Enterprise Resource Planning | News

Alexandria District Tackles 3-Year ERP Project

Alexandria City Public Schools has gone public with a June 2011 decision to implement a new set of enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications at the same time the city of Alexandria is doing the same. The school district evaluation took about a year. Both Virginia organizations have chosen Munis, an ERP system from Tyler Technologies. The school district agreement covers programs for managing financial, human resources, self service, and information. The district said it's hoping the implementation will help to streamline operations by automating various paper-based business functions.

"This business solution will improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of our school division, and more importantly, allows us to better support our schools and better serve our students," district Superintendent Morton Sherman wrote in a letter to the district announcing the initiative.

Tyler's software is currently used in 400 school districts around the country, the company said. Those include Virginia's Norfolk Public Schools with 6,000 employees, San Jose Unified School District in California with 5,000 employees, and Williamson County Schools in Tennessee with 4,500 employees. Alexandria's district has 19 schools and 2,240 employees. Its latest operating budget is $215 million.

The work will progress in phases. By July 2012, the district said it expects to have rolled out multiple financial programs, including budgeting, purchasing, accounts payable, grants accounting, financial forms, and reporting. That will be followed until January 2013 by deployment of HR modules for payroll, time management HR forms, and reporting. Phase three will cover deployment of accounts receivable and contract management. Phase four includes additional HR programs, which should be finished by April 2013. The contract covers those four phases; if they're successful, the district will consider a fifth phase, which hasn't been scheduled yet, to implement data warehousing, business intelligence, transportation fleet management, and other processes.

The contact covers software licenses, professional services, maintenance, and support.

"We are excited about replacing our current financial and personnel systems with Tyler's Munis solution, which will allow [the district] to perform and monitor business transactions more efficiently and improve our overall effectiveness as a school division," said Stacey Johnson, interim chief financial officer. "The new system will eliminate the need for third-party applications and several manual, paper-driven processes to also increase our productivity. The ability to work with an integrated system that is also utilized by the city government creates an optimal environment for stronger financial management and we are looking forward to a great partnership with Tyler Technologies."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.