Professional Services LDC finds Confidence with Change to Sage 100
The Laborers’ District Council of the Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia and Vicinity (LDC) provides healthcare, pension, legal, and training benefits management to regional union members. The organization spends approximately $50 million a year to cover over 15,000 members and their dependents.
“RKL eSolutions made our staff feel totally comfortable with the transition. And when union guys like you, you gotta be good!”
—Alan Parham, LDC Administrator
creating a monster
“It wasn’t pretty, but it paid the bills and worked okay for the most part,” says Alan Parham, LDC Administrator, describing their 20-year old Sage Pro accounting system. He adds, “We knew we had to implement new software sooner or later. But change is always scary so we weren’t in a big hurry.” While their Sage Pro system was outdated, it remained in use because of numerous
workarounds and manual calculations. Alan recalls, “We were doing things that Sage Pro was never intended to. Basically, we created a monster.”
old system starting to "labor"
In an effort to simplify the business, LDC had begun to consolidate multiple units and centralize financial management. This resulted in the need for more sophisticated accounting functionality in order to handle things like intercompany transactions and allocating shared expenses across business units.
“We needed new capabilities that Sage Pro simply didn’t have,” says Alan. “We were spending so much time using calculators, paper, spreadsheets, and lots of duplicate effort to perform offline reconciliations, and then reenter all that data into the accounting software. It was messy and tedious work that was often put on the back burner and delayed for as long as possible.”
time for a change
LDC turned to their long-time Sage partner and technology provider RKL eSolutions. Armed with the staff’s laundry list of needs, RKL eSolutions recommended a migration from Sage Pro to Sage 100. Alan points out, “RKL knows what we do and how we do it. This is where they really shine because their consultants do a great job of taking time to understand what we need and then finding a product or coming up with a technology solution that gets us there.”
more than just software support
Once Sage 100 was installed and ready to use, LDC staff had to acquire new skills that were not part of their previous bookkeeping experience. Once again, RKL rose to the challenge.
Alan says, “The RKL consultants made our staff, who aren’t accountants by trade, feel totally comfortable with the transition. We needed to learn more than just the software. We also needed a refresher in core accounting principles.” He adds, “The way they structured training was flexible and they were able to change course, when needed, to accommodate the learning curve at LDC. Sage 100 is much more sophisticated than our old system and without the kind of care and guidance we received from RKL, this would have been a far more challenging and difficult experience.”
not so scARY AFTER ALL
Alan concedes that the transition from Sage Pro to Sage 100 wasn’t so scary after all as the staff’s initial resistance soon transformed into excitement over the newfound simplicity and efficiency. “It’s like we were finally taken out of the woods and we’re all the better for it. I’m amazed at how far we've come.” What’s more, the timely allocation of expenses and overhead costs
between units – a task that nobody wanted to do in the past – was a watershed moment for LDC. Alan says. “Everybody would scramble to avoid it. But now, it’s a breeze because we can put the distribution codes and allocation percentages into Sage 100 ahead of time and the rest is totally automated. We’ve cut the input cycle down by half. Spread that over a year and that task alone pays for the new software.”
Alan also points out that with new software and training comes peace of mind. “We’re now doing things within the system and the way they’re supposed to be done. We have better reporting, better handle on the numbers, and less concern about auditors coming in to try and figure out what the heck we’re doing.”
RKL eSolutions has cemented their place in LDC’s world. “Projects like this can easily go off the rails. But the team at RKL eSolutions made sure that didn’t happen. They were fantastic,” says Alan. “We aren’t the easiest bunch to please,” he admits. “So if union guys like you, you gotta be good.”