How has Dana-Farber shortened their budget cycle by 40 per cent?

Posted by Rick Yvanovich

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has been able to slash the time required to complete their budget process by 40 per cent. And this is just one of the many benefits of an Enterprise Performance Management system.

Founded in 1947, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is widely known for its expertise and efforts in helping cancer patients. With one main campus in Boston and four satellite centres located in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, it is estimated Dana-Farber annually directs more than 700 clinical trials at its main campus alone while oversees nearly 260,000 outpatient and infusion visits.

How Dana-Farber automated their financial system with a Enterprise Performance Management system

Potential growth equates more responsibilities plus more problems

As a result of the sheer patient volume during the past decades, their business procedural problems become more prominent to the extent a streamlined and automated budget process is urgently needed to accommodate such development.

Both the Vice President of Financial Planning and Operations at Dana-Farber have complained of the lengthy, slow, out-dated and error-prone system that they were using.

Moreover, managing various types of costs, budgets and expenses across all 5 offices and 35 cost centres have made the financial management become a critical issue.

Read more: What to look for in a planning and budgeting solution?

After an extensive review, Dana-Farber concluded that the new system must possess the ability to act as one common automated, paperless source for all budget components in addition to being a real-time, web-based and user-friendly system that is easily accessible at any given time.

Of all the options proposed, Dana-Farber chose Infor Dynamic Performance Management (Infor d/EPM) - formerly known as Infor Corporate Performance Management (Infor CPM)

Marlena Ward, VP financial planning at Dana-Farber, commented on the choice: “The patient revenue model used in the healthcare industry is completely different from other industry models, and Infor CPM gave us confidence that could provide this capability best.”

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The long-awaited system update brought more benefits than expected

Significantly cut time and cost

Dana-Farber started to see great improvements within months after the implementation of Infor d/EPM. The time required to complete their budget cycle has significantly reduced from five months to just three months.

The redundant manual tasks have been replaced with the automatic process; there is no longer the need for face-to-face revision of multiple versions of every proposal. Department directors can now submit their budgets and get instant feedback while they are still working on it.

All directors across 35 cost centres are now equipped with quality data, both up-to-date and historic, right at their fingertips. Time allocated for budget reports were shortened tremendously from 2 weeks to just every 3 to 4 days, a huge time-saver both for the end users and the back office.

The time saved on making budgets now can be utilised for other critical issues within the organisation such as analysing data and managing their operations.

Read more: Automating financial forecasting for hotels with cloud-based systems

As a result, key decisions can be made much sooner, enable the organisation to produce an actionable P&L statement within hours after the budget system is closed for input. These improvements have greatly enhanced the organisation financial accountability and business performance.

Cut down paper wastage, be more eco-friendly

Previously, each of the 35 different hospital cost centres of Dana-Farber would submit at least 20 sheets of paper every single cycle, imagine how much paper they would have to go through in a year. Now, everything can be done online, directors can virtually see the updated version while their staff is still editing with just one mouse click. The decline in paper usage has tremendously makes the organisation much more eco-friendly.

Read more: Why CFOs should be looking to the cloud?

Easily adaptable system

The previous reporting system used by Dana-Farber did not meet the organisation’s needs and wants. Therefore, as part of the expansion plan, Dan-Farber decided to develop a data warehouse system that can link with Infor Dynamic Enterprise Performance Management. In order to ensure the end-solution works properly, Dana-Farber’s internal team partnered with Infor to customise the data warehouse and enable drill down into the data mart.

Positive feedbacks from staff

One of the plus side that the new system brought is providing an Excel-feel so users can get used to it faster without much training required. Employees are now comfortable with explaining any variance as it takes literally just 30 seconds from sign-in to finding needed information from the invoice level and payment.

Read more: Singapore Petroleum improves budgeting with Infor CPM

Your business can definitely benefit from the endless possibilities and capabilities that Infor d/EPM system offers. Still feeling sceptical? Talk to one of TRG’s experts or request for a free demo today!

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Topics: Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Financial Accounting Management Software

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 Rick Yvanovich
 /Founder & CEO/

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