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How Mexico’s Leading International School Reduced Procurement Costs in a Single Year

About The Edron Academy

The Edron Academy is the leading international school in Mexico. With over a thousand students aged 2-18 years, Edron offers a bespoke blend of English, Mexican and international curricula, encompassing pre-nursery, kindergarten, primary and secondary education. 

The school was founded in 1963 by Edward Foulkes and Ronald Stech, who shared a unique vision: to foster a learning community in which every child is safe, happy and successful. Today, The Edron Academy carries on that proud tradition, as the first COBIS Accredited Member school, the first High Performance Learning World Class School, and the first and only school to offer the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Mexico. 

Students consistently achieve strong results in both iGCSEs and the IB diploma, and all graduating students go on to university in Mexico, USA, Canada or Europe.

 
Karla De La Torre

IT Manager

With an educational background in Computer Systems, Karla has been drawn into technology focused roles that give her the ability to tackle challenges. Her focus on multidisciplinary projects involving high tech solutions adds value to the organization through productivity training, educational strategic planning, and process related change management.

Danniel Gómez Astivia

Purchase Coordinator

Responsible for leading all purchasing related activities as the Purchase Coordinator at The Edron Academy, Danniel brings a wealth of knowledge around vendor and supplier relationship management, inventory analysis, and payments. His experience working with a variety of systems including QuickBooks to SAP, gives Danniel insight into what is needed to effectively run effective purchasing processes.

The Challenge

While The Edron Academy has always prided itself on being a forward-thinking, progressive school, its procurement process was not measuring up to that gold standard. Over time, the school had grown into an important organization with more than 260 staff members, spread out over 90 different cost centres. Each cost centre has its own budget and approval process, and each staff member is able to submit independent purchase requests.

This decentralized structure allows teachers to be responsive to classroom needs and is well aligned with Edron’s core commitment to put students first. But from an administrative standpoint, the school’s paper-based procurement system was simply not able to properly support that flexibility with the quality expected, leading to a host of situations. The school began a deep review of its procedures and processes with the aim of constant improvement in all areas. The evolution of the entire procurement process was flagged as a leap forward. 

“We were designing the school and schooling of tomorrow, therefore we conceived that all the administrative structure to be up to the standards.”

Original Process

Prior to Procurify, Edron’s procurement process was as follows:

  1. A teacher requires a particular purchase, such as a shipment of books or stationery.
  2. The teacher goes online to search for a suitable vendor or uses one they are already personally familiar with. This could be a local distributor, an overseas manufacturer, or even Amazon.
  3. The teacher manually fills out and submits a paper form requesting the purchase.
  4. The form is sent to the head of department, purchase coordinator and CFO, all of whom have to physically sign off on the purchase.
  5. The purchase coordinator makes the purchase.
  6. When the items are received, the purchase coordinator does a manual three-way match and notifies the teacher.
  7. Often, items are left unapproved or unordered, or get lost due to poor tracking, thus requiring the entire process to be repeated.

This homegrown process had worked serviceably for a time, but it simply did not scale for an organization that was now issuing 150-200 POs a month.

Pain Points

Prior to Procurify, Edron’s procurement process was as follows:

  • The entire process was paper-based and labour-intensive.
  • There was a lack of visibility on expenditures and remaining budget.
  • Every teacher was choosing their own suppliers, with no rigorous evaluation of cost and quality.
  • There was no way to restrict purchase and approval privileges to the appropriate parties, which resulted in poor adherence to procurement policies.
  • Tracking of shipments had to be done manually, leading to frequent delays and loss of inventory.

Not only did these issues result in significant bottlenecks and unnecessary financial costs, it also took a serious emotional toll on procurement staff.

“My first day of job was so messy that I almost declined!” jokes Danniel Gómez Astivia, purchase coordinator at Edron. “Some processes were not properly documented, so I didn’t exactly know which purchases had been approved or which vendors I should be ordering products from. Now with Procurify things are so structured that I always know exactly what to do.”

Searching for a Solution

In their search for the right procurement solution, the team at Edron evaluated a wide range of options. But Procurify stood out from the very start, thanks to its simplicity and strong match for education procurement.

“We reached out to Procurify first because I found your solution the most straightforward, this software was pretty much a perfect match for our processes.” Said Danniel.

While user-friendliness and fit are always important considerations, they were particularly crucial for Edron, due to the decentralized nature of their procurement process.

The next important step was for all 260 staff members to know and adopt the new system. Hence, it was critical for the system to have as low a learning curve as possible, or people simply would not use it.

In this regard, Procurify over-delivered. The roll-out and training process was seamless, and broad adoption was achieved in a very short time.

“We just had one training session, and most teachers were using it properly within two weeks,” proudly recounts Karla de la Torre, IT manager at Edron. “When new systems truly help in everyday work, adoption is easier. We knew that “New teachers have been able to pick it up on their own even more quickly, just from reading our training materials.”

Edron also credited Procurify’s customer success team for a great onboarding experience.

“We had a lot of messy data and spreadsheets to import into Procurify. And we also had many different approval routing processes and cost centres to implement. But our project manager was excellent, and helped us set everything up within 15 days,” says Karla. Thanks to this rapid implementation, Edron was able to have the system fully operational before the start of the new school year.

I love Procurify, it’s one of our best products. I can’t tell you how much it’s changed our lives.
Karla de la Torre

Karla de la Torre

IT Manager, The Edron Academy

Results

Since implementing Procurify, The Edron Academy has seen a broad range of improvements across their entire procurement process. In particular, there have been marked improvements in three main areas:

Cost Reductions

Historically, approvals were routed through heads of department across 90 cost centres, none of whom had visibility on current expenditures or remaining budget.

With Procurify, department heads can now monitor their budget in real-time on a simple visual dashboard. The system also does not allow them to approve expenses beyond their allocated budget. As a result, they have become a lot more conscious of their spend.

“In the past, budgets would increase across the board every single year. But since implementing Procurify, budgets have actually adjusted this year for the first time,” Karla points out.

The Edron team estimates that overall procurement costs have been reduced by 2% since signing up for Procurify.

Streamlined Fiscal Planning

Annual budget plans used to be a cumbersome, prolonged process at Edron. Individual departments often had little idea how much they had spent the previous year, which made it challenging to forecast future expenses. 

Procurify has significantly streamlined and eased this process. Most budget plans are now submitted in under one week. Additionally, departments that do not submit their plans in time are unable to approve any purchases until the system is updated. This creates a strong incentive to meet the annual planning deadline and facilitates the work by reducing paperwork.

Superior Sourcing Transparency

Before Procurify, vendor selection was done by individual purchasers. This process was informal and did not involve any rigorous comparison or screening for cost and quality. It was also impossible to keep records of preferred vendors for various products and services.

Today, Procurify’s vendor catalog allows Edron to store detailed information about all their vendors and track all past purchases made. This data has allowed Edron to determine true end-to-end costs for various items and select the best vendors.

Danniel offers the following example:

“This one time, a teacher ordered a textbook from China that costs $1, but after shipping and import duties it actually costs $2.50 in total. So, she thought she was saving money, but with that data, I was able to find a local distributor who imports the books and sells them for a higher sticker price, but at lower overall cost. And I also found that if I only needed one or two copies, Amazon would be even cheaper. That was not something we could do before Procurify.”

For the Edron Academy, Procurify has been nothing short of a game-changer. Summing up the team’s feelings on their new reality, Karla enthused, “I love Procurify, it’s one of our best products. I can’t tell you how much it’s changed our lives.” 

A better procurement process impacts positively in the administrative area and therefore in the standards of the service provided by the school.


We had a lot of messy data and spreadsheets to import into Procurify. And we also had many different approval routing processes and cost centres to implement. But our project manager was excellent, and helped us set everything up within 15 days.
Karla de la Torre

Karla de la Torre

IT Manager, The Edron Academy

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COMPANY

The Edron Academy is a leading school in Mexico City, known for its values, academic success, and strong emphasis on inclusion over the past 50 years. As a bilingual and bicultural school, Edron is proud to enroll over 1,000 students, aged 2-18, in Kinder, Primary and Secondary curriculums.

INDUSTRY

Education

LOCATION

Mexico City, Mexico

SIZE

251-500

WEBSITE

www.edron.edu.mx

CHALLENGES

  • Budget Visibility
  • Rogue Spending
  • Shipment Tracking

RESULTS

  • Cost Reductions
  • Streamlined Fiscal Planning
  • Sourcing Transparency
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