Expert Interview Series: Angela Schreffler, Vice President

Angela SchrefflerMy Name is Angela Schreffler and I am the Vice President at Colorado Nonprofit Development Center. CNDC is the only nonprofit in the region that provides comprehensive fiscal sponsorship to charitable organizations that fall under the umbrella of our 501c3. So with that, we do accounting and human resources and back office support as well as capacity building services to all of those organizations. In total, we serve about 70 fiscally sponsored projects and our goal is to make the nonprofit sector more efficient and effective by serving those fiscally sponsored projects.

Meet Angela Schreffler

What drove the decision to implement new software?

When I first came to Colorado Nonprofit Development Center, we were a rapidly growing organization that was relying on a lot of outdated systems. And we were growing in terms of the number of employees that we had too so there was a lot of cross-department work that we needed to do and the systems that we were using, some of them had done a lot of research in terms of what would work best for CNDC like our accounting and our payroll software. But we were still using a lot of spreadsheets to track our data and an outdated filing system and that sort of thing. It just wasn't a good fit for where CNDC was as an organization and where we wanted to go. So in order to best serve our fiscally sponsored projects, we decided that we needed a process to determine what software solutions were going to work best to make sure that we were able to serve our projects moving forward. It was really important for us that we look to our future and to our growth and find a solution that was going to work for us long term.

How did you hear about ERP Advisors Group and why did you select them?

We had done a lot of research trying to figure out what kinds of consultants could help us with this sort of assessment or analysis. And were really struggling to find somebody. It was a conversation that our CFO had with our bank actually of all of our vendors and companies that recommended ERP Advisors to us. And after researching with them and meeting with them a couple of times we decided that they would be a really good fit for CNDC.

What services did ERP Advisors Group provide to CNDC?

ERP Advisors helped us with all aspects of our process, all the way from the assessment and analysis of our existing software solutions, helping us come up with options to move forward and then implementing those options. So they came to CNDC and first did an assessment of what we were currently using. They talked to both individual employees to figure out where their "pain points" as they call them, were, as well as each department to figure out where we were having some strain in our systems. And then also talked to us about what is an ideal solution look like to you. What do you want to be doing that your current system doesn't currently allow you to do? And they looked at that comprehensively. Everything from our file sharing, our electronic file sharing to how we manage our data, to our accounting and human resources and payroll and everything in between. And came back to us with a plan, a suggested plan for us moving forward. They looked at a lot of different options for us and helped us determine what they felt was the right solution for CNDC. Once we talked about those solutions internally including with our board of directors and really had everybody buy into those solutions, we then worked with ERP Advisors again to implement those solutions. So for us that included making some minor adjustments and tweaks to our accounting and human resources software. For the most part, those were working well for us and we didn't need to implement something new. But then a major undertaking was developing and implementing a salesforce option for CNDC. So getting away from all of those electronic excel data sheets that were tracking all of our information and into something that was cloud-based and certainly something that would help us move into the future.

What were the primary goals and objectives for CNDC's project?

Our goals for the project were to, I think there were a few goals. So one, we wanted to trust the data that we had. You know, when we were inputting information into a spreadsheet and multiple people were accessing that, there was no way to trust that something hadn't been accidentally deleted. There was no way for multiple people to access that data at the same time. And then there was no way to track who was making changes in that data as well, which was really hard for us. So that was definitely a goal of ours, to find a solution that helped us have data that we could really trust and rely on. I would say another goal was to have better reporting functionality. You know as you can imagine it's very hard when you're working with an excel sheet to really manipulate the data in a way that gives you something useful in terms of reporting to our funders, our donors, our board of directors, and our fiscally sponsored projects. One of the things that's very important to CNDC is accountability and we have to be able to trust the information that we have at CNDC and be able to communicate that in a way to our partners that is accountable. And I would say the final goal for us was really trying to find a solution that fit within our culture. We wanted something that was helpful for individual users or employees in our organization but also something that was a product that our entire organization could use and would support everybody now and into the future. And you know enabled us to do more cross-department work which has definitely happened for us.

How did ERP Advisors Group support you in meeting those goals?

ERP Advisors Group helped us find confidence around the solutions that they were proposing to us. They were incredibly thorough. We knew that when they came in and interviewed our staff and reported back to us on the things that they had found, that those really were the issues that we needed to be working on. And we knew that when they research options for us that they really understood our organization and understood what options would work well for the type of organization that we are. They have years of experience and their staff are really good at managing the relationship piece of working with a client but also understanding the technical aspects of what an organization needs in terms of an ERP solution. And right out of the gate, the team was really good at showing that they were good at both of those things. So yeah, we just felt confident that they were finding the right solution for CNDC.

How has your new software helped your organization?

So we have had our Salesforce implementation, we've been live with Salesforce now for approximately seven months and it has made a huge difference for CNDC. We've been really excited about the reports that we've been able to run and the information that we've been able to pull out of this system to show to our funders. In addition, it allows us to communicate in a new way which has been very exciting for staff and there's definitely, you know one of our goals was confidence and we definitely feel confident about the data that we're putting in and the data we're getting out. It's also helped us streamline our processes and think of new and better ways to manage our workload. We use the TaskRay functionality in Salesforce and it has definitely streamlined how we do our work and made us more effective and efficient as an organization.

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