Challenges for Grantors

As an SAP implementation partner, our experience in the niche area of Grants Management has not only helped us gain expertise when it comes to understanding the business requirements, but it has also given us a few lessons on how best to develop the solutions. The biggest challenge faced by most Grant Funding organisations is that of the 3 ‘V’s –  Volume, Velocity and Variety.

Let’s take the case of ‘volume’ and ‘velocity’. There is a huge amount of data generated every minute. To convert this data into useful information and get an actionable insight is absolutely crucial when it comes to granting funds. Also, business users with specific roles don’t want to be confronted with data that does not hold any meaning to them and doesn’t help them in conducting their job. Because of the velocity with which the data is getting generated, data can become unmanageable and manual processes such as decision making can become a bottleneck for many grant funding organisations.

Furthermore, the challenge posed by a ‘variety’ of data is no different. Ranging from processes involved in application for grants to their assessment, from evaluation of risks to decision making, from making payments to monitoring and reporting, every single business process is adding up to the mountains of data pushed into the system every single day.

GAURI’s Fund Management System using SAP FIORI

It’s amazing how the presentation layer of software can defeat the need of piercing through the application to find the right information.  With the support of guided procedures in SAP FIORI, business users don’t need to be on top of all complex business processes as the interface guides a user through the journey and lays down a complete story. Different teams engage with the system and seamlessly present the data that only their role is meant to access.

What can be more satisfying and comforting than the ability to work remotely using a handheld device? This means there is no need to be glued to the system and the local network to support operations. SAP Fiori client is available for both Android and iOS devices. Furthermore, a dashboard view of the key performance indicators was just so desirable and it’s now a reality.  The processes seem evolved and made simpler, as tasks are broken and split into intuitive apps that are modular in nature. The interface is like a canvas of objects which can be dragged and dropped. The need for more powerful and actionable analytics and reporting hasn’t been left out. The analytical apps are an answer to the need of finding structure in chaos and making confident decisions. In fact, there is a whole library of enterprise apps in the Fiori universe for different lines of businesses, suited to different business roles across the various industries.

Allowing business users to carry out their functions efficiently is the need of every grant-making organisation. From our years of experience dealing with problems in grants management solutions, our ultimate experience has been the realisation of how SAP Fiori apps have emerged as the most evolved yet very simplified way of letting businesses run smoothly by the provisioning of a sleek user interface. There is no doubt that solutions aiding an efficient and less error prone way of granting funds need to have a reimagined interface that offers an intuitive experience. Funding staff can review and assess applications from anywhere on the go, open factsheets before making a visit to the grantees to glance through the most critical information which can aid monitoring of funds. With the setup of a guided procedure, you cannot miss a mandatory step in the process, even by mistake, which means that you must make sure that business processes are adhered to. This also means that you block any loopholes mitigating all risks associated. Employees in different departments such as funding officers, assessment officers, funding managers, decision committees, data quality managers etc. see and access only the information they are authorised to. This ensures not just data security but also makes sure that they are not flooded with information that is irrelevant for them. Through the power of analytical apps, the finance managers have an accurate view of the funds available, funds utilised, pre-commitments and even forecasts for the coming months and years.

Fiori adds to the already established strength of SAP’s enterprise software by empowering the funding staff involved in carrying out operations. It is indeed another big step in the direction of making the business better informed for making decisions. And all this is possible due to the simplicity of use that SAP Fiori has to offer.

Technical Landscape Deployment Options

In terms of the technical landscape, it is possible to deploy it in 2 ways:

Central Hub Deployment

Embedded Hub

Fiori Apps Offerings

As part of the Grantor package, the following Fiori apps are offered.

Transactional Apps

  • My Accounts – This is a standard app to manage grantees applying for grants. It has been enhanced to provide additional views related to see relevant applications and agreements etc
  • My Contacts – This is a standard app to manage grantee contacts. It has been enhanced to provide additional views related to see relevant applications and agreements etc
  • My Tasks – This is a standard app to manage the various tasks assigned to employees. It has been enhanced to show the relation of the task in respect to an application or agreement
  • My Appointments – This is a standard app to manage employee appointments
  • Programme Set Up – This is a bespoke app which is developed to set up new grantor programmes and manage existing grantor programmes
  • Upload Applications – This is a bespoke app given to employees to upload new applications via PDF forms to the system
  • My Open Applications – This is a bespoke app developed to further process uploaded applications. This is a Guided Procedure app
  • My Successful Applications – This is a bespoke app developed, in the master detail category, to empower employees to keep track of successful applications
  • My Rejected Application – This is a bespoke app developed, in the master detail category, to empower employees to keep track of rejected applications
  • Decision Case Processing – This is a bespoke app which is used for approving or rejecting applications after their assessments are completed via My Open Applications app. This app will need additional authorisation as it will only be used by the Decision Committee
  • Agreement Set Up – This is a bespoke app developed to process agreements from fund set up to closure of the agreement. This is also a guided procedure app.

Analytical Apps

  • Grants Budget Report – This is a bespoke app developed to connect to ECC and get overall budget spends with segregation options using Programme and Fiscal Year
  • Budget Spend Forecast – This is a bespoke app to get a collective Budget Spend forecast from the CRM Agreement Payment Schedule combined with segregation options of the Programme and Month etc
  • All Open Applications – This is a bespoke app which gives overall reporting on current open applications in the system.
  • All Rejected Applications – This is a bespoke app which gives overall reporting on current rejected applications plus reasons for rejection.
  • All Successful Applications – This is a bespoke app which benefits from overall reporting on current successful applications in the system.

Co-authored by: Omkar Uthale and Arun Kumar

Gauri has successfully developed Fund Management Solution, comprising comprehensive end-to-end work-flow from application capture to application evaluation, funding and tracking/reporting. Give us a call, if you are a charity organisation, social / community group and looking for a solution to help facilitate the management of grants and funding.