- Project: ERP implementation
- Jurisdiction: Savannah, Ga.
- Agencies: Finance, accounts payable, purchasing, human resources, payroll, and warehouse with every department participating at the requisition and invoice approval level
- Vendor: New York-based Infor
- Date completed: Phase 1: October 2011. Phase 2 (Human Capital Management) is planned for fourth quarter 2012
Savannah is one of Georgia’s oldest cities, but that was no excuse for it to have been relying on a 19-year-old IT system to manage its financial andprocesses. The operating system was no longer supported, and the computer hardware was no longer manufactured. The system also relied heavily on paper processes and did not integrate with more current office software used throughout the city.
In addition to those challenges, Savannah faced increasing demands from shrinking budgets, lean staffing and calls for more transparency with other levels of government, media and residents. To resolve many of those issues, last year Savannah leaders decided to implement an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
In March 2010, the city began deploying multiple enterprise application suites from New York-based Infor. The first phase of the project included integrating software for financial management, procurement, supplier order management, contract management and requisitions.
Those applications were selected to help the city automate financial approval processes, increase transparency and reduce operating costs. Completed on Oct. 1, 2011, the first phase of the ERP implementation is already showing dramatic results. For example, the city now can automate approvals for supplier invoices through the software and online receiving. Additionally, all city employees who need access to financial data can produce timely online reports relating to their budgets, requisitions, warehouse orders and accounts payable transactions, including vendor payments, purchase order history and project accounting. Further, the city eliminated duplication by connecting purchasing and strategic sourcing applications for supplier bids, and suppliers now can submit bids online.
The city’s budgeting and financial planning functions went live on the system in April, and by the end of 2012, Savannah plans to complete the ERP implementation by incorporating software for, payroll and employee/manager self service.