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How Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Enhanced Efficiency by Switching to Greenshades – Case Study

Lauren DeBisschop
May 5, 2023
10 min

How Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Aced the Transition of their Payroll to the Cloud

Key Takeaways

Farmers Union Mutual Insurance is experiencing significant success since their transition to Greenshades Payroll in the cloud.

  • Based in Montana, Farmers Union is a small insurance firm that faced challenges with their on-premise software that hindered remote work for employees. As a result, they needed to reassess their internal systems.
  • They needed to make a transition after Microsoft announced it was sunsetting Solomon (SL) ERP including the in system payroll module.
  • The company switched to Microsoft Business Central (BC) for their financial ERP, but the system did not have payroll capabilities. They chose Greenshades for payroll due to the solution's integration capabilities with BC.
  • Cost and simplicity were additional driving factors in their choice of Greenshades.
  • Since implementing Greenshades Payroll with BC ERP, the Farmers Union team has experienced greater freedom and flexibility in their day-to-day operations.

Company Overview

Farmers Union Mutual Insurance is the largest property and casualty insurance company in Montana, with 58 agents operating in 65 locations throughout the state. As an established company founded in 1915, they faced challenges adapting to modern work environments due to their use of on-premise software services.

Reassessing Sofware Choices in an Era of Remote Work

Dynamics SL ERP had been Farmers Union's preferred software solution for decades, and it included a payroll module. However, as SL was being sunsetted, the company needed to find a new payroll solution that could integrate with their new ERP system.  Additionally, since most of their software services were hosted on internal servers, the company faced difficulties with remote work during the pandemic. For example, their VPN ran out of space and the internal staff had to stagger their in-office work schedules to work directly on the network. Overall, although the company managed to function remotely, it was a challenging process.

To better adapt to remote work, the company opted to transition to cloud-based software. They collaborated with their Microsoft vendor, Velosio, to research multiple financial software products, ultimately selecting Microsoft Business Central (BC) because it was the cloud version of SL with more features and easier data integration. However, BC did not have a payroll module, so they had to find a compatible payroll solution that could seamlessly integrate.

Velosio presented Farmers Union with various payroll software options, and after careful consideration, they decided to go with Greenshades. The decision was based on several factors, such as the cost-effectiveness, design, and integration capabilities of the software. As a small company, cost was a priority, and Greenshades' flat fee for unlimited support and implementation made the decision straightforward.

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“I picked Greenshades, for the cost {but also} because it was it was efficient for us and effective and it seemed simple to me.” - Monica Vetere

Making the Transition to Greenshades Payroll

To implement the new solution and streamline the process for her team, Farmers Union's Vice President of Accounting and Human Resources worked with the Greenshades implementation team in a series of bi-weekly meetings. During the implementation process, Monica found the meetings to be helpful 'training sessions' that eventually made her feel like an expert in the Greenshades solution. With the help of her implementation manager, she input tax codes, benefits, deductions, and more. Today, Monica feels confident in her ability to manage the solution independently

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“I never once felt alone throughout the process. {As a result} I feel like I got it right the first time.” - Monica Vetere

Monica credits the successful implementation of the Greenshades solution to the excellent support from the implementation team and the software's cost-effectiveness. The flat fee for implementations empowered her to take the time to truly understand the new solution. Since meeting their implementation goal, Farmers Union has been successfully running payroll through the Greenshades solution.

Enhanced Payroll and Employee Experiences with Greenshades

With payroll up and running, the team at Farmers Union has saved significant time and energy on various processes that they used to do manually. Employees are also enjoying completing their tasks from anywhere due to the flexibility of Greenshades cloud-based software.

  • Increase in Convenience: The Greenshades solution is accessible from anywhere, allowing Monica to run payroll from home and team members to access pay information at any time.
  • Significant Time Savings: With the old system, Monica had to print, fold, and mail every employee's paystub after each payroll run, which occurred every two weeks. With the Greenshades solution employees can instantly view their paystubs online after payroll is complete, resulting in valuable time savings for both Monica and her team members.
  • Enhanced Employee Experience: The employee self-service portal streamlines the process for requesting changes, eliminating the need for in-person visits and allowing employees to request changes directly through the solution, which Monica can then approve or deny with ease.
  • Peace of Mind: In the past, Monica spent significant energy keeping up with tax codes and applicable changes that affected her workers. Now Greenshades' tax experts keep up with tax codes and changes for her, ensuring accurate payroll and relieving Monica of the manual work.
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“The saying is ‘efficiency plus effectiveness equals productivity’. And I would say that is hands down Greenshades right there.” - Monica Vetere

Cloud-Based for the Future

Since transitioning to Greenshades' cloud-based payroll solution, Farmers Union Mutual Insurance has experienced increased convenience and flexibility, while employees have enjoyed the benefits of the enhanced employee experience through Greenshades' self-service portal. The company is pleased with their decision to switch to Greenshades, which has resulted in improved efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity.

Download the full case study here.

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