Canadian Blood Services learns its ABCs

As the non-profit group responsible for Canada’s blood supply, for two years Canadian Blood Services has used activity-based costing (ABC) software to gain greater insight into its business processes, and the resources it needs to meet its objectives.

The Ottawa-based group collects blood products like red blood cells, platelets and plasma from donors and supplies them to hospitals across Canada (excluding Quebec), receiving its funding from federal and provincial governments.

Alex Reyes, CBS’s manager of cost accounting, told a SAS Institute-sponsored conference in Las Vegas last month about his organization’s experience with the Cary, N.C.-based company’s ABC software. After considering a number of options, Reyes said CBS settled on Oros Suite from ABC Technologies, which was later was acquired by SAS.

“We went with Oros because of the usability and the low cost, and we felt the solution was very inclusive,” said Reyes.

By starting with a simple tool, Reyes said with some training courses they were able to configure the tool internally, without the help of outside contractors.

“Now we’re doing more of a pull-and-push model, where you can do planning, budgeting and costing,” said Reyes.

Reyes said CBS’s move to ABC was made possible by an organization-wide transformation around the same time from regional contact centres to a process-based organization that embraced performance management as a part of the business.

The technology helped business managers tell their stories and get the funding they needed to achieve the service levels requested of them.

“It’s not a project that has a clear end-date because it’s a management tool and it’s evolving into new areas all the time,” said Reyes. “The savings is having better information for decision making.”

As president of Longueiul, Que.-based strategic cost management consultants Synerma Inc., Daniel Dub

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