SUCCESS STORIES

Peak Resorts owns and operates 14 ski resorts with nearly 2,000 acres of skiable terrain, primarily in the Northeast and Midwest. The majority of its properties are within easy driving distance from the major metropolitan markets of New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and St. Louis. The company has seen steady growth — fueled by a passion for recreation, a commitment to service, and smart investments in technology and infrastructure. One such technology investment is Paramount WorkPlace, selected by Peak Resorts to centralize, streamline, and improve its requisition, procurement, and expense processing.

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Freestyle Purchasing Lacked Visibility And Controls

“Before we implemented Paramount WorkPlace, our purchasing was decentralized, with every location doing their own thing,” recalls Gary Rush, Senior VP of IT for Peak Resorts. “We wanted to establish centralized controls, both to provide better visibility into our corporate spending and to take better advantage of our bulk buying power.”

Paramount WorkPlace Fits Like a Glove

Rush says the company researched several spend management solutions before selecting Paramount WorkPlace. “Paramount WorkPlace was a good fit for our size company, and it provided solutions for both requisitions and expense processing. We also liked the three-way match capabilities it offers, as we were spending too much time reconciling variances.”

Peak Resorts chose the cloud-based deployment of Paramount WorkPlace. “We’re moving more and more to hosted applications,” Rush says, “to save money and IT resources.”

Tailored Implementation

Rush describes the implementation as comprehensive and completely tailored to the company. “We worked directly with the consultants at Paramount WorkPlace to implement the software,” he says. “The software is highly flexible, with a multitude of configuration options, so it was very helpful to have their expertise in setting up the solution to meet our company’s needs. They helped us establish and implement the various approval routings, and showed us how to leverage the product’s functionality.”

Mobile App Supports a Traveling Workforce

Peak Resorts’ employees have embraced the Paramount WorkPlace mobile application for expense management. “We can simply take a photo of the receipt, and the software’s OCR (optical character recognition) features captures it and starts to build the expense report,” explains Rush. “We finish the entry, click a button, and the expense moves to our expense dashboard. When we’re ready to submit an expense report, we simply click to select which expense items to include on the report and off it goes for approval. It’s fast and easy.”

Mobile Approvals Keep the Process Moving

The Paramount WorkPlace mobile application also supports the approval process for both expenses and requisition requests. “We’re in the travel and resort industry, so our staff travels a lot,” Rush notes. “With mobile capabilities, being out of the office doesn’t have to slow the approval process of our expense reports and purchase requests.”

Centralized Purchasing Cuts Costs and Boosts Forecasting Ability

One department in particular that is benefiting from the centralized approach to purchasing is the IT department. “All requisitions for each of our properties now goes through the corporate office for review and approval,” says Rush. “We maintain one IT budget, and allocate it to each resort as appropriate. This gives us both an accurate forecast of upcoming expenses, and an accurate way to measure what we’ve spent and how it compares to our budget.” Built in budget controls in the software warn users when a requisition exceeds a specific budget category, helping to keep spending on track.

The company’s marketing department has also moved to centralize its purchasing functions, taking advantage of the savings that come from bulk advertising and promotional purchases.

Increased Efficiency and Accuracy

Peak Resorts sought a spend management solution that offered three-way matching functionality, and found it in Paramount WorkPlace. Three-way matching refers to the approval steps when a vendor invoice is received, and the invoice is compared to both the purchase order and receiving transactions to ensure accuracy and avoid the potential for duplication. Peak Resorts can configure the software to alert approvers of variances, and can even define an acceptable variance tolerance, to avoid spending time researching just a few dollars of discrepancy.

“Before, our spending functions lacked control and visibility,” concludes Rush. “Now, with Paramount WorkPlace, we have centralized purchasing, automated routing and approval workflows, and a high level of visibility into our entire purchasing and expense management cycles. We’ve got better control, we’re leveraging our buying power, and we’re keeping the processes moving efficiently.”

 

Starting as a small Bible study group in a living room in Livermore, California in 1993, Cornerstone Fellowship is growing into a vital, vibrant church with five locations throughout the East Bay area — and plans for at least another five. Cornerstone Fellowship employs 80 full-time and 120 part-time personnel and involves hundreds of volunteers. The organization does a superb job of connecting its congregations with the community, promoting opportunities to give, serve, and engage in a multitude of ways.

While doing ministry, staff and volunteers naturally incur expenses. To streamline and simplify the collection, approval, and repayment of those expenses, Cornerstone Fellowship selected Paramount WorkPlace Expense Management solution.

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Cornerstone Fellowship is a vital, vibrant church with five locations throughout the East Bay area and plans for another five. Started as a small Bible study group in a livingroom in Livermore, CA, the church has grown immensely since its start in 1993.

Equipping People to Do Their Best Work

“We want to equip our staff and volunteers to serve in their communities,” says Tina Danskin, Senior Finance Assistant at Cornerstone Fellowship. “We wanted to make it easy and convenient to submit expenses and to be able to reimburse our folks as fast as possible for their out-of-pocket expenses.” As Cornerstone started to grow into multiple locations, they outgrew the previous portal system they were using to capture expenses. “We began looking at other systems, but they were all price prohibitive for us at the time,” says Danskin.

Shortly after Cornerstone learned that the company was no longer updating the portal system they were using, they recognized it needed to step up its search for a viable replacement. “We determined that we wanted to invest in a scalable solution. While the price was still a factor to us, there were many features we were looking for to meet the criteria we set for what we needed. We wanted the solution to be easy to use, have mobile capabilities and have the ability to move our organization towards automation as seamlessly as possible while accommodating the growth of Cornerstone to its goal of 10 campuses.”

Paramount WorkPlace Stands Out

Cornerstone reviewed several expense management solutions, including ReQlogic, Concur, and eRequester before deciding on Paramount WorkPlace. “What stood out for us with Paramount WorkPlace is the strong integration with Microsoft Dynamics GP,” says Danskin. “It is a robust product that accommodated our processes. The other applications required us to purchase other add-on products to complete the integration.”

The organization worked through their Microsoft business partner to purchase and help implement Paramount WorkPlace. With WorkPlace, the AP process has become more efficient that Cornerstone now can close each month with better-informed expense accruals because of the ability to view transactions as they’re coming through for approval.

Streamlining Credit Card Reconciliation

The organization equips its ministries with credit cards to simplify purchasing, but trying to capture and reconcile credit card data had been a very manual and tedious process. Using Paramount WorkPlace, credit card reconciliation has become more efficient and entirely paperless. The WorkPlace Mobile App is used to take photos of receipts and categorize expense type. This is automatically uploaded to WorkPlace ready for the receipt to be matched to the credit card transactions that are downloaded weekly from Cornerstone’s financial institution then imported into WorkPlace.

Quick and Easy Expense Report Processing

Employees and volunteers were frustrated by the delay in processing transactions with Cornerstone’s prior software. There was no way to electronically attach receipts to a submitted expense report, leaving staff and volunteers to send emails or deliver hard copies of the receipts. Sorting through emails and paper documents to match them up with transactions took a lot of time. In addition, approval in the prior system was also delayed since access to that system was only available when approvers were logged into Cornerstone’s network. This restricted the approver’s ability to approve an expense on demand.

“Our volunteers’ expenses made on behalf of the church can be submitted right away with WorkPlace.” Receipts are attached electronically with the transaction. Once submitted for approval, it is automatically routed for review. The approver is immediately notified and can approve via email if desired. Once approved, the finance department makes one final check to be sure everything is coded correctly and then transactions are batched into GP, ready for final posting.

Capturing a Complete Audit Trail

Expense receipts and invoice attachments remain associated with the posted transaction record in Dynamics GP and can easily be recalled both from within Paramount WorkPlace and within Dynamics GP. “For every transaction, we have a complete audit trail from start to finish. And it’s all electronic, secure, accessible, and searchable,” says Danskin. Cornerstone Fellowship’s CFO, Collin Lucas, appreciates the visibility of the impact of unposted expenses on the budget which is very helpful in planning and forecasting.

Growing Without Additional Resources

“Before Paramount WorkPlace, we needed one full-time and two part-time staff in our accounts payable department,” says Danskin. “Although we’ve added three additional campuses, we’ve been able to eliminate the need for the second part-time person,” says Danskin. In addition, the ability to capture and store all information electronically not only reduces the need for numerous filing cabinets but also frees up staff time to focus on other projects.

Reaching Our Goals

“We had practical goals for this initiative,” concludes Danskin. “Our goals were to make it fast and easy for folks to submit expenses and receive reimbursement and to become paperless in our payables department. We are achieving those goals. In addition, we have goals to grow our mission and remain good stewards of the resources that our congregation trusts us with. We’re accomplishing that with the help of Paramount WorkPlace.”

More than 30 million tons of sugar beets are grown in the United States each year, and organizations such as Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative turn the hardy crop into millions of pounds of pure sugar. Minn-Dak is comprised of 480 shareholders, primarily farmers, that bring their sugar beet crop to the cooperative for processing. It’s a busy, year-round, round-the-clock manufacturing operation with more than 500 employees. To keep its plant running at peak efficiency, Minn-Dak chose to streamline its procurement process with Paramount WorkPlace.

“We’ve been using Paramount WorkPlace for over five years,” recalls John Wieser, IT Manager at Minn-Dak. “Honestly, I don’t know how we functioned before; it has completely streamlined our procurement cycle and brought us enormous efficiencies.”

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Replacing a Manual System

Prior to implementing Paramount WorkPlace, Wieser describes the organization’s procurement process as a manual one. “Purchase requests and requisitions were submitted in a spreadsheet, or an email, or even handwritten on a piece of paper,” he says. “The purchasing department would have to manually seek the necessary approvals, and then rekey everything into our ERP application.” It used to take Minn-Dak two full days to turn around a requisition request. Now the process is complete in less than half a day. “We require Paramount WorkPlace requisitions for all purchase orders,” notes Wieser. “It keeps all our company spending visible and auditable.”

Integration with ERP

The organization uses Microsoft Dynamics GP, and worked with its Microsoft business partner to identify a procurement management solution that would integrate. “We considered one other application, Ariett, but found that Paramount WorkPlace was cleaner, neater, and simpler,” says Wieser. “All these years later, we’re still convinced we made the right decision.” In addition to the tight integration with Dynamics GP, Minn-Dak also takes advantage of Paramount WorkPlace’s integration with its job costing and equipment maintenance application. “We’re able to code a purchase to a specific capital expense project or a service call,” explains Wieser. “We really appreciate the way it fits so well into the way we do business.”

Used Throughout the Organization

Every employee with access to a company computer has access to Paramount WorkPlace, and together the organization’s staff initiates about 10,000 requisitions annually. “Everything from office supplies, to factory equipment, to service calls goes through the software,” notes Wieser. As requisitions are entered, the software automatically performs various validation checks, such as whether the user has authorization to purchase against specific general ledger accounts, or whether the purchase exceeds the budget amount. “If it passes the system’s check, it goes into the normal approval workflow — typically to the employee’s supervisor for review and approval,” explains Wieser. Once approved, Paramount WorkPlace creates a purchase order directly in Dynamics GP. “Purchasing then emails the purchase order to the vendor,” adds Wieser. “It’s entirely paperless, and there’s no duplicate data entry required.” Minn-Dak leverages the flexible approval configuration settings in Paramount WorkPlace to assign individual user approval limits, which might vary from $1 to $500,000. The solution’s smart approval routing process directs each requisition through the designated approvers based on factors such as who initiated the request, the dollar value, vendor, department, or item classification.

It Just Works

Wieser says he’s always been pleased with the technical support he receives from Paramount WorkPlace. “I always receive a quick response. I think that it’s because the product works so well that the support team isn’t very busy! Honestly, the product just works. We have had very few issues.” He concludes, “Overall, Paramount WorkPlace continues to exceed my expectations. Our staff uses it, they love it, and it fits the way we do business. It’s hard to beat that.”

Reedy Creek needed to better manage their growing and cumbersome paper-based requisitions. The system created a bottleneck with requisitions waiting on managers’ desks to be approved with no visibility to the status of the requisition in the approval process. Without visibility of the requisitions, Reedy Creek had a lack of control when it came to budgeting.

To be as efficient as possible, Reedy Creek knew they needed an ERP to manage their accounting practices and more importantly, to manage their requisitions.

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Reedy Creek Improvement District is a public corporation of the State of Florida located in Lake Buena Vista that is responsible for government services such as land use, regulation, and planning, across the many acres of Florida’s resorts.

Challenge

Requests Lost. No visibility of requisition timeline.

Reedy Creek needed to better manage their growing and cumbersome paper-based requisitions. The system created a bottleneck with requisitions waiting on managers’ desks to be approved with no visibility to the status of the requisition in the approval process. Without visibility of the requisitions, Reedy Creek had a lack of control when it came to budgeting.

Requirements

Manage Requisitions. Integrate with Microsoft Dynamics GP.

To be as efficient as possible, Reedy Creek knew they needed an ERP to manage their accounting practices and requisitions.

Reedy Creek selected Dynamics GP to manage their accounting needs, but did not realize that there was not a requisition tool included in the Dynamics GP ERP. Reedy Creek sought to find a dedicated web-based solution to manage their requisitions.

Solution

Implementing Paramount WorkPlace Requisition with its seamless integration with Microsoft Dynamics GP.

It was at the Microsoft Dynamics community’s Convergence tradeshow event that Reedy Creek learned about Paramount WorkPlace Requisition, and saw a demo. As soon as Reedy Creek saw Paramount WorkPlace in action they knew it was the right solution.

Paramount WorkPlace provided a requisition solution that streamlined their process by providing visibility to all users of where the requisitions are in the process. Workflow and automation allowed approvers to be reminded of requisitions pending approval and the ability to view budget to actual and get a warning when items are over budget.

Following implementation, managers and employees took part in WorkPlace training directed by Susan Higginbotham, Deputy Finance Manager. Susan used a mixture of classroom training scenarios and instruction documents to teach the initial users about WorkPlace. Moving forward, when new users are added to WorkPlace, Susan relies on the instruction documents and assistance from other employees to get the users up to speed. Reedy Creek currently has 125 WorkPlace Users.

Benefits

Visibility & Control. Time Savings. Advanced Spending Process.

With the implementation of WorkPlace Requisition, Reedy Creek now has:

  • Streamlined Requisitions
  • Increased Efficiency
  • Workflow Visibility
  • ERP Integration

“The time it takes for a requisition has been greatly reduced, and there is greater visibility of where the requisition is in the workflow,” Susan observed. Reedy Creek has also experienced improvement in spending behavior due to the awareness of their budget to actuals, and budget warnings.

WorkPlace Requisition and the add-on modules Reedy Creek has purchased throughout the years, have significantly improved their spending habits, and allowed them to have greater visibility and control on their organizational costs. Throughout the organization WorkPlace has received a lot of praise “Everybody likes WorkPlace,” Susan noted.

McCue is a global-industry leader in damage prevention equipment with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, and China. Founded in 1988, their product and service lines include bumpers, cart corrals in parking lots, floor mounted rails, and the design of customized damage protection plans for stores.

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McCue is a global-industry leader in damage prevention equipment with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, and China. Founded in 1988, their product and service lines include bumpers, cart corrals in parking lots, floor mounted rails, and the design of customized damage protection plans for stores.

Challenge

No Tracking or Audits of Requests & Approvals. Maverick Spending.

McCue was using a paper-based system to approve purchases orders. Employees called vendors to purchase items and manually entered purchase orders into Dynamics GP. This led to runaway costs and excessive spending because they could not maintain and enforce budgets. Without an automated requisition workflow, McCue had no formal tracking and audit of purchase requests and approvals. As a result, the company experienced month-end surprises and needed better visibility into the organization’s recent orders, budgets, and spending.

Requirements

Automated. Customizable. Integrated with Microsoft Dynamics GP. Audit Capabilities.

The ability to directly integrate with Dynamics GP with 40 users was key. McCue needed to configure departments, users, profiles, and routing rules during the implementation to best fit their needs. It was crucial to set up routing rules that only allowed purchases within the requester’s department.

Solution

WorkPlace Requisition & Receiving integrated with Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Paramount WorkPlace addressed their issues by providing an automated requisition solution with visibility to budgets and status of the requisitions in the purchasing process. The process was streamlined due to additions and improvements in the approval processes so they could approve by exception rather than having to scrutinize every requisition individually.

The ability to directly integration with Dynamics GP was a key draw for McCue to purchase WorkPlace Requisition and Receiving for 40 users. McCue and Paramount consultants configured departments, users, profiles, and routing rules during the implementation. Carlos Cabrera, IT Manager recalls, “The implementation was easy, and the ability to define departments was important.” It was crucial to set up routing rules that only allowed purchases within the requester’s department without extra approvals. They trained and used webcasts to educate the employees at McCue on WorkPlace, and how it would streamline requisitioning.

Training has been an important part of the adoption of WorkPlace at McCue and Carlos holds frequent new user training sessions and refresher training to continually educate employees. “WorkPlace training instills the company’s purchasing policies with new employees,” Carlos says.

Benefits

Clear visibility of requests. Only necessary approvals obtained. Total cost savings.

McCue now has:

  • Improved Purchase Tracking
  • Increased Efficiency
  • Streamlined Requisitions
  • Workflow Visibility
  • ERP Integration

McCue is able to control budgets and foresee spending in a way that they never could before. WorkPlace tracks purchases by vendor allowing McCue’s purchasing managers to obtain better terms from suppliers. “The ability to generate reports on spending against budgets has also allowed for more intelligent decisions and conversations with senior management,” Carlos noted.

Not only has the visibility over spending and the ability to control it benefitted McCue, but time has also been significantly reduced when processing requisitions. The in-line attachment of quotes gives approvers better information to verify the request. With the electronic flow of requisitions in WorkPlace, approvals move much faster from employee to employee. The ability to track spending in WorkPlace allows department managers to make more educated allocations of their yearly budget.

Since Care Communications’ consultants do not regularly visit the corporate office it was a challenge for the timely submission of paper-based timesheets and expense reports. Managers were scrambling for timesheets to approve, and dealing with cumbersome Excel sheets and paperwork.

Care Communications recognized an urgent need to implement an automated workflow solution for the time and expense processing and approvals. Care Communications began looking for a different. “It was very important to find a robust solution from a company that had been around for a while” Frohmund Burger, Senior Accountant explained.

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Care Communications, Inc. provides solutions in data quality and health information management (HIM). Care Communications’ clients include hospitals and health care systems, physician practices, cancer centers and reporting agencies, medical research organizations and others.

Challenge

Late TimeSheets & Expense Reports. Slow Turnaround.

Since Care Communications’ consultants do not regularly visit the corporate office it was a challenge for the timely submission of paper-based timesheets and expense reports.

Consultants mailed timesheets and expense reports to the billing department for review and approval, managers were then notified about inaccuracies in the time and expense sheets. The greatest issue was that clients were not invoiced until 3 weeks after the services were rendered. Managers were scrambling for timesheets to approve, and dealing with cumbersome Excel sheets and paperwork.

Care Communications implemented Project Accounting in Dynamics GP, and set up Business Portal for web-based data entry. This reduced turnaround time, but the limitations on the entry of a large number of projects resulted in a need for a more powerful solution.

Requirements

Automated Workflow. Streamlined Processes. Integration with Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Care Communications recognized an urgent need to implement an automated workflow solution for the time and expense processing and approvals. Care Communications began looking for a different solution. “It was very important to find a robust solution from a company that had been around for a while” Frohmund Burger, Senior Accountant explained.

Solution

Paramount WorkPlace Time & Expense Integrated with Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Care Communications solicited recommendations from their ERP solutions provider. After multiple demonstrations, Care Communications decided to select the WorkPlace Time and Expense solutions and also decided to purchase a custom enhancement to add a productivity entry field. The complete solution tracks time and expenses by project/client and the number of items processed by each employee for the time reported in the transaction.

Care Communications and Paramount used multiple techniques such as user acceptance testing, hands on training, and webinars to instruct the new users of WorkPlace. Employees became proficient with WorkPlace very quickly. The easy to use interface, the ability to duplicate timesheets, and the ability to include attachments with expenses were the favorited features.

Benefits

Reduced stress on managers. Quick Billing Turnaround.

Care Communications now has:

  • Increased Efficiency
  • Streamlined Time & Expense
  • Robust Solution
  • ERP Integration

Managers were pleased with the new processes for time and expense approvals. Frohmund noted “Managers love it! The e-mails are easy to approve or reject, and there has been great feedback from upper management.” Because of WorkPlace, Care Communications billing turnaround time has decreased resulting in accelerated cash collection. Managers can be quickly notified and can easily make any changes that need to be made.

The Toronto Zoo found that they were experiencing challenges with their paper requisition solution. Paper requisitions were often difficult to locate when a manager was waiting for more information or was out of the office—causing delays in the approval process. Since there was no automated tracking in place, service requisitions would continue to accumulate and there was no way for management to know completion rates or set priorities.

The Zoo also had a lack of audit processes and access to information because they did not have visibility to budgets or tracking information of where the requisition was in the process.

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The Toronto Zoo is a dynamic and exciting action centre that inspires people to love, respect and protect wildlife and wild spaces. The Zoo has over 5,000 animals representing over 500 species.

Challenge

No way to handle Out-Of-Office Approvals. Delays in Process. No way to Prioritize. Could not see Completion Rates.

The Toronto Zoo found that they were experiencing challenges with their paper requisition solution. Paper requisitions were often difficult to locate when a manager was waiting for more information or was out of the office—causing delays in the approval process. Since there was no automated tracking in place, service requisitions would continue to accumulate and there was no way for management to know completion rates or set priorities.

The Zoo also had a lack of audit processes and access to information because they did not have visibility to budgets or tracking information of where the requisition was in the process.

Requirements

Centralized System. Automation. Reduce Waste. Integrate with Microsoft Dynamics GP.

The Zoo wanted a centralized requisition system that would automate and manage all of their purchasing and service requisitions across the organization and help them achieve a smaller ecological footprint. “We are continually seeking to enhance our many environmentally green programs and to reduce the volume of paperwork that was previously in place for purchasing and service ordering,” says Charles Duncan, Manager of Computing & Telecom. Another requirement for the requisition system was that it would integrate with their ERP, Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Solution

WorkPlace Requisition integrated with Microsoft Dynamics GP.

After conducting a thorough selection process, the Zoo established WorkPlace as the most flexible and scalable solution for their needs.

“We needed a system with an approval algorithm that would facilitate the approval by different management levels depending on the type and value of the requisition. At the same time, we were looking for a service order request and approval system that would send the requisition to the appropriate service unit after review and approval,” said Duncan. With WorkPlace, the Zoo initiated the management of their requisitions, approval coordination, multi-currency capabilities, detailed tracking, and seamless integration into their central ERP system that they required.

Paramount WorkPlace provided an ecological friendly requisition solution with flexible and robust approval workflow processes. By eliminating the paper WorkPlace helped them enhance their environmentally green programs and allowed the appropriate management levels to be exposed to the requisitions based on the type and value of the request. The automated approval process with email notifications, reminders, and alternates eliminated delay.

Benefits

Multi-Currency. Centralized System. Saves Paper. Can see budget in real time.

The Toronto Zoo now has:

  • Automated Requisitions
  • Budget Tracking
  • Flexible Approval Process
  • ERP Integration
  • Paperless Requisition System

“WorkPlace streamlined our entire purchase and service requisitioning process,” Duncan said. The easy access to WorkPlace and multi-currency have also been a tremendous benefit for the Zoo. “We now have the capability to track requisitions against cost center budgets, and we’re able to receive warnings if something is over budget and then route for approval based on a requisition line item exceeding the budget,” said Duncan. “We have continued to expand the number of users since we purchased WorkPlace; deployment is as simple as providing a URL.”

The Tampa Port Authority faced a number of challenges with their paper-based requisition system. The Port was frustrated with persistent issues such as a lack of adequate response to requisitions due to the need for multiple levels of approvals within the organization.

They began experiencing a lack of control because they were unable to efficiently track costs of major engineering projects. Also, using two separate systems to manage and report against projects, there was no easy way to audit and access information.

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Tampa Bay’s Port is Florida’s Largest Cargo Port. From a wide-ranging cargo mix to its cruise passenger popularity to repair of ships, the Port of Tampa is a diverse seaport.

Challenge

Poor Response to Requisitions. Too many Approval Levels. Difficult to track spending.

The Tampa Port Authority faced a number of challenges with their paper-based requisition system. The Port was frustrated with persistent issues such as a lack of adequate response to requisitions due to the need for multiple levels of approvals within the organization. Using a paper-based requisition process did not allow for an automated approval process.

They began experiencing a lack of control because they were unable to efficiently track costs of major engineering projects. Also, using two separate systems to manage and report against projects, there was no easy way to audit and access information.

Requirements

Track Spending and Budgets. Integrate with Microsoft Dynamics GP.

The Port had an urgent requirement to track the cost of major engineering projects such as the construction of piers, docks, buildings or access roads. Engineering managed projects and passed documents to Finance for cost incurred, payment, and financial reporting. The two separate and disjointed processes resulted in different costs reported for projects. The organization needed a solution that not only worked with their Dynamics GP ERP, but included a new job cost solution. According to Chief Information Officer, Ken Washington, the Port was looking to move forward with a new way of operating, but within their existing ERP applications.

Solution

WorkPlace eProcurement Requisition and Expense integrated with Microsoft Dynamics & KEY2ACT Job Cost.

Paramount WorkPlace provided a solution for their purchasing, expense and project needs. We offered an integration to both their ERP and Job Cost solution which provided a single point of entry and access to information throughout the organization. Approval processes were significantly improved by providing multiple levels of approval based on the details entered on the requisition and expense sheet and providing approvers notifications and reminders to keep the transactions moving through the system.

The Port Authority selected the Paramount WorkPlace eProcurement Requisition and Expense applications, integrated with the KEY2ACT Job Cost Solution. Once its users were brought up to speed and the new operational procedures were solidified, the Port Authority implemented the WorkPlace solution without any issues. “The process was extremely smooth,” Washington said. “We spent a lot of time getting our users acclimated to how we were going to perform in the future. Once we did that, we just had to load the software, go through training, and use the product.”

Benefits

Track inventory. Accurate financial reports. Save time throughout Workflow.

Tampa Port Authority now has:

  • Accurately track inventory investments in Capital Projects
  • Synchronize Procurements with KEY2ACT Job Cost
  • Streamline Purchasing and Reporting

“It was a significant change for us going from paper to electronic, primarily in the approval process. Now, the only thing that could hold us up is if someone just doesn’t happen to check their email,” said Washington. “Time is always a major factor, especially for an organization like ours.”

WorkPlace provides the Tampa Port Authority with tools to automate workflows and the flexibility to adapt to a constantly changing market. Washington reiterated the benefits that WorkPlace has brought to the Tampa Port Authority, “For us, it just made things a lot smoother (…) we use WorkPlace religiously.”

Petroleum Equipment Service used a manual expense tracking process: employees sent receipts and expenses via email to their manager.  Employees sent receipts and expenses via email to their manager.  E-mailing receipts often resulted in lost receipts, delays, and lack of visibility to pending expenses.

Without automated workflows to capture receipts and route expenses through approvals and to payment, expense sheets had to be entered manually into their Sage 300 ERP.  Since information was limited by email they were not able to provide information or adequate auditing.

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Petroleum Equipment Service is an organization that provides installation, service, and maintenance to gasoline and diesel dispensers, including point of sale systems, tank monitoring equipment, and submersible pumps.

Challenge

Lost Receipts. Could not see pending purchases. Manual Entry.

Petroleum Equipment Service used a manual expense tracking process requiring duplicate entry. Employees sent receipts and expenses via email to their manager. E-mailing receipts often resulted in lost receipts, delays in reimbursements, and lack of visibility to pending expenses. Without automated workflows to capture receipts and route expenses through approvals and to payment, expense sheets had to be entered manually into their Sage 300 ERP. Since information was limited by email they were not able to provide information or adequate auditing.

Requirements

Automation. Integrate with Sage 300. User Accountability.

Petroleum Equipment Service needed to automate the expense processing for the Sales teams. The main requirements were a direct integration with Sage 300 and a solution that would give users accountability to enter and approve expenses.

Solution

WorkPlace Time & Expense integrated with Sage 300.

Paramount WorkPlace addressed their issues by providing an integrated expense solution that was easy to use and provided management transparent access to information through the process. Approval workflows, detailed logs, and the ability to use questionnaires to gather specific information about expense lines was crucial. The ability to capture receipts as attachments to the expense sheet solved the problem of lost receipts. Having those receipts easily available to the approvers provided much needed visibility to the expenses and streamlined the approval process.

“The implementation of WorkPlace was fairly simple and didn’t take a lot of time, the training process was just as easy for our users,” Adam Desfosses, Business Manager said. Petroleum used group training techniques and customized training documents for their users to master the system.

Desfosses recalls his first impression of WorkPlace as, “[It’s] Easy. It doesn’t get much simpler, you just insert expenses and hit submit.”

Benefits

Visible Workflow. Easy to Use. Less discrepancies.

Petroleum Equipment Service now has:

  • Streamlined Expense System
  • Approval Visibility
  • Direct Integration with Sage 300

Management appreciates the transparent nature of the system in terms of the audit features, approval workflow, and questionnaire for expense line items. The sales team has been equally as pleased with WorkPlace. Desfosses says, “I don’t have a single employee who can’t use WorkPlace.”

The City of St. John’s was experiencing inefficiencies, such as separate systems, multiple data entry points, slow communications, and lack of controls. Departments had a lack in communication without easy access to correct or consistent information.

They needed a solution that would integrate its business functions and departmental needs while engineering its business processes. They were also looking to access accurate information in a timely manner and establish an integration between departments

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St. John’s is the capital and largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador, in Eastern Canada. Located on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland.

Challenge

Separate Systems. Slow Communication.

The City of St. John’s was experiencing inefficiencies, such as separate systems, multiple data entry points, slow communications, and lack of controls. Departments had a lack in communication without easy access to correct or consistent information.

Requirements

Integration between departments. Accurate Information. Automated Process.

The City of St. John’s needed to implement a seamless solution that would integrate its business functions and departmental needs while engineering its business processes. They were also looking to access accurate information in a timely manner and establish an integration between departments, all while moving away from paper-based processes. Automation of processes was key.

Solution

WorkPlace Requisition & Procurement integrated with Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Paramount WorkPlace addressed their issues by providing a single solution integrated with Dynamics GP for all users. The ease of requisition entry, approval and empowering users to have access to see the status of their requisitions throughout the entire process provided a very efficient and consistent process across the organization. Access to information and the ability to approve using WorkPlace Mobile saved time and provided control over the purchasing process.

“WorkPlace has been one of the most well received systems that we have upgraded to,” says Derek Coffey, Manager of Budget and Treasury. “The number of requests for assistance and/or technical help has been minimal and end user acceptance and transition period has been seamless.”

“The acceptance of WorkPlace has been tremendous. Requisitions are easy to process, approve and subsequently inquire on,” says Coffey. Through the configurable interface, authorized users can easily maintain roles, routing rules, and approval limits. The ease of WorkPlace lends itself to allowing non-IT personnel to resolve problems in a timely way. Because a lot of the front-end maintenance work is not completed by the IT department, they are able to focus more on other demands.

Benefits

All relevant information in one place. Time saving. Data entry consistency.

The City of St. John’s now has:

  • Automation of Processes
  • Integration with ERP
  • Stronger Controls
  • Paperless Solution

“WorkPlace’s Mobile module helps us to be even more efficient; we are able to have requisitions viewed, approved, and processed with our mobile phones and our iPads,” said Coffey. “Another huge improvement has been the ability of users to see the status of their requisitions, inquire on the approval stage, and if need be, recall and correct a requisition,” said Coffey.

Although the City of St. John’s leveraged their solution partner to implement WorkPlace, Paramount Technologies has followed up directly with the City throughout the implementation process and after go-live as part of Paramount’s customer service. Coffey said, “As it relates to customer service and follow-up, Paramount Technologies has provided the level of service that the City of St. John’s has come to expect and many other vendors could learn from Paramount on how to maintain a business relationship.”

Gordon College used a completely manual paper requisition approval process for a number of years. This practice caused constant delays throughout the process and the lack of visibility caused confusion among departments with requisitions stalled in inboxes. The lack of control and visibility was apparent.

They could not maintain and enforce budgets, which led to a lack of control. Also, they could not tell where requisitions were in the process, what had happened to them, or what needed to happen to keep them moving along the requisition process.

Read More

Gordon College, one of the nation’s premier Christian colleges, is located near Boston and combines education with Christian faith.

Challenge

Delays. Confusion. No Control.

Gordon College used a completely manual paper requisition approval process for a number of years. This practice caused constant delays throughout the process and the lack of visibility caused confusion among departments with requisitions stalled in inboxes. The lack of control and visibility to what was being bought and the impact on their budget was apparent.

They could not maintain and enforce budgets, which led to a lack of control. Also, they could not tell where requisitions were in the process, what had happened to them, or what needed to happen to keep them moving along the requisition process.

Requirements

Automation & quick workflow. Visibility to monitor budgets. Web-based. Integrates.

The Gordon College team needed a solution with more automation to speed workflow, transparency to provide better budget controls, and solid internal audit capabilities.

“WorkPlace is web-based and seamlessly interacts with our Accounting software, which were two of our main requirements for the requisition system,” said David Andrade, Director of Information Technology.

Solution

WorkPlace Requisition integrated with Accounting Software.

Paramount WorkPlace addressed their issues by providing an integrated requisition solution to automate their workflow process, give visibility to budgets and access to information throughout the process for all users.

“We spoke to our advisors, and were introduced to WorkPlace. With the help of Paramount WorkPlace and our Value Added Reseller (VAR) advisors we were able to put in place a purchase requisition process and a check request process,” says Kim Mather, Controller.

Gordon College now has automated workflow, budget control and transparent accountability of the requisition process. Mather says “We are now better able to enforce policies through the routing rules and users can now see where their requisitions are in the process through the detail log feature without calling the Business Office.”

“The detail log has been a great help to Gordon College; the improved record of accountability has helped speed up the approval process,” says Mather. Budget awareness by departments has also been improved.

Benefits

Time Savings. Visibility.

Gordon College now has:

  • Automated Workflow
  • Budget Control
  • Transparency
  • Multi-Level Approval Process

WorkPlace provides Gordon College full visibility throughout the requisition process. There is complete tracking from line level attachments to real time status dashboard and detailed audit log. “We have gained considerable efficiencies with WorkPlace’s Requisition software,” says Mather.

“Paramount’s customer service has always been very helpful and responsive when we’ve had a problem during an upgrade or when we needed a new license,” says Andrade. “Their turn-around time is fantastic and their technical staff are always able to pinpoint the problem in a short amount of time. We would recommend WorkPlace to any company that is looking to streamline their requisition process.” says Andrade.

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County was using a system that had a major general ledger issue—causing hospital staff to deal with frequent system failures. There was limited access to information because they did not have access to budget details during the purchasing process. With high error frequency and interruptions in the workflow that could not be fixed, they needed a change.

Memorial Hospital was initially concerned about how staff would react to a new requisition, but really needed a better way to budget and reduce costs. They wanted to reduce errors and interruptions to all users throughout the process.

Read More

Memorial Hospital is entering a new era in healthcare with an 80,000 square foot Medical Office Building and Cancer Treatment Center. They deliver quality care with the newest technology.

Challenge

System Failures. Errors. Interruptions.

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County was using a system that had a major general ledger issue—causing hospital staff to deal with frequent system failures. There was limited access to information because they did not have access to budget details during the purchasing process. With high error frequency and interruptions in the workflow that could not be fixed, they needed a change.

Requirements

Easy for Staff. Efficient for budgeting.

Memorial Hospital was initially concerned about how staff would react to a new requisition, but really needed a better way to budget and reduce costs. They wanted to reduce errors and interruptions to all users throughout the process.

Solution

WorkPlace Requisition

Paramount WorkPlace addressed their issues by providing a requisition solution that provided access to accurate budget reporting; visibility and transparency throughout the purchasing process and integration to their materials management and ERP solution.

After learning how it could be tailored to their specific business processes associated with requisitions and Binary Stream, Memorial Hospital’s advisors chose WorkPlace. “We saw immediate, positive results once WorkPlace was fully implemented; our staff has seen considerable improvements and efficiencies,” said Teralee Aubrey, Director of Materials Management for the hospital.

When making the switch to WorkPlace, Memorial Hospital was initially concerned about how staff would react to a new requisition product after the previous one had created so many issues. Since then, the hospital’s processing time for requisitions has been dramatically reduced, which is a huge help to staff and vendors. “I have heard great feedback from end-users that WorkPlace is easier to use, which has made this transition nice and easy for us,” Aubrey said. “I appreciate the personal attention given to us through the setup process and I have been pleased with the customer service since we have gone live with WorkPlace.”

Benefits

Less Headaches. Time Savings. Reduced Errors.

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater’s now has:

  • Accurate Budget Reporting
  • Visibility and Transparency
  • Reduce Internal Costs
  • Materials Management and ERP Integration

Since implementation of WorkPlace, Memorial Hospital has seen improvement in budgeting processes as well as a large decrease in data entry errors. Due to all of their budget information being so readily available with WorkPlace, decision making has also improved. Now, the hospital’s processes have complete visibility and transparency with their spending and cost centers.

While requisitions were of priority for Memorial Hospital, the WorkPlace integration with Binary Stream has also been extremely helpful for the staff. “Binary Stream is our main system for materials management; the integration between the two solutions just adds to our efficiency level,” Aubrey said.

Central Park Conservancy used a paper-based requisition system with multiple copies for approvals and records. Without an electronic system in place, the Conservancy could not track where the requests were or which requests were most current. This led to a lack of control and mess when it came time to place the order.

Key requirements for the procurement solution included approval workflows based on the type of purchase, department, and spending authority, with complete audit trails and full visibility of actual expenditures and pending commitments.

Read More

The Central Park Conservancy is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring New York’s Central Park to its former splendor. Today, the Conservancy is responsible for the day-to-day operation and enhancing Central Park’s relations with the public. Central Park Conservancy raises funding from private sources and uses contributions from the City to maintain and improve the park.

Challenge

Lack of Control. Chaotic Ordering.

The Conservancy used a paper-based requisition system with multiple copies for approvals and records. Without an electronic system in place, the Conservancy could not track where the requests were or which requests were most current. This led to a lack of control and mess when it came time to place the order.

Requirements

Approval Workflows. Track Audits. Integration with Blackbaud.

Key requirements for the procurement solution included approval workflows based on the type of purchase, department, and spending authority, with complete audit trails and full visibility of actual expenditures and pending commitments. The solution had to accommodate diverse purchasing needs for buildings, grounds maintenance, programs, and fundraising events.

Central Park Conservancy required a seamless integration with Blackbaud Financial Edge to prevent duplicate data entry and for accurate encumbrance and accrual accounting. Another requirement was access to procurement documents through Financial Edge and PaperSave.

Solution

Paramount WorkPlace Requisition & Procurement with customized integration for Blackbaud.

Based on a recommendation from PaperSave, Central Park Conservancy evaluated and selected the WorkPlace solution.

Paramount and Central Park Conservancy began the planning and implementation. This process included the development of specific enhancements to the WorkPlace interface. Customizations were made for Blackbaud software which allowed for extreme detail down to the transaction level within WorkPlace. Beth Haskell, Director of Information Technology said “Paramount’s integration to Blackbaud was why we decided to go with WorkPlace.” This ensured that costs were properly allocated to each data element for reporting of encumbrance and actuals within Financial Edge. She said “the team was extremely helpful and customized the integration in a very timely manner.”

Once the implementation was complete, Central Park began formal and informal user training. Haskell and the Paramount consultant worked together to provide remote training for the employees.

Benefits

Time & Money Savings. Better Monitoring. Unified Processes.

Central Park Conservancy now has:

  • ERP integration
  • True encumbrance accounting
  • Spend visibility
  • Purchase approvals

With a streamlined procurement process, Central Park Conservancy appreciates the time savings results. Features such as the duplicate button for requisitions, email approvals and the elimination of redundant spreadsheets to track encumbrances contribute to this benefit. Employees can use their extra time to be more efficient in other areas.

The WorkPlace integration with Blackbaud allows the Conservancy to monitor revenue, expenses and net results for events and programs. This takes into account encumbrances for open purchase orders and accruals for received goods and services. WorkPlace has allowed Central Park to unify requisition, purchase order, encumbrance, invoice, accrual and actual.

Implementing WorkPlace has also served to reinforce purchasing policies, overall strengthening the approvals and spend management of the organization. Management at Central Park Conservancy is very happy with their decision to implement WorkPlace. The Conservancy expects additional savings by combining multiple requisitions into purchase orders, and taking advantage of vendor contracts for more economical volume purchases.

First Wind Energy, now SunEdison, had a paper-based approval system that was plagued with data entry errors, causing delays in approvals and stalled projects. First Wind already had an accounting system that needed to be integrated, but also thinks about the future third party systems they may want to bring in.

First Wind Energy needed to reduce errors, while having the flexibility in approval routing rules to assist in controlling spend. They needed a robust, scalable requisition system for easily accessible request information in real-time.

Read More

First Wind Energy, now a part of SunEdison, manufactures solar technology and develops, finances, installs and operates distributed solar power systems, delivering cost effective electricity and services.

Challenge

Data Entry Errors. Stalled Projects. Integration.

First Wind Energy’s manual paper-based approval system was plagued with data entry errors, causing delays in approvals and stalled projects. First Wind already had an accounting system that needed to be integrated, but also thought about future third party systems they may want to bring in.

Requirements

Reduce Errors. Third Party system integration in the future.

First Wind Energy needed a robust requisition system. “WorkPlace also integrates with many third party systems; it is comforting to know that we’ll be able to integrate with any of them into our existing WorkPlace installation should the need arise,” said Matthew Brockelhurst, Manager of Business Technologies.

Solution

WorkPlace Requisition integrated with current ERP & Project Accounting Modules.

Paramount WorkPlace addressed their issues by providing a solution that integrated to Dynamics GP and GP Project Accounting which eliminated duplicate entry and optimized their requisition process. The flexible and robust approval routing rules have also been critical to control spending.

“WorkPlace was more user friendly as well as administrator friendly,” says Brockelhurst. “We chose WorkPlace because of the dynamic routing rules, the integration with our ERP and the Project Accounting module.

The WorkPlace integration with First Wind’s Project Accounting solution has been an integral piece for the company. By eliminating duplicate entry First Wind was able to implement an even more optimized process.

Benefits

Reduced Processing Time. Fewer Mistakes. Easy Access to requisition information. Increased Visibility. Scaleable. Streamlined Workflow.

First Wind Energy now has:

  • Increased Efficiency
  • Streamlined Workflow
  • Dynamic Routing Rules
  • Scaleable
  • ERP Integration

First Wind had immediate success with WorkPlace. The processing time of requisitions is now reduced and there are fewer data entry mistakes. “We are no longer chasing after paper requisitions, everything is in WorkPlace and is easily accessed,” comments Brockelhurst. Through the WorkPlace portal and email notifications, requestors have real-time access to the status of their requisitions, which is a time saver for requestors and the Finance department. Senior management has more visibility into the company’s spending and can appropriate money to budgets more accurately.

“WorkPlace gives us the visibility we need up front and also provides us the ability to go back and audit. In order to become even more efficient, we have started reviewing some analytics to see if we can improve the lead time we have before payments related to requisitions that need to be processed,” says Brocklehurst.

“WorkPlace works the same for us now as it did in 2005, if not better with all of the enhancements that Paramount WorkPlace has incorporated into the WorkPlace product. We could double in size tomorrow and WorkPlace would still work for us,” said Brockelhurst. First Wind Energy has been able to expand the incorporation of WorkPlace as they have added more users.

With their upgrade to the most recent WorkPlace release, First Wind also reorganized their routing rules to be more budget owner based rather than management structure based. “This update was easy to do and has been working great for us,” explains Brocklehurst.

“I have used WorkPlace previously at another company and have always had a positive experience with Paramount WorkPlace and the WorkPlace product. I highly recommend WorkPlace to any company that is looking to reduce errors and control spending,” said Brockelhurst.

Concorde Career College had a very manual process using spreadsheets, e-mail, and paper requisitions to track requisitions and purchases. This process led to confusion and overspending.  Due to the growing number of medical and classroom equipment purchases Concorde needed a more automated and audited procurement process. It was essential to find a better way for each facility to manage purchases, streamlining the procurement process and reduce costs.  Key requirements for the procurement solution included the capabilities of PunchOut.
Read More

Concorde Career Colleges specializes in healthcare education. The Colleges have been training medical professionals for nearly 50 years. Concorde Career College has 17 campuses in eight different states and continues to grow.

Challenge

Manual Process. Excess Spending.

Concorde Career College had a very manual process using spreadsheets, e-mail, and paper requisitions to track requisitions and purchases. This process led to confusion and overspending. Due to the growing number of medical and classroom equipment purchases Concorde needed a more automated and audited procurement process. It was essential to find a better way for each facility to manage purchases, streamlining the procurement process and reduce costs.

Requirements

Realtime Product Costs. Increased Purchase Capabilities.

Key requirements for the procurement solution included the capabilities of PunchOut. PunchOut is a standard for ecommerce websites with the special ability to communicate directly with a procurement system through cXML and return a pending purchase order back to the buyer so they don’t need to enter product information in the procurement system. PunchOut allows for consistency in Purchase Orders against Invoices that is difficult to maintain as products change and update.

Solution

Paramount WorkPlace Requisition & Procurement utilizing PunchOut capabilities.

Concorde Career College decided to implement WorkPlace Requisition, Purchasing, and PunchOut for their purchasing needs.

Concorde selected the WorkPlace PunchOut module to allow electronic product selection and ordering from approved catalogs to preferred suppliers. Rebecca Oxley, Purchasing Manager noted, “Before PunchOut, purchase orders and invoices never matched, due to the constantly changing products and cost of medical equipment. PunchOut has allowed us to have a real time platform to capture the current cost.”

In order to teach new employees how to use WorkPlace, Concorde Career College uses customized training guides. They also use a meeting site to let new employees at different locations shadow the purchasing process remotely. Concorde Career College now has 81 users of WorkPlace throughout their 17 locations.

Benefits

Accurateness. Reduced Spending. Scalability.

Concord Career Colleges Now Has:

  • Real time product cost views
  • Streamlined procurement
  • Increased purchase visibility
  • Platform to enter requisitions

Since the implementation Concorde Career College has seen the benefits of WorkPlace. Oxley said, “It helps capture the true audit, approval process, and visibility.” PunchOut was the biggest component to achieve accurateness since the catalog stays current and up-to-date with new product features and pricing. If the product changes after the initial request was put in, the system will automatically update which avoids confusion, inaccuracies and reduces over spending.

Because of the scalability of WorkPlace, as Concorde Career Colleges continues to grow, they will be able to continue to use all of the functions and customizations that were made.

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