Case Study: A Union Sheet Metal Company Experiments . . .

by Alex Gray
August 21, 2019
Read Time: Less than 5 Mins
Last Modified: April 27, 2024

. . . With Finding the Right Payroll Processor

For Maranatha Sheet Metal Company, Inc., getting the work done on time for one of their jobs was never an issue — but finishing their complex union payroll and certified payroll reports quickly was a different story. After losing too many weekends trying to keep up, Maranatha eventually decided that enough was enough. That was when they made the decision to find a payroll processor that could actually support the processing needs of their unique situation.

(Read: Case Study: Desperately Seeking Service (for Multi-Rate Payroll Processing)

Initial Tests

For Bob Melendes and his wife, Melissa, joining the construction industry meant starting a family business with his brother, John Melendes. “He had been in business for about 30 years,” Bob says, “and wanted us to join and get the company started.” After a little convincing, Bob and Melissa signed on, and Maranatha Sheet Metal officially opened in 2016.

But while getting the family on board was easy, efficiently completing the company payroll wasn’t so smooth of a transition. “We had no experience. I have a science background — Bob does, too — and we did a late-in-life career change,” Melissa recalls. “This was completely new.”

With complex union benefits packages to track and weekly certified payroll reports to complete, Melissa and Bob knew that Maranatha needed some help. But, Melissa says, that help was hard to find with the franchise payroll company they first used to outsource payroll: “Whenever we asked, we couldn’t get assistance for certified payroll or fringe payments.”

Melissa remembers losing most weekends just to catch up, still having to perform most of their reports and calculations by hand: “Fringe pay would take us Saturday into Sunday, with the rest of Sunday being used to finish up any leftover certified payroll. We’d average a combined 40-60 hours per week just in payroll. This included time spent on all payroll activities, including fringe benefit payments, worker’s comp, and certified payroll — including LCPTracker — as well as our weekly payroll.”

Changing the Variables

Tired of spending weekends finishing payroll and filling out reports, Melissa went online to search for a service equipped for certified payroll. This led her to “With what payroll was costing in time, we decided to go ahead and try it, and it’s been fantastic,” Melissa says. “Within two minutes, we get our reports, especially LCPTracker. Within half an hour, we’re done with all of our reports, including uploading them into LCPTracker.”

The benefits, Melissa says, were noticeable immediately: “I get my Saturdays back, and I’m not exhausted. Knowing that our payroll is no longer an issue, we can focus on our customers. Being able to focus on them instead of being so haggard is great.”

And, Bob says, unlike his experience with their previous payroll service, “We always get the assistance that we need to make it work. The team is outstanding. They know our unique situation and find ways to make it work to get our payroll done.”

Sharing the Results

For Maranatha, the help provided by extends even beyond their business. Each year, they attend a union benefits meeting, where they can discuss any upcoming benefit changes. One benefit that other companies found particularly complicated to set up was their employees’ 401(a) retirement plan. Through the breakdown of contributions provides, Melissa could easily see how the system calculated everything, allowing her to help other companies see how they should handle those contributions. “After discussing the 401(a), we set it up correctly, and it turns out that there were other companies that had been doing it wrong in their systems for years and never realized,” Melissa explains.

And being able to see how breaks down all of the benefits has helped Maranatha’s employees as well. “All of the reports work to clearly show the 401(a) contributions during an audit. It’s all straightforward,” Melissa says. “Transparency is there with the crew, and when they get their new raises, they can see exactly where the fringes are and the payments that’ve been made. It’s more information than they’ve ever received on their pay stub before.”

For Melissa, Bob, and the rest of the team at Maranatha, it was the trust that they could put in the service provided by that made the biggest difference. “With our previous processor, we had to call after every change and every increase, and we just don’t have the time to babysit our vendors,” Bob says. “And that’s the thing: they were a vendor, but I feel like is our partner.”


To see more of the real-world difference makes for contractors, check out more construction payroll testimonials!

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