CareFlite operates helicopter, fixed-wing aircraft, and ground medical transport services in North Texas. Over the last few years, the organization expanded its scope of services significantly to include 911 emergency medical dispatch services and recently grew its staff by one-third to 450 employees. To keep up with this increased activity, CareFlite wanted to equip its accounting and purchasing employees with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010. The organization worked with its hosting services provider, NextCorp, to manage the upgrade process and minimize business disruption. Through its existing hosted services subscription and the Business Ready Enhancement Plan, CareFlite did not incur any additional costs for the upgrade outside of its regular monthly payments. Now, accounting and purchasing staff take advantage of the features in the easy-to-use solution to increase productivity.
|Our partner did a terrific job in making the upgrade as much of a nonissue for us as possible. The process was quick, safe, and simple, and now we are benefiting from a great, up-to-date solution.|
|Anne Beck, Controller, CareFlite|
CareFlite is a nonprofit organization that provides air and ground ambulance, organ transplant, and 911 emergency services to residents and local government entities in North Texas. Founded in 1979, CareFlite continues to grow the scope of its medical transport services. For example, in 2003, the organization contracted with Johnson County to provide 911 emergency medical services, including the operation of a 911 call and dispatch center.
As part of this growth, the organization recently increased the number of employees on its payroll by one-third within five months. CareFlite now employs roughly 450 employees, including four accounting users and two people in the group’s purchasing department. To keep up with the organization’s activity, these employees need to use software tools that help them access and work with information specific to their roles, reduce manual work, and avoid costly errors.
CareFlite used Microsoft Dynamics GP 9.0 to manage its finances, and hosted the solution with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner NextCorp. Anne Beck, Controller at CareFlite, explains the benefits of hosting for CareFlite: “Our IT department has four employees and they have enough to do without having to maintain our financial management system. Hosting our solution with NextCorp alleviates that burden from our IT team while providing us with expert support when we need it.”
Improving employee productivity was top-of-mind for Beck and the group’s CFO as they attended a customer workshop that NextCorp conducted. “When we heard about the offer to upgrade Microsoft Dynamics GP, we saw it as an opportunity to make sure we were equipping our employees with the latest technology,” says Beck. “We liked the look of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 and thought that people would find it easier to use.”
Because CareFlite subscribed to the Business Ready Enhancement Plan for Microsoft Dynamics, the organization had the option to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 at no extra cost. Nevertheless, with year-end audits approaching, Beck and her boss wanted to keep the upgrade fast and unobtrusive and ensure that employees became proficient quickly with the new solution.Solution
After receiving more detail from Microsoft and NextCorp about how the process would work, CareFlite decided to move ahead with the upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010. NextCorp managed the upgrade as part of CareFlite’s subscription services, so the organization did not incur any costs in addition to what it normally pays every month.
NextCorp support engineers first copied CareFlite’s database in Microsoft Dynamics GP to the new version to ensure that all the data transferred correctly. Next, NextCorp set up a parallel test environment complete with all the components that CareFlite uses and then asked CareFlite to perform a series of routine tasks to make sure that everything worked.
|CareFlite operates a fleet of air and ground ambulances.|
“NextCorp asked us to go through a checklist of functions,” says Beck. “We did that, and I met with each person who would be using the new solution to explain how it would be different from what they were used to. We used the test environment to practice and familiarize ourselves with the new interface. When it came time to upgrade, NextCorp flipped the switch over the weekend and the new solution was up and running when we came in on Monday.”
CareFlite took advantage of the upgrade process to start using more functionality in Microsoft Dynamics GP than they had used previously. “Because the idea behind the upgrade was to increase productivity, we wanted to start using modules that we weren’t making much use of before,” says Beck. “We also took extra time to learn about new capabilities that would speed our processes, such as uploading data from our payroll system instead of entering it manually. This saves us approximately four hours every payroll cycle.”Benefits
With hosted services and the Business Ready Enhancement Plan, CareFlite simplified the process of upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010. At the same time, CareFlite equipped its accounting and purchasing staff to more efficiently handle the organization’s increased activity.
“It was a relief to know we could upgrade without burdening our busy IT department,” says Russ Kyler, CFO at CareFlite. “In addition, the licensing and services costs were included in our existing agreements.”Safe, Reliable Solution
CareFlite’s hosted services partner, NextCorp, provided the technical expertise, infrastructure, and labor needed to ensure a smooth upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010. “Our partner did a terrific job in making the upgrade as much of a nonissue for us as possible,” says Beck. “The process was quick, safe, and simple, and now we are benefiting from a great, up-to-date solution.” Productivity Boost
Accounting and purchasing staff members at CareFlite do their jobs more efficiently with the new navigation and timesaving capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010. In addition, employees use features like autocomplete, improved search, and drilldown capabilities to find information more easily.
“One feature that I really appreciate is the ability to quickly drill down into data,” says Beck. “Now, I can view detailed information at the transaction-level, if needed, without having to switch screens. Another thing I like about the newer version is the improved search. When I search for a vendor, for example, the solution will return relevant results even if I typed a keyword instead of the company’s exact name. Simple things like this help make our jobs easier.”Easy to Learn and Use
Despite concerns about how quickly employees would become proficient with the new solution, CareFlite staff members learned how to use Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 quickly because it takes advantage of the familiar look and feel of the Microsoft Office system. “The new interface actually makes it easier for people to find the functions they are looking for,” says Beck. “The time it took for people to become proficient was very short, exceeding our expectations.”