SAP Ariba silver partner Premikati recently completed a project that provides students, parents, and schools in Florida with much-improved access to services and financial support through the Step Up for Students (SUFS) organization.
The non-profit SUFS manages funds for The Gardiner Scholarship Program , which provides up to $10,000 each for K-12 students in Florida for tuition, equipment, therapy and other supplies. Prior to implementing SAP Ariba, parents had to pay expenses out of pocket and submit invoices for reimbursement.
The system financially strained many parents and featured an inefficient, manually intensive process for nearly 1,300 reimbursements every day. A team of 75 people manage invoices and the organization printed 100,000 checks on a quarterly basis, said Marisol Buczynski-Buchanan, CEO of Premikati, which handled the implementation.
“Their process was not sustainable nor scalable,” she said. “They were looking for technology to manage the funds and put all approved products and materials into a marketplace where parents and guardians could click to purchase.”
Vendors such as Best Buy, Office Depot, Lakeshore Learning, and School Specialty are onboarding their catalogs into the SUFS marketplace, with more on the way, allowing parents to purchase educational materials, services and tuition online.
The tuition reimbursement process and marketplace is expected to go live in January 2018, serving more than 100,000 students in 2,000 schools.
“Going forward, parents can just order the goods and services they need for the education of their children online using their smart phones while the software tracks the balance of their scholarship funds,” Buchanan said. “And SUFS can spend their time working closer with the families to provide additional services and support.”
Additionally, the 2,000 private Florida Schools also reduce their administrative costs associated with tracking parental signatures for tuition reimbursement checks as well as additional costs.
“This is the first time a real business to consumer system has been built on SAP Ariba. In fact, this is one of the largest SAP Ariba implementations to date in terms of buying organizations, which has only been made possible by the advancements to the user interface and the addition of guided buying,” Buchanan said. “Essentially, we are applying the most sophisticated procurement software available and offering it to families so that they can spend more time with their children and less time and headaches dealing with paperwork and stressing over financial burdens. This is a true business case of procurement with purpose driven by SAP Ariba.”
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