Oxfam Belgium is an NGO that fights against inequalities and for a fair economic model that respects human rights and the planet. It is a member of the Oxfam International confederation which is active in 87 countries, working alongside nearly 3000 partners. To effectively combat social, economic and climate injustice, one needs to undertake significant projects and have a robust organization. However, Oxfam Belgium’s IT environment was no longer meeting its needs, so it brought in Inetum Belgium to modernize its internal tools. Thanks to our successful collaboration, Oxfam Belgium can now rely on Microsoft Dynamics, an integrated ERP management system, to support many of its internal processes.
Need for transparency
In order to meet the challenges of this decade and increase the impact of their actions, the Belgian entities Oxfam-Solidarité and Oxfam-Wereldwinkels/Fair Trade announced their merger in 2020. Since then, they form a single organization called “Oxfam Belgium”, which has 235 employees, 230 shops and around 7000 volunteers. However, this merger uncovered some gaps in the digital tools used in Oxfam’s offices: unstructured information, time-consuming administrative processes, laborious inter-departmental sharing. It was clear that the organization needed a centralized system in which its data could be organized quickly, reliably and transparently.
Central management with Microsoft Dynamics
Aware of the need to improve its tools, Oxfam Belgium began the search for a partner they could trust. Deciding to work with Inetum Belgium was an obvious choice. “We were impressed by Inetum Belgium’s rapid understanding of our needs and structure,” says Alexis Wuestenberghs, ERP Project Manager at Oxfam Belgium. “The team came up with pragmatic solutions and their experience immediately reassured us. After a comprehensive analysis of the situation, we opted to implement the Microsoft Dynamics ERP system.” The goal was to streamline internal processes and establish a shared IT language across departments through this efficient, centralized management solution.
A strong partnership
Although doubts are an inevitable part of any change, it is essential to understand them in order to better move forward. To ensure a smooth implementation of Dynamics, a step-by-step approach has been established, module by module. “We have seen a lot of change all at the same time. Thanks to Inetum Belgium’s technical coaching and user support, we managed to bring them on board in the best possible way,” explains Audrey Timmermans, Oxfam Belgium CFO. “The first step was to implement the system in the Finance department of Oxfam-Solidarité. We then migrated the accounting and financial management in the other entities to Dynamics, together with subsidized projects management.”
“Previously, if we wanted to make a list of all the projects that Oxfam Belgium was monitoring, it might take a week to collect the information from all the departments. Now all you need to do is log into the ERP system. That’s a huge time savings,” says Wuestenberghs.
A sustainably efficient future
After several years of use, Oxfam Belgium has realized the potential of Dynamics. Data is shared more freely, and the added value of the software is of direct benefit to the smooth running of solidarity projects. The different entities are also able to help each other much more easily. In the future, the organization plans to use the application in other areas. There are many longer-term development opportunities and the benefits are legion. The software’s purchasing module is currently being implemented.
With consistent monitoring of budgets and expenses, Oxfam Belgium’s projects will be carried out even more efficiently. The organization can rely on Inetum Belgium’s experience and professionalism to move forward confidently into this new phase.