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Overview

"We were looking for a partner that had global experience, so if you’re looking for a company and consultants who have global reach, I would definitely recommend Sapphire." Sameer Zaman, Financial Reporting Manager

Improved transparency across enterprises

Better performance reporting and visibility for donors

One system to serve all local currency and reporting

Integration with other external systems utilized

Objective

To roll out a solution to unify finances and improve transparency across the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership’s various global enterprises.

"We were looking for a partner that had global experience, so if you’re looking for a company and consultants who have global reach, I would definitely recommend Sapphire."

Sameer Zaman: Financial Reporting Manager

Solution

SAP Business One – hosted on Sapphire Anywhere

Key wins

  • Improved transparency across enterprises
  • Better performance reporting and visibility for donors
  • One system to serve all local currency and reporting requirements
  • Integration with other external systems utilized

The Clinton Foundation was seeking a new solution to support the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership initiative (CGEP), which is responsible for managing new business start-ups in a variety of communities across the globe.

The need for change

The CGEP Financial Reporting Manager, Sameer Zaman, said it was proving challenging to manage these enterprises in different countries without a system in place, and transparency was limited.

“We are accountable to our donors who invest in our enterprises. They want to see the performance and the results of the various enterprises, as we have projected that within ten years these companies will break even and be sustainable without requiring ongoing funding. Therefore it was essential to have solid financial information on a periodic basis that was presented in a standard format.

We had limited visibility and we would have to ask each enterprise to provide information on an ad hoc basis, and the information provided was not in a standard format to allow for comparability,” he said.

The company’s former chief operating officer knew something needed to change, so he began investigating the solutions available for small to medium enterprises. He met
with the team from SAP, who recommended their Business One solution, and Sapphire Systems as the implementation partner.

“We needed a system that could be rolled out across enterprises, and many solutions were simply too cumbersome for our needs,” said Sameer.

“We are also expecting substantial growth globally as we take on more enterprises, so we needed a solution that could support that growth. Our most mature enterprise in Colombia actually already had SAP Business One in place, so it was the logical choice.”

The system has already been implemented in two sites, with plans to continue the roll-out to the other six enterprises The Clinton Foundation currently manages. “It’s been a challenge working with the enterprises in terms of training and gathering their master data files, but eventually the plan is to have one template that will be replicated across the enterprises, with some customization for each one.

System Benefits

“There’s a huge learning curve associated with a new system, but we utilized Vision last week to create a good financial deck from SAP Business One and we could get this in the local currency and US dollars, which was great,” said Sameer.

“I also like the ability to track all your transactions. There’s an audit trail for the entire product movement, from point of purchase to point of sale, so that’s been very valuable especially in cases where there’s a lot of inventory. Most of our businesses are like that, so it works well for us. The solution also helps standardize our KPIs and management reporting and it’s hosted on the Sapphire Anywhere cloud platform, so we don’t have to worry about managing the infrastructure.”

Why Sapphire

CGEP was looking for a partner who could manage a global roll-out and SAP recommended Sapphire.

“We were looking for a partner that had global experience, so if you’re looking for a company and consultants who have global reach, I would definitely recommend Sapphire,” said Sameer.

"I also like the ability to track all your transactions. There’s an audit trail for the entire product movement, from point of purchase to point of sale."

Sameer Zaman Financial Reporting Manager

All new enterprises will use SAP Business One as their ERP system as it is much easier than migrating from another system at a later point in time. The enterprise in Haiti is the next one scheduled to go live. In some instances the system will also be integrated with local systems used by the enterprises, such as FarmForce, which will synchronize data with SAP Business One.

Advice from The Clinton Foundation

Sameer also had some advice for other companies looking to implement a new system.

“Really define what your requirements are and focus on the key objectives of the system, otherwise it can get really messy. Get honest feedback from the consultants and define what is achievable and whether the system you are considering makes sense for your business,” he concluded.

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