPCA’s newfound financial control, and ability to track budgets vs. actual in real-time, supports sound auditing and compliance with IRS regulations governing non-profits. As Cynthia Kopec, SF SPCA Vice President of Marketing and Communications notes, that reflects favorably in financial accountability and transparency grading by such websites as Charity Navigator, which is used by prospective donors to gauge the worthiness of a non-profit.