Managed Care Systems (MCS) was struggling to control their Purchasing, inventory and budgets with a patchwork of outdated systems. Having grown to over 300 employees, MCS was overdue for an upgrade. Unfortunately, there was no budget for a new e-procurement system, but that didn’t stop Eric Jeffers, who is responsible for the Purchasing Department at MCS.
“Our old system was written in-house a bunch of years back and it was starting to fall apart,” says Eric. “The IT Department didn’t want to invest resources to fix it, so we kept limping along. Plus, as an add-on to the Help Desk system, it was really just an over glorified word processor to start with; it could print a PO and keep some history, but there was still a ton of manual effort and duplicate data entry for each order, and it didn’t track inventory or provide any budget controls, which were big problems. We were constantly going over budget because the managers who were approving orders couldn’t see the status of budgets real-time. And we were running out of stock all the time, which meant a big panic, rush orders and extra charges for expedited deliveries”.
So when Eric found SpendMap with its real-time budget and inventory controls fully integrated with its world-class Purchasing functionality, he was optimistic to say the least. “I have been working in Purchasing departments for 15 years and this is by far the best purchasing software I have ever seen,” says Eric. “You can’t imagine how disappointed I was when I was told that we had no budget left for a new system and I had to wait until the following year”…
No Budget? No problem.
Luckily for Eric and MCS, SpendMap had just announced the Free-Procurement Project, a totally free version of SpendMap for small business and small buying groups in larger organizations. “To be honest, I was a little skeptical,” says Eric. “I knew that the (paid) web-based version was the right product for MCS because we have remote locations and a fairly large number of users, but with our old system falling apart and no budget for a new system, I was willing to give SpendMap’s free version a try.”
So Eric rolled up his sleeves and started implementing the Free Version of SpendMap.
“I’ve worked with e-procurement systems in my previous positions at Frito Lay and other companies, so I had a pretty good idea what this type of system can do, and how to get it set up,” says Eric. “There’s certainly more to it than firing up a Word Processor or something, but the Video Tutorials, detailed Help System and free online support that SpendMap provided with the free software really made it easy.”
Once he started using SpendMap, Eric saw an immediate reduction in paperwork and manual effort for each order, but that wasn’t enough. He knew that to get approval for the web-based version that he wanted, he would need support from others at MCS, so he recruited a colleague who processes a high volume of orders for her department. “Renee immediately took to the system and provided me with some very positive feedback about SpendMap, so now I had some backup,” says Eric.
But the real turning point was when managers starting approving requisitions in SpendMap. “The managers that were frustrated by our old systems were the same people who I needed support from to upgrade SpendMap,” says Eric. “Once they saw how easy it was to review requisitions and check budgets in SpendMap, the system sold itself”.
Eric Gets His Wish
A few months after implementing the Free Version of SpendMap, Eric finally got funding for his new e-procurement system, and upgraded to the web-based version of SpendMap.
Almost immediately, the number of users on the system jumped from 5 to around 50. “Nothing against the free Windows/desktop version, but there’s nothing like a web-based system when you have a bunch of users,” says Eric. “Now everyone just logs into SpendMap using their web browsers, without having to install software on each PC. Plus, the web-based “Shopping Cart” format makes it super easy for the people that are requesting items.”
“And don’t even get me started on the PunchOut Module,” says Eric. “Our staff can shop on our vendors’ e-commerce websites as they always have, and the items are pulled back into SpendMap and dropped onto the Requisitions automatically. Our people love it and gone are the days of having to correct pricing, since the pricing and other details come right from the supplier’s website.”
A Worthwhile Effort
Thanks to Eric and his don’t-take-no-for-an-answer approach, Managed Care Systems now has a fully-integrated, reliable, and easy-to-use system for requisitions and approvals, Purchase Order management, supplier invoice approval, consumable inventory control, and asset management, with real-time budget controls and visibility for his managers.
Since the system was implemented a year ago, there has not been a single stock-out at MCS.
“I am truly thankful for SpendMap,” says Eric. “For the first time in years, I have the right tools to do my job. I can manage our corporate spending with much less effort now, so I finally have the time to do the job that MCS hired me to do.”
About Managed Care Systems
Based in Bakersfield, California, Managed Care Systems provides quality administrative and clinical support services to organizations responsible for providing medical services through health plan agreements or health benefit programs. MCS’s clients include medical groups, independent physician associations (IPAs), and specific employers. www.managedcaresystems.com
SpendMap is a leading developer of cost-effective software solutions for companies that need to streamline their Purchasing processes and better control their spending. For 20 years, SpendMap has been helping customers improve their purchasing, payables and materials management processes to slash paperwork, control spending and cut costs. www.SpendMap.com