Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is notoriously difficult to implement--and quite costly to boot. But it doesn't have to be, as a group of five Wisconsin school districts has discovered. These five districts, now known as the Wisconsin Schools Consortium, have teamed up to implement a shared ERP system--saving costs and streamlining administrative processes all around. Here's how they did it.

Their story begins two years ago. In a state known more for education decentralization, several school districts were faced with the "sunsetting" of their existing business systems. But rather than going it alone, as they had in the...

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