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Coupa Success Portal

Private Education Company


This case study is about a private education company that was in need of an easy-to-use e-procurement system to replace their aging one. To get spending by the individual colleges and schools under management, this company implemented Coupa eProcurement, with full integration to Great Plains and EDI suppliers, in 2 months. The Coupa business owner is delighted with the results, especially since he no longer has to provide weekly training sessions, like he did for the old system.

The majority of Coupa users at this company were at the individual school headquarters and schools. They were concerned with making sure school materials were ordered for each student enrolled in the coming semester and delivered in time to be ready for the first day of school.

Use Cases

Textbooks had to be ordered based on the correct ISBN, so catalogs had to be updated far enough in advance. Also, textbooks are very heavy, so they had to be ordered far enough in advance to use the least expensive shipping method. Because the company purchasing team was able to upload their own catalogs, they could ensure catalogs were up to date. They could also make immediate changes to individual items directly through the Coupa UI.

Each school had their own promotional materials, which had to be configured with the school's unique logo and colors. To drive down costs, the company used one supplier with a punchout, which allowed each school to select items and appropriate configurations. This was also true for their stationary supplies—letterhead, envelopes, etc.

Coupa worked with the company's integration team to receive Great Plains GL accounts into Coupa, so that correct account information could be defaulted onto each requisition line. This also ensured transactions passed from Coupa to GP had correct account numbers.

Coupa worked with the integration team to pass invoices approved-for-payment to their Great Plains system, then receive back invoice payments information. This meant that Coupa AP users could see whether a supplier's invoice had been paid, simply by checking Coupa.

In preparation for a phase 2 implementation of the Coupa expenses module, the integration team also integrated approved-for-payment expenses. Because the customer was not using the Great Plains expense module, each employee was provided a GP supplier number, which was entered into their Coupa user record. This supplier number was attached to the approved expense, which was then transformed into an approved invoice prior to import into GP.

General Information

  • Production Users: 570
  • GL Accounts: 20,850
  • Suppliers: 2,500; 6 via EDI integration
  • Commodities: 54

Implementation Timeline

  • Implementation Time: 2 Months

Integration Information

Great Plains:

  • Approved Invoices: Coupa to GP
  • Invoice Payments: GP to Coupa
  • Accounts: GP to Coupa


  • EDI: 850 (PO), 810 (Invoice)
  • cXML PO and Invoice
  • cXML Punchout


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