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This Charter Network Found an Affordable Solution to Reactive Budgets With Procurify

About Neighborhood Charter Network

The Neighborhood Charter Network is a growing network of schools in Indianapolis, IN. For NCN, student potential is their passion. Since 2016, they have been servicing Indianapolis with two locations in two neighbourhoods, and are looking to grow and expand in the years to come.

 
Denise Castellanos

Director of Operations

Denise Castellanos is the Director of Operations at The Neighborhood Charter Network (NCN) where she strives to streamline the organizations existing processes and increase visibility throughout the organization. She brings a vast amount of experience in administration, operations, and business management to her role at The Neighborhood Charter Network.

Searching for an automated and integrated solution

Neighbourhood Charter Network came to Procurify wanting better approvals, and better budgets. “We started with getting QuickBooks and it did help, but the fact that only I had QuickBooks was a struggle because the school leaders who approved spend didn’t know how much they approved, or how much they had left in their budget," explains Denise Castellanos, Director of Operations for NCN.

The need was clear: NCN was in search of something to plug into their existing accounting system, QuickBooks Online, that could do away with the paper trails and broken processes. NCN has no active CFO, so a lot of the foresight and deliberation on technology landed on Denise’s shoulders. “It was really complicated and messy and we needed a more streamlined process,” she explains. “That’s when we found Procurify.”

“Before, we were trying spreadsheets but it was a fail. People wouldn’t put how much they were actually spending on there. So then we had to backtrack and pull records. Now, with Procurify, everyone loves it. It’s just so easy to use and accessible to everyone, from desktop or the mobile app.”

Starting with 12 employees and 80 students, Denise quickly realized the side effects of growth can mean exposing bad processes. “Now we’re at 120 employees and almost a thousand students. Throughout this growth, our processes were really manual. It was simple at first, but over time it just wasn’t feasible to keep tracking down pieces of paper,” says Denise. “It got to the point where we weren’t sure what we were spending, and we were losing orders.”

One centralized mobile app for on-to-go approvals

Finding a more organized spend hub wasn’t simply an efficiency play for NCN, it was also preparing themselves for the inevitability of audits. Like most charter schools, NCN is audited each year by their state board of accounts. The organization of this in years past left a lot more to be desired and for Denise, it meant parting with spreadsheets.

Procurify’s mobile app allows Denise to approve on the go from anywhere, and her staff can submit a request by simply taking a picture of a receipt. They’re also a few taps away from real-time budgets, which means they can constantly stay in the know. “The school leaders now know in real time how much they’re spending in each individual budget. In just a few weeks we saw a tremendous improvement in our processes and our overall mood around budgets and approvals.”

We started with getting QuickBooks and it did help some, but the fact that only I had QuickBooks was a struggle because the school leaders who approved didn’t know how much they approved, or how much they had left in their budget. It was really complicated and messy, and we needed a more streamlined process. That’s when we found Procurify.
Denise Castellanos

Denise Castellanos

Director of Operations, Neighborhood Charter Network

Rapid onboarding, kind service

Entering a new foray of synchronicity and structure isn’t always the easiest transition, but Procurify’s team of onboarders and professional services took NCN’s goals seriously. Going paperless and tracking money curriculum for each school independently in the network was the bar, and both Procurify’s team and NCN’s staff worked hard to make sure onboarding was thorough but not a complete time-suck.“Throughout onboarding I personally had a lot of things on my plate, but even with all of that the professional services and customer experience teams were so flexible and kind,” Denise said.

“We were actually looking at a different solution, but after a few months of consideration and demoing the product, I’m really glad we didn’t go with that. It just wasn’t user friendly at all and there were so many complications that I remember saying ‘I don’t want to implement something that people are going to hate."
The school leaders now know in real time how much their spending in each individual budget. In just a few weeks we saw a tremendous improvement in our processes and our overall mood around budgets and approvals
Denise Castellanos

Denise Castellanos

Director of Operations, Neighborhood Charter Network

Learn How Strategic Procurement Delivers Efficient Spend Tracking

According to the Hackett Group, organizations with a strategic approach to procurement have seen operating costs lowered by 18%. Download our white paper and learn how strategic procurement benefits the whole company.

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COMPANY

The Neighborhood Charter Network (NCN) is a grassroots organization that launched in 2016 in order to manage a growing family of schools. With two locations in Indiana, NCN is focused on providing unique approaches to education for the communities they serve.

INDUSTRY

Education

LOCATION

Indianapolis, IN

SIZE

51-250

WEBSITE

www.ncnschools.org

CHALLENGES

  • Manual Processes
  • Rogue Spending
  • Missing Information

RESULTS

  • Approval Processes
  • Real-Time Visibility
  • Clear Records
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A graphic of the Procurify product app on both desktop and mobile, with an "approved" sign.