When David Porter joined Micronutrient Initiative (MI) as Vice-President of Corporate Services eight years ago, his first challenge was to convince his colleagues that they could do better than the status quo for their business systems and information management. At that time, MI was like many other organizations where the IT systems used for program or business operations were viewed independently of financial systems. The program division developed and implemented programs over multiple years in a number of different countries, and corporate services recorded and reported the spending and cash flow.

“At that time, we did not have an integrated system that could support these two sides of MI cohesively,” said Porter. “To be able to work more effectively and efficiently, we needed to bring these pieces together, but we didn’t have the capability in-house.”

MI is an independent Canadian not-for-profit that is combating a global scourge – hidden hunger. It helps families in developing countries get the vitamins and minerals they need to survive and thrive. For example, it has provided more than 75 per cent of the vitamin A required for supplementation programs in developing countries since 1997.

A global organization with many moving parts

With an annual operating budget of $60 million, and 300 full-time staff and consultants spread across a dozen offices on three continents, MI is a complex organization with many moving parts. It’s a 24/7 operation that must maintain a cohesive team despite differences in culture, language and time zones. Any software platform must remain accessible and reliable in regions with low-speed Internet connections, and be easy to troubleshoot and fix.

Porter knew MI could do much better than the off-the-shelf business solutions it had been using. He turned to Corporate Renaissance Group (CRGroup), an internationally recognized consulting firm based in Ottawa. CRGroup specializes in delivering complete and coordinated solutions for enterprise resource planning, corporate performance management, business intelligence, financial and costing principles, shared services and employee performance management.

CRGroup worked with MI to customize, supplement and otherwise maximize its existing enterprise software investments. The result has been increased operational efficiency, improved financial management and forecasting, and new insights into its data that can be easily shared across the organization to support decision-making.

It’s a relationship of trust and accountability that has deepened and matured over the years.

“The key to a successful relationship is a service provider that understands the thoughts and dreams of the client and can turn that into reality while respecting the client’s budget and other constraints,” Porter said. “CRGroup is flexible enough that it can turn on a dime and quickly deliver the customizations and functionality we need. You don’t often get that with other service providers, who prefer to shoehorn clients to fit their standard solutions.”

Providing breakout solutions to break free of the status quo

Vijay Jog, Founder and President of CRGroup, never wants to lose that personal, client-centric approach. CRGroup’s sweet spot is mid-market and growing organizations in just about any industry.

“We like to support clients with teams of four to six specialists who can work at a strategic level to address real business challenges with long-term solutions,” Jog said.

The result? A business built on referrals and long-term and evolving client relationships. In fact, it’s the referrals and a commitment to following the needs of clients wherever business takes them that has led CRGroup to expand from Ottawa to locations across Canada, the U.S., the Caribbean, South Africa, India and Hong Kong.

“It’s always exciting for us to have the opportunity to build something new and unique that solves a real-world business problem,” Jog said. “We are honoured to have long-standing clients such as MI that think of CRGroup as their trusted business partner.”

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Your business isn’t off-the-shelf, so why is your software?

To learn more about how CRGroup can help your organization break free of the status quo, please visit www.crgroup.com or call 613-232-4295.

Originally published in Ottawa Business Journal