August 26, 2021 — With a projected cost savings exceeding $500,000 over a 10-year period and anticipated improvement in efficiencies, the Port of Newport Commission approved the adoption of a new financial system at Tuesday’s monthly meeting.
Moving the organization away from QuickBooks to a system that will integrate all of the Port’s operations, including RV park and marina reservations, into one system was the goal. “Realistically, there are so many benefits to a new financial system, they cannot be all discussed in this report,” wrote Director of Finance Mark Brown in his report to the commission.
General Manager Paula Miranda expressed her support for the new arrangement. “It really would be so much more efficient for the port, not only on financial side, but with operations as well because right now we don’t have a project management system or operations management system,” she said. “Ultimately, things that would take us sometimes 3 or 4 hours may go down to an hour.”
Proposals were received from six vendors and four provided demonstration presentations to a team of staff members. The chosen vendor was KOPIS, a South Carolina company that specializes in custom software and technology solutions.
The cost to the Port will be $171,435 in the first year and ranges from $34,000 – $37,000 annually over the following nine years. The cumulative savings, which Brown said he had “100 percent” confidence in, is projected at $571,052 over the time period. Savings includes eliminating one position, currently vacant, from the Port’s accounting staff.
Port Commissioners and the general manager praised Brown and his team for the thorough process in making the investment. “I like what I hear,” said Commissioner Jeff Lackey. “The quality control, the efficiencies, it all sounds good to me.”
“It’s a good report, a good summary and analysis – it looks like you did a very thorough job,” Commission Gil Sylvia noted.
Implementation of the new system is expected to take roughly six months.