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Horizon House uses Vertex solutions for improved reporting and better access to information

Information powered results for human services.

Overview Horizon House sought to replace an

“I was sold on Vertex because they’re geared to our business of providing support to folks with disabilities.”

outdated software system with proven

Marge Snavely, Controller Horizon House of Illinois Valley, Inc.

technologies that could help the organization better address its accounting, payroll, reporting and business manage-


ment needs. Horizon House turned to

Horizon House of Illinois Valley, Inc. is

“We were just having way too many problems

Vertex Systems Corp., which implemented

a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt

with it,” says Marge Snavely, the organiza-

a powerful and effective solution designed

organization that provides a variety of

tion’s controller. “The vendor tried to rewrite

especially for organizations that serve

services to adults with disabilities. Like many

it but it just didn’t work right.” When the

people with disabilities. The system,

similar organizations, Horizon House sprang

payroll system provider subsequently ceased

which consists of Vertex’s Pathway Produc-

from humble beginnings. It was established

operations and discontinued support for the

tivityTrac and e-Timecard products, along

in 1969 with a budget of $23,000 and two

product, Horizon House knew it was time to

with Microsoft Dynamics™ NAV,

paid staff members who served 13 people. Its

make a switch.

allows Horizon House to benefit from easier

first facility consisted of a farmhouse in rural

access to information, improved reporting,

LaSalle County, Illinois.

better information for decision making and much more.

Today, Horizon House provides a variety of residential and day services, including full 24-hour residential support, intermittent in-home and employment support and day services. Under Horizon House’s sheltered workshop program, people with disabilities

Horizon House of Illinois Valley, Inc.

perform high-quality packaging and assembly

2000 Plank Road

duties, including packaging, shrink wrap/skin

Peru, IL 61354 815-223-4488

packing, collating, auto bagging and heat seal-

ing. Horizon House has 15 different sites that operate 24 hours a day. Its staff of 180 serves

About Vertex Systems Vertex delivers superior information

approximately 250 people with disabilities, of which 100 are residential. And its budget has grown to $8 million.

management solutions and support

But while Horizon House was growing, it

services that help unlock the potential of

was also struggling with a business solution

human services organizations and

that could no longer meet its needs. The DOS-

maximize their ability to make a

based system was rapidly becoming outdated

difference. Our vision is to be the premier

and providing less and less information.

and preferred provider of information

The organization’s payroll system was of

management products and services to hu-

particular concern. Written by a local vendor,

man services agencies.

it was balky and difficult to use.

Solution Horizon House sought a stable solution provider with a proven track record—one that could offer a state-of-the-art solution the organization could rely upon over the long term. After exhaustive research, Snavely came upon Vertex Systems Corp, which specializes in developing, deploying and supporting solutions for organizations that serve people with barriers to employment or independent living. “I was sold on Vertex because they’re geared to our business of providing support to folks with disabilities,” she says. In addition, Snavely says she was impressed at Vertex’s willingness to quickly jump in and help Horizon House out of a difficult situation. “We were in a time crunch and needed to get the accounting program online to be able to do payroll because we no longer had support on our old payroll program,” she explains. “At the same time, we also had a tight budget to work with. Vertex was very

accommodating and worked hard to get

has a detailed picture of virtually every-

us the software we needed at a price we

thing happening in the organization. “We

could afford.”

have many more reporting capabilities than

Horizon House’s current solution consists of Vertex’s Pathway ProductivityTrac™, which allows Horizon House to quickly and easily handle its piece and hourly rate subminimum

“ Vertex was very accommodating and worked hard to get us the software we needed at a price we could afford.” Marge Snavely, Controller Horizon House of Illinois Valley, Inc.

payroll, as well as Vertex e-Timecard, which

we’ve ever had before,” Snavely says. “That means we have more information, and, of course, information is what you use to make business decisions with.” • Increased efficiency. The solution

allows Horizon House employees to submit

provides easy access to information across

time and pay-related information via electronic

the organization, Snavely says, which

handheld devices. Both these integrate closely

boosts operational efficiency. For instance,

with Horizon House’s Microsoft Dynamics

in the past Snavely spent a great deal of

NAV (formerly Microsoft Business Solutions–

time fielding questions about expenses

Navision) business management platform.

from Horizon House employees and direc-

This combined solution is ideal for organizations such as Horizon House, says Sanford Chandler, President of Vertex Systems Corp. “Pathway ProductivityTrac, when leveraged with e-Timecard and Microsoft Dynamics NAV, is a powerful and effective solution for organizations that serve people with disabilities.”

tors. “Now, I just give them rights to that information and they can go in and look at it themselves, right onscreen,” she says. In addition, a notes field Vertex added to the Accounts Payable module within Microsoft Dynamics NAV allows staff members to detail the reasons for specific purchases as well as display the original invoice at any time. “Now, when anybody wants that information, it’s right there. It’s just a much

Benefits The combined solution provides Horizon House with many benefits, including: • High-quality reporting. The system

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more efficient way of doing the accounting than we had before,” Snavely says. • Simplified DOL payroll compliance. The powerful combination of Vertex’s Pathway ProductivityTrac and e-Timecard

allows Horizon House to easily produce

solutions, along with Microsoft Dynamics

a virtually unlimited number of reports,

NAV, has helped streamline and simplify

including government-mandated reports,

the process of complying with Department

on-demand reports and specialty ones. For

of Labor payroll regulations. “The system

example, Horizon House has 30 different

makes sure we’re in compliance with the

cost centers. Using Dynamics NAV, Snavely

regulations at all times and that everyone

can quickly produce detailed profit-andloss

is being paid a fair wage for the work that

statements for each cost center. The system

they’re doing,” Snavely says.

also allows for a detailed payroll analysis. “When you consider that Payroll is about 70 percent of our operating budget, we want to make sure we have a lot of information going back to supervisors telling them how we’re spending our money,” Snavely says. With Dynamics NAV’s rich reporting capabilities, Horizon House’s management

The power of

Horizon House Case Study  

Horizon House uses Vertex Systems' solutions for improved reporting and better access to information.