Kathi Weldon is the Purchasing Supervisor for Tower Federal Credit Union, a member-owned non-profit financial institution with headquarters in Laurel, MD. Established in 1953, Tower is the largest federal credit union in Maryland with $1.4 billion in assets and is among the top 50 in the United States. It provides a full array of financial products and services and serves over 111,000 members worldwide. Tower currently serves its local-area members with five branches in Prince George’s, Howard and Anne Arundel counties and five branch locations at the Ft. Meade facility in Ft. Meade, MD.
Seventeen years ago, Kathi began her career with Tower in the accounts payable department. Two years later, she was promoted to the position of purchasing coordinator. After several more years, Kathi became the Purchasing Supervisor. She is responsible for ordering supplies for 300 people. Kathi says, “When I first came on board Bellwether had just been implemented, but we hadn’t started to use it yet. We were dealing with so much paper, it was overwhelming.
We purchased the Purchasing, Inventory and Receiving modules and did some customization. Automation was new for us, but once we had processes automated, we realized so much timesavings and so much less paper. We loved it when the new version came along because it gave us so much more maneuverability. We have not yet implemented the Requisitions module, so the requisitions are paper forms with lots of copies, and sign-off approval goes through inter- office mail.”
Kathi is hoping to implement the Requisitions module to have an end-to-end system. She stated, “requisitions come from all our local service facilities. They are supposed to reach me already approved by the approval hierarchy in that facility. It all goes through inter-office mail, and often we have to send the requisitions back because they are lacking the proper description, the proper sign off, etc. All of this takes a long time. We really need to automate this part of the process.”
Kathi says they use the Inventory module differently than most companies. For example, forms inventory is stocked in the warehouse. When an employee requisitions for a specific form, the order is filled, and the information on the requisition is entered into the inventory transactions field. Then, Kathi’s staff takes that information and charges the cost back to the department, using the reports feature.
“The reports that Bellwether Purchasing Software provides in inventory, receiving and purchasing are invaluable tools, like the PO status report. Anyone looking to save time, paper and labor should invest in Bellwether. We have been a customer since the late 80’s. We like the new releases that keep us up to date. We like the expertise of the technical service department. The technical service staff is very dedicated and knowledgeable. We are looking forward to implementing more modules because we like the product,” Kathi stated.