The Right Experts for the Job
Sage SalesLogix and MAS 500 from CompuData revolutionize operations at an expert witness and consultant referral service
For more than half a century, The TASA Group has been a premier source for testifying and consulting expert referrals for legal proceedings. The company, based in Blue Bell, PA, offers independent specialists from their proprietary network of more than 10,000 diverse categories in business, technology, arts, and science, including medicine, nationwide and in select international markets.
Trapped by Legacy Systems
By 2005, TASA was tracking and matching nearly 20,000 experts in more than 10,000 specialties. Even though their 20-year-old legacy computer system was specifically designed for expert, client and case tracking, as well as accounting functions—there was no easy way to get that information out of the system and shared with those who needed it.
“Reporting and information gathering was a struggle,” says Suzanne Olita, TASA CEO. As the company expanded its website, it found that it was stuck with a system that predated the Internet and wouldn’t integrate with the new applications that they needed. “What we had was a totally closed system that couldn’t interact with anything else.”
The antiquated system was also heavy on data entry. “We had to do lots of scanning and imaging of documents to get them into the system,” says Mindy Sungenis, Vice President of Operations. Even then, the information on the documents often needed to be re-keyed. “It was very labor-intensive, and wouldn’t interact with our new website.” TASA’s goal was to move towards a paperless environment that was less reliant on data entry and the potential for human error.
The Experts at CompuData
In 2005, TASA retained an IT advisor who conducted the search and made the recommendation to select CompuData as the solution provider of choice. “We had looked into upgrading our systems a few years earlier, but the solutions had been so expensive,” says Olita. “CompuData offered a good combination of functionality and price.”
CompuData suggested an integrated solution comprised of:
* Sage SalesLogix, a customizable CRM solution that provides comprehensive information for sales, marketing and customer service activities
* Eventix Engagement, a SalesLogix enhancement that offers not only project management tools, but also time and expense billing and
* Sage MAS 500 financial accounting software for the back office
These three solutions integrate seamlessly, improving efficiency throughout the company.
Although SalesLogix was specifically tailored to fit TASA’s unique needs, MAS 500 didn’t require the same level of customization. “We jumped a couple of generations just by upgrading from our old system to MAS 500,” notes Mike Ardron, Vice President of Finance.
“Eventix drives the data to MAS 500, MAS 500 does the bookkeeping, and that data is then transferred back to SalesLogix. The ability for the systems to talk to each other was a huge change,” says Sungenis. The integrated systems have reduced the need for many data entry tasks, streamlining workflow and operations and enabling a more efficient operation. For a company that previously struggled to access the data in its databases, “the ability to run queries has been phenomenal.”
The team at TASA speaks highly of its relationship with CompuData. “They’ve been very responsive to our needs,” says Olita. “We get a very prompt response.”
Sungenis agrees. “They never put us on the back burner. They take care of us right away.”
While the team at TASA expected operational efficiency to improve with the new system, there were also additional benefits that they hadn’t counted on. “We’re able to pull out and segment our client lists by interests,” says Olita. This has given TASA the ability to better focus their marketing by targeting the right audience with the right message. Not only can they select law firms by interest, but they can further segment by trial preference (civil vs. criminal), track what marketing pieces were sent and when, and see if the firm or attorney responded.
“We have much more insight into who our clients are and what they need from us,” says Sungenis, noting that the effectiveness of this targeted marketing has been increasingly important in the current economy.
Additionally, thanks to a password-protected web-based interface, the TASA experts can log in and update their own bios and experience. The data is then imported automatically into the company’s SalesLogix database. With thousands of experts available, the elimination of this data entry work has led to considerable savings in time and money.
“SalesLogix has really opened up a lot for us,” Sungenis notes. “It helped us to reinvent the way in which we market the company, and the integration with the website has been huge.”
Plans for Growth
The company is looking into a variety of options for growth in the coming years, and knows that whatever their plans, the combination of applications from CompuData will grow with them. Sungenis says, “CompuData has helped us achieve an open system that’s compatible with everything we do.”