One of 37 Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) within New York State, Erie 1 BOCES serves the schools and communities that make up Western New York. 74,441 students within 20 component school districts around the city of Buffalo fall under their jurisdiction. Additionally, Erie 1 BOCES houses one of New York State’s 12 Regional Information Centers, the Western New York Regional Information Center (WNYRIC), serving more than 100 districts in five BOCES regions. Erie 1 BOCES’ district superintendent is a field representative for New York State’s education commissioner and is charged with facilitating all communication between school districts and the New York State Education Department and numerous community agencies.
Erie 1 BOCES has been a valued customer of MRI Software (MRI) since 2012, using MRI’s fixed asset accounting and tracking software to manage over 400,000 inventory items and 34,000 assets. Prior to using Series4000—the Asset4000 and Inventory4000 modules—Erie1 was using an Access database as an inventory system, along with a spreadsheet to manage its fixed assets. After years of struggling with these homegrown systems, management decided that a market-leading, GASB 34/35-compliant solution needed to be implemented to better control inventory and assets. The result was exceptional, and Erie 1 never looked back.
According to Jim Fregelette, Executive Director of Finance and Information Systems, Erie 1 BOCES has been able to tighten control over asset and inventory data, as well as improve compliance with government regulations such as GASB 34/35. The Asset Management Team can now demonstrate a detailed analysis of asset history to the auditors and the management team, and properly depreciate fixed assets within the system. The extensive range of standardized reports allows Erie 1 to have instant access to any combination or level of information required; this is crucial as Erie 1 is responsible for managing the IT requirements of over 100 school districts. The software enables them to provide their clients with comprehensive reports on inventory and assets along with their precise locations.
By streamlining their processes, Erie 1 BOCES has been able to benefit from substantial discounts from suppliers such as Dell, HP, and Apple. Additionally, they are able to secure better insurance coverage and at lower premiums as a direct result of having their asset register under control. ERIE 1 BOCES plans to rollout Project4000 in the future to help manage its capital expenditure and assets under construction.