REVIEWER: Amy Campbell, director of budgeting for Community Health Network.

BACKGROUND: Founded in 1956, Community Health Network has grown into an integrated health network located throughout Indiana and composed of four full-service hospitals, the nation's first all-digital heart hospital, six urgent care centers, a multi-location outpatient mental health center, ambulatory surgery centers, and a primary care physician and specialized physician network.

PLATFORMS: We run Geac MPC on the Microsoft SQL Server.

PROBLEM SOLVED: With more than 600 cost centers, Community Health Network needed a solution to help manage the level of information that hospital administrators require to keep operations efficient. Our spreadsheet-based budgeting and reporting system was too labor-intensive, and we needed an integrated Web-based system that would automate processes, provide current information directly to service line managers without IT or finance intervention and better utilize precious resources.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Today, we use Geac MPC's budgeting and reporting capabilities, including ad hoc reporting. We have reduced the time to produce management reports from three or four weeks to a few days. Finance staff now load data daily into MPC for team leaders to access and create their own reports. When team leaders see any negative performance trends via the automatic early alerting system, they can immediately fix these areas, improving effectiveness and accountability. MPC's open architecture has enabled us to interface with our new cost accounting system that serves as a data warehouse, as well as with various legacy systems, such as the general ledger and parts of the payroll system. MPC provides us tremendous savings in time, effort and cost when we make a budget change by eliminating the need to make 24 journal entries and load budget data into the general ledger, as required with the previous system. Community's need to change the budgeting process every year over the past three years has tested MPC's flexibility, but MPC has passed with flying colors - without IT assistance. To measure and monitor performance easily, using MPC we created a dashboard tool as a visual cue that points to areas needing attention, whereby managers can drill down to appropriate details that support better decision making. Overall benefits have been tremendous operational cost savings, including eliminated paper and staff time and effort to produce and distribute hard-copy reports. Reporting can be done at any time, and MPC's flexibility allows us to budget efficiently in different ways as our needs change. Community is confident that MPC will also significantly help them reach their future goals of using 12-month rolling budgets, a five-year long-range financial plan and a custom SQL drill-through to the general ledger.

STRENGTHS: Geac MPC's open architecture made integration with our Microsoft SQL system easy and cost-effective. MPC's incredible flexibility allowed us to budget successfully in every complex way we have attempted, and its robust functionality has extended well beyond budgeting. MPC also proved strong in its reporting capabilities, including ad hoc reporting and its ease of use for everyone.

WEAKNESSES: The one area of the product that we were unable to utilize was the detailed planning to budget our labor components. However, through the use of key assumptions, we are able to complete the staffing budget to our satisfaction.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Community evaluated three other vendors: SRC, Hyperion and Adaytum. We selected Geac MPC because of price, robustness of functionality and ease of use. These were all key factors in which MPC rated far above the others.

DELIVERABLES: In addition to streamlined budgeting and reporting processes, the outputs include a single, centralized source of data for budgeting and reporting by all team leaders and managers, an ad hoc reporting tool for multidimensional analysis, a customized dashboard tool as a graphic indicator of performance status and an automatic alerting system showing unexpected results that need attention.

VENDOR SUPPORT: At all times the vendor support has been great. Our consultant went way beyond the call of duty to answer our questions. In addition, the customer support group assisted us with any issues that arose.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is good for the basics. However, if you begin to get into more complex issues, interaction with the vendor is more helpful.

Geac MPC
555 Briarwood Circle
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

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