Labor Union’s Old Membership System is Redesigned to Save Time and Increase Efficiency
February 25, 2022
The labor union was using an outdated DOS-based system that supported member dues and employer benefit payments. The person who designed it was retiring and would no longer be supporting the system, and no one else was trained or able to keep it running. They desperately needed a new system, preferably web-based, that could not only support their immediate needs but also grow with them as an organization. It was critical that the historical data in the legacy system be migrated to the new application. The union also wanted to facilitate member self-service with a members-only web portal and a mobile application.
- Migrating legacy data from a proprietary DOS system with few data structures or data naming conventions to a modern relational database, while maintaining referential integrity and historical accuracy.
- Managing multiple payment types (benefits, payroll, dues, etc.) from multiple employers. Some employers send one payment for dues and one for benefits, others send one payment for dues and separate payments for benefits, while still others send just a single payment.
- Keeping dues payments separate (per the Department of Labor) from benefits payments.
- Making it easy for the union to have a different contract for every show or commercial, each with different terms and conditions.
- Implementing a members-only portal that is available from the union’s website and that provides real-time information to members (such as: How much I have paid in dues? How much do I owe to be eligible for health insurance?).
- Creating a mobile app for members that provides real-time information.
To decipher the legacy data, we worked closely with our client to compare selected data from the database to its presentation on screen in the legacy application. From here we created a “Rosetta Stone” that we used to identify, translate, transform, and migrate all legacy data. Once migrated, we gave the union access to a test version of eMembership, allowing them to further verify the correctness of our translation. All of this was done without any disruption to their ongoing data processing.
eMembership is built on a flexible, plug-and-play architecture. By combining multiple “employer payment” components, we were able to easily create a robust and dynamic Payment Module that facilitates unlimited combinations of payments and payment types.
Similarly, by combining different components of our Contracts Module, we were able to easily facilitate the ever-changing contract terms for each new production.
By taking advantage of the eMembership Open API Architecture, we were able to provide secure, real-time access and integration with the union’s accounting software, third-party administrators, the new mobile app, and the new website member portal.
The union went from a 20-year-old, DOS-based application that was installed on every user’s computer to a contemporary, web-based solution that staff members can access from anywhere. This was particularly beneficial during pandemic office shutdowns.
The entire project took four months from start to finish.
Winmill successfully migrated 100% of the legacy data into eMembership, so the system contains a complete history (financial, work history, contractual, etc.) of every member, employer and contract.
eMembership provides the union with unlimited reporting capabilities. Not only are there dozens of pre-built and custom reports, but the Query Builder Module allows for real-time ad hoc reporting.
Winmill’s Open API Architecture made it easy to integrate with other systems and organizations. Many of our competitors rely on copying data back and forth between their database and a website database, or a third-party system, which can often result in data getting out of sync.
With eMembership, there is no replication of data; third-party systems access actual eMembership data in real time, using our secure API’s. There is zero opportunity for data to get out of sync.