Case Study: St Charles City-County Library
"They didn’t just install software, but took time to know us. That’s all too rare in their industry.”
St Charles City-County Library is a public library system serving eastern Missouri with twelve branches and a bookmobile. The Library currently employees 280 people and operates on a $23 million annual budget.
Julie Wolfe is the Chief Financial Officer for the Library, and overseeing procurement for all branches is one of her responsibilities.
Prior to implementing SmartPO, the Library processed paper purchase orders. “If we needed to look up anything, we had to sort through cumbersome paper files,” Julie explains. She needed a way to improve internal controls around purchasing and to analyze purchasing trends, both of which proved challenging with strictly paper documents.
Julie says that an integral part of the Library’s implementation of SmartPO was determining best practices for their type of organization. “MedProcure’s team really got into the details of our operation to learn how we do things. It wasn’t just a ‘one-size-fits-all’ implementation.” Communication and quick feedback were important during this process. “We had direct access to and a real relationship with the MedProcure team.”
The Library has approximately 45 SmartPO users who work varying shifts and schedules, so flexible training has been key. MedProcure’s live training sessions were recorded so they are available when and where Library staff need them.
The SmartPO Advantage
Supplies for all twelve branches of the Library are fulfilled from a central warehouse. Using SmartPO, branch staff enter Requisitions as needed. When SmartPO’s onhand quantities are sufficient, requisitions are fulfilled from the warehouse. When onhand quantities are insufficient, warehouse staff can initiate purchase orders for needed items with a single click.
Streamlined Roles, Routing, and Approvals
SmartPO's flexible setup allows each user to be given access to only the functions they need. For example, users at the Library's branch level can access only the requisition functions within SmartPO. Requisitions they create are automatically routed to the appropriate staff for approval. As requisitions are approved for fulfillment, SmartPO generates Pick and Pack Reports for warehouse staff. The workflow is data driven, standardized, and paperless.
Up-to-Date Onhand Quantities
Accurate inventory quantities are essential when determining whether a requisition can be fulfilled from the warehouse or necessitates a purchase order. As orders are received into the warehouse, SmartPO updates onhand quantities. Warehouse staff use SmartPO’s Cycle Counts functionality to periodically confirm that physical inventory and SmartPO’s records are in sync.
Punchouts allow staff to shop directly on vendor sites, such as Amazon and Office Depot, without leaving the SmartPO system. As staff select items from the vendor site, they are added to a SmartPO requisition or purchase order, so controls and tracking within the system remain intact.
As a government entity, it’s important for the Library to ensure best pricing. SmartPO can instantly provide Julie with summary and detailed purchase information. She adds, “SmartPO allows us to look at historical purchases by vendor so we can easily see pricing trends.”
The Library uses Blackbaud’s Financial Edge NXT accounting software, and SmartPO’s integration allows approved invoices to forward seamlessly to the Blackbaud system for payment. SmartPO maintains a summary packet of all associated documents for each invoice, providing a complete audit trail when needed.
Julie says that SmartPO has increased productivity and saved time throughout the Library’s procurement process. She describes MedProcure as “a great partner for business. They didn’t just install software, but took time to know us. That’s all too rare in their industry.”