Australian Red Cross gets $3M IT boost

Australian Red Cross gets $3M IT boost

Charity to replace disparate applications and databases with single ERP system to improve retail and fundraising services

Australian Red Cross will deploy new enterprise software as part of an initiative to consolidate its business systems and improve its retail and fundraising services under a $3 million contract.

The not-for-profit organisation – which has more than 2500 staff and around 35,000 volunteers – is replacing disparate Epicor ERP systems, Microsoft Access databases and Excel spreadsheets with the core components of TechnologyOne’s OneCommunity system.

The system overhaul is part of the One Red Cross program, which began seven years ago to unite the individual state-based organisations and make them consistent across services, campaigns, governance, training and processes.

It is expected to improve inventory and receipting processes across 182 retail stores. A new point-of-sale system will help the organisation keep track of all inventory and collate information about which shops are making and losing money.

Australian Red Cross’ retail business is divided into classic opportunity shops, more upmarket shops that buy clothing to sell at a low price in affluent suburbs and superstores that sell furniture and bigger items.

“We have no way of telling how these shops are performing right now, it is very nebulous,” Sandy Chakravarty, CEO, Australian Red Cross said in a statement.

“In future, we want to put money back into services and grow online retail significantly.”

The system will also improve fundraising and member services by consolidating database and spreadsheet data relating to members, blood donors and humanitarian workers to provide more effective cross-pollination of information.

Australian Red Cross said that would enable it to understand donors better, particularly those who provide regular donations to appeals for disasters. The organisation is also deploying a new payment gateway that will provide more insight into where donations are being made.

According to Chakravarty, the system replacement marked the start of one of the most significant change management projects the organisation has ever undertaken.

“The benefits to members will be enormous – we will be able to show where the money is going and the outcomes it is achieving and plan for the future will stable and sustainable infrastructure,” Chakravarty said.

Charity organisations, Anglicare, Baptist Community Services, Cancer Council, The Salvation Army, Mission Australia and Wesley Missions are also using the TechnologyOne system.

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