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Microsoft Dynamics

Customer Solution Case Study

NGO Improves Awareness, Gains Scalability


with New ERP Solution

Overview “Incorporating customized workflows have led to major


Country or Region: India
Industry: Not for Profit improvements in efficiency and time, helping us in
getting approvals when people are on the move or
Customer Profile
Founded in 2000, The Akshaya Patra working from different offices.”
Foundation is a non-profit organization Somashekar SM, General Manager – Finance & Accounts, The Akshaya Patra Foundation
implementing a school meal program
with the aim of reaching out to children The Akshaya Patra Foundation serves midday meals to
in government and government-aided
schools.
underprivileged children at 20 locations across the country. With
an independent accounting solution at each branch, the
Business Situation
Each branch of Akshaya Patra
challenge was how to collate information accurately at the head
independently used Tally and Microsoft office in time for it to be useful. Moreover, it wanted it to use the
Excel worksheets to keep accounts and
manage processes. Real time
latest technology to maximize efficiency and incur minimum
consolidated data was thus lacking at the costs. Working with Microsoft Certified Partner, Affordable
head office.
Business Solutions, Akshaya Patra implemented Microsoft
Solution Dynamics AX 2009 to integrate all its locations and processes.
With the help of ABS, Akshaya Patra
deployed Dynamics AX 2009, a
This centrally managed solution helps the organization acquire
standardized financial-management the desired scalability and visibility into all aspects of the process
system to enhance operational efficiency,
consolidate data and reduce reporting
and distribution. It enables the use of real time information for
burdens. reviews, analysis and meetings. It also increases efficiency, saves
Benefits
time and resources. And, last but not the least, it definitely
• Offers real time consolidated data facilitates future growth.
• Controls complex financial processes
• Centralization saves time
• Improves adaptability of employees
Situation wanted to consolidate branch data at the
“All the branches and the Headquartered in Bengaluru, The Akshaya headquarters in real time.
Patra Foundation is an Indian not-for-profit
head office review the organization. Established in 2000 by
ISKCON Bengaluru, it aims to provide Solution
same version of data, nutritious midday meals to disadvantaged Akshaya Patra believes in combining good
thus providing a better children in India. In 2003, it partnered with management, innovative technology and
the Karnataka government under the smart engineering at a minimal cost. To
insight into business midday meal scheme. Today, it works with achieve the same with its ERP
central and state governments in 10 states. implementation, it evaluated Microsoft
processes across the It provides midday meals to 1.3 million Dynamics NAV, Dynamics AX and SAP. “We
organization, and children in 9,000 government and chose Dynamics AX 2009 as we wanted to
government-aided schools across 10 states deploy a process-driven business solution
enabling the team to and 20 locations each day. It hopes to feed to consolidate all our financial data and
five million underprivileged children by centralize information management and
manage their activities 2020. reporting,” recalls Vinay Kumar, Head - ERP,
smoothly.” The Akshaya Patra Foundation. “We found
Built on a public-private partnership, Dynamics AX to be ideal as it provides core
Vikram Kothari, Deputy General Manager Akshaya Patra uses technology to maximize ERP functionality for financials as well as
– Finance and Accounts, The Akshaya efficiency and minimize cost, time and operations management.”
Patra Foundation
labor in both cooking and delivery. It has
kitchens in 20 locations and an on-ground Though the organization considered
team on 5,800 people. Another 400 multiple implementation partners,
members manage the operations. Microsoft recommended Affordable
Business Solutions (ABS). The
Until 2011, each branch was managing implementation started in November 2010
finance independently using Tally and and the prototype was ready in February
Microsoft Excel. “We were hard-pressed to 2011. ABS imparted training to various
compile reports from each location by the teams using the ‘train-the-trainer’ concept.
10th of every month,” recollects Initially there were parallel entries in Tally
Somashekhar SM, General Manager – and Dynamics AX, until the solution went
Finance & Accounts, The Akshaya Patra live in April 2011, when the organization
Foundation. “The process was time totally switched to ERP. The date of going
consuming and resource hungry. live was significant, the financial year has
Sometimes we would be late, by which time just begun and the schools are closed were
it had lost its relevance. Additionally, data closed. This gave the organization time to
was sometimes inconsistent and there were stabilize operations in a lean period.
unresolved variances.” The organization
also lacked real time information on inter- Phase 1: Implementation
branch stock or cash transactions. Accurate ABS created a master database and
expenditure statements were not available replicated all the information in the new
on time. ERP solution. Initially the solution went live
at four locations with all the default
As the number of locations increased, the modules, including general ledger,
need for an enterprise resource planning accounts payable, and accounts
(ERP) solution was evident. Akshaya Patra receivables, inventory, master planning,
human resource and administration. It took
nine months to stabilize, overcoming Phase 3: Integration
challenges such as internet and To further reduce the burden and automate
“We can now perform connectivity, and training members to use tasks phase three included integration with
the solution. “All our members are not IT- emails to automate email alerts and
long-term strategic savvy, but with a simple and familiar user reminders.
interface, akin to Microsoft Office, the
planning; people at all adoption of ERP increased steadily and In addition, it has integrated SQL Server
levels are aware of the quickly,” explains Lalitha B, Manager ─ ERP. Reporting Services to generate custom
reports for the management. This
operational context and By May 2013, 19 locations were using the generates dynamic reports based on the
solution. Initially planned for 80 users, the needs of management for quicker analyses
can take appropriate number increased to 300 named and 150 and decision-making. For example, the
action for improvement concurrent users respectively. The central procurement team uses SSRS-based
organization expects to reach 350 users in reports for consolidated procurement of
and betterment.” the future. high-cost items at all the 19 locations, thus
presenting consolidated data at the
Arun Kumar V, Manager ─ Operations,
The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Phase 2: Create Custom Modules headquarters.
Vasanthapura Branch ABS created a module specifically to meet
the requirements of a not-for-profit Benefits
organization and the midday meal The ERP centralizes all the major functions
program. It covers distribution, school to make Akshaya Patra a single unit versus
management, logistics and incoming a federation of locations. The financial
quality check in stores. This unique system is capable of evolving and adapting
workflow includes a menu planner to to changing business needs. It enables real
deliver specific items to specific schools or time information and reports for
a set of schools, along with a route planner management use.
and indent planner.
Offers Real Time Consolidated Data
It then generates production orders Availability of real time data across the
confirming the quantity of menu items, organization is the biggest gain. It imposes
updates the consumption of raw materials discipline, minimizes errors and eliminates
for actuals consumed, and replenishes the earlier practice of backdating and
stores accordingly. It also checks the quality deletion. “All the branches and the head
and quantity using a unique quality order office review the same version of data, thus
form and finally generates a report after providing a better insight into business
the distribution process is complete. processes across the organization and
enabling the team to manage their
It simultaneously maintains a trip journal activities smoothly,” says Vikram Kothari,
and vessel journal. Lastly, it updates the Deputy General Manager – Finance and
billing form to capture delivery and Accounts, The Akshaya Patra Foundation.
enrolment data and gives a school-specific
summary. For delivery, it also designed a Controls Complex Financial Processes
School Master that enables delivery more Prior to Dynamics AX, the team used
than once a day, captures history of manual methods and Excel worksheets in
enrolment, or swapping of schools and multiple formats for collating data at
routes for delivery. month-end, resulting in inconsistencies and
duplication. The new system configures
complex scenarios, centrally administers Improves Adaptability of Employees
accounting to facilitate accurate With implementation of Dynamics AX,
information from all the branches and Akshaya Patra has educated its employees
presents it to all the stakeholders on time. on the use of technology. The system is
“With Dynamics AX, we have all the user friendly and easy enough to use for
information we need. Our reports are ready non-tech-savvy users in branches.
by the 5thof the month, giving the “Our employees are adapting to change.
management time to review and analyze We are proud to acknowledge that now our
data before presenting it,” says Somashekar entire team is adhering to Dynamics AX,
SM, General Manager – Finance & even though some of our team members
Accounts, The Akshaya Patra Foundation. were pen-and-paper or Excel users earlier,”
“Incorporating customized workflows have states Venkatachalan BS, General Manager
led to major improvements in efficiency, – Human Resources, The Akshaya Patra
helping us get approvals when people are Foundation. “At the same time, the
on the move or working from different management’s insistence on continuing to
offices.” use ERP for all the processes has further
improved computer literacy, widened
Centralization Saves Time horizons and the ability to think.
Due to a centralized system, Akshaya Patra
acts as a single unit instead of a federation Foundation for Future Growth
of different kitchens. It enables branches to “Deploying Dynamics AX was strategic as
share the same data, business rules and we now work with a world-class ERP and
processes, thus harmonizing and accounting solution,” says Shridhar Venkat,
streamlining business practices that save Executive Director, The Akshaya Patra
time. With centralization of accounts, Foundation. Adaptability, ability to increase
payroll, procurement and sourcing, the the number of users and add more
system helps the organization to identify locations whenever desired lays the
weak or inefficient branches and improve foundation for future growth. “With
their working. “We can now perform long- streamlined processes, transparency in
term strategic planning; people at all levels workflows and excellence in operations,
are aware of the operational context and Akshaya Patra has become a source of
can take appropriate action for inspiration for other NGOs to use
improvement and betterment,” states Arun technology and automate processes. Thus
Kumar V, Manager ─ Operations, The it integrates all locations on a single
Akshaya Patra Foundation, Vasanthapura platform,” concludes Shridhar Venkat,
Kitchen. Executive Director.

Arun explains with an example, “Earlier, the


distribution required 35 persons working
for four hours a day to smoothly manage
the kitchen and delivery schedules. With
Dynamics AX, this is taken care of with the
help of four persons working for four
hours.”
For More Information About Affordable Business Solutions
For more information about Microsoft Microsoft Dynamics Affordable Business Solutions (ABS) is a
products and services, call the Microsoft Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated, consulting organization that addresses the
Sales Information Center at (800) 426- adaptable business management solutions small and medium business enterprises in
9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft that enables you and your people to make India and offers them business
Canada Information Centre at (877) 568- business decisions with greater confidence. transformation consultancy services. The
2495. Customers in the United States and Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar services include ERP readiness consulting
Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office, services, rapid usage methodology for
can reach Microsoft text telephone which means less of a learning curve for implementation and change management
(TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. your people, so they can get up and and effective end-user education
Outside the 50 United States and running quickly and focus on what’s most leveraging Affordable Business Solutions'
Canada, please contact your local important. And because it is from Center for functional excellence. It
Microsoft subsidiary. To access Microsoft, it easily works with the specializes in business process evaluation,
information using the World Wide Web, systems that your company already has functional skill up-gradation and
go to: implemented. By automating and technology solutions leveraging world-class
www.microsoft.com streamlining financial, customer packaged applications on a software-as-a-
relationship, and supply chain processes, service model.
For more information about The products
Akshaya Microsoft Dynamics brings together
Patra
and services,
Foundation
call or
products
visit theand
website
services,
at: people, processes, and technologies,
call (91) (80) 3014 3400 or visit the increasing the productivity and
website
For moreat:information
www.akshayapatra.org
about products effectiveness of your business, and helping
and services, call or visit the website at: you drive business success.
For more information about ABS
products and services, call (91) (80) 4245 For more information about Microsoft
7457 or visit the website at: www.abs.in Dynamics, go to:
www.microsoft.com/dynamics

Software and Services Partner


• Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Affordable Business Solutions
• SQL Reporting Services

This case study is for informational purposes only.


MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Document published February
June 20132013