By Pawan Mehta
May 30, 2018
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Government Organizations are established mainly with the purpose of serving the citizens. MahaOnline caters to the needs of various departments of Maharashtra state and provides several e-Governance services to its citizens.
MahaOnline has its presence in almost every corner of Maharashtra by virtue of approximately 6000 CSCs spread across every taluka of 35 districts.
Few things that always come to one's mind when thinking about government organizations
- Scale of operations
- Organization Hierarchy
- Process Complexity
Sure enough, we were going to encounter all these things in an ERP implementation for the 250 plus employees at MahaOnline Ltd.
During the initial study, it was found that there were disparate homegrown applications for leave management, attendance, timesheets, and Tally was being used for Accounting.
Disparate applications meant high maintenance costs, no streamlined reporting and no central record for approvals taking place. The issue tracking for citizen services was mainly done via email leading to lack of transparent reporting of SLAs. Expense claims were mostly done on paper with receipts being mailed via the postal services to the central office.
Also, being a government-owned organization, tight budgets and higher accountability of money being spent on software licenses & redistribution made them think of moving towards an Open Source ERP solution. Open source software comes with four essential freedoms
- The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0)
- The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to source code is a precondition for this.
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help others (freedom 2).
- The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to source code is a precondition for this.
Keeping all of the above in mind, ERPNext was selected as the Open Source ERP solution to implement the below process areas in Phase 1 of the implementation
- HR, Leave Management & Attendance tracking
- Issue Management
- Timesheet Approvals
- Expense Claim Management
- Chart of Accounts set up & Accounting Entries
After implementing out of the box ERPNext functionalities in the above areas, the following benefits were immediately realized
- All Leave Approvals by department heads were now being tracked in the system. Approved Leaves are automatically marked in the Attendance Sheet giving ready reporting to HR & Accounts team for Payroll.
- Over 15 Email Accounts that provide support to Citizens for services like UIDAI, MPSC exams etc. were configured to work in synch with ERPNext Issue management. The automated Issue creation provides for streamlined reporting of SLAs and tracking of Issue closure. This, in turn, leads to better services to citizens.
- Timesheet Approvals by project managers now happen in the system & all project time billable to various state departments can now be tracked in ERPNext.
- Expense Claim entry by District Coordinators and approval by multiple Checker levels, Vertical Heads & Finance Approval is implemented and tracked in ERPNext. Scanned copies of expense claims can now be attached to the system which is helping MahaOnline Ltd move towards paperless expense claims.
With the above process areas firmly in place within ERPNext in a short span of 4 weeks, all reporting is now centralized to a single database.
In conclusion, it can be seen with the above case study that government organizations can greatly benefit from the implementation of Open Source ERPNext both in terms of gaining operational efficiencies with vanilla ERPNext implementation & license cost freedom offered by Open Source technologies.