By Aurore May 8, 2023

Why Choose Custom Software for Your Union?

Unions and the province of Quebec share a long history dating back to the 19th century. From trade unions to industrial unions, all have been built on the principle of unity. Today, Quebec continues to have the highest union presence rate in Canada with 40.1% in 2021. In terms of numbers, the Quebec union sector represented 1,497,700 members and negotiated 8,311 collective agreements in 2021.*

Unions and technology

Unions have a complicated relationship with technology. Some organizations see it as useful, while others view it as limiting. In reality, it all depends on how the technology is used and the desired outcomes in a specific context. For example, when it comes to membership services, it’s a good idea for unions to integrate certain types of technology.

Improve the quality of membership services

Management software is an important tool that allows us to improve the quality of membership services significantly. All legal, regulatory, and technical information (collective agreements, statutes and regulations, grievance forms, accident reports, etc.) is quickly shared and archived in a central location, allowing unions to better inform and communicate with members. For trade unions, technology can also help alleviate the workload of administrative staff by automating processes and speeding up administrative procedures.

Some unions still operate on a paper-based system, while others use legacy software that quickly becomes obsolete. The world of technology is constantly changing, and today’s unions are looking for a secure, scalable, efficient, and long-term solution.

Software package vs. custom software

There are two types of software on the market: software package and custom software. One offers a selection of customizable modules, while the other proposes a variety of pre-customized modules to choose from.

Software package

The software package is ready to use and can therefore be set up in no time. It’s a standard application provided by a software company that can be used by any union in any industry. Commercial software often includes a wide range of features that streamline all business operations, the most important of which are membership management, grievance management, and workers’ compensation. This type of software is available on a monthly or annual basis depending on the number of members and selected modules. When it comes to short-term solutions that can be implemented quickly, this one’s quite affordable.

However, costs tend to add up quickly, especially if pricing is based on the number of members. It’s important to do the math based on the next 5 or 10 years.

While the software package meets the most common needs, it doesn’t always meet specific requirements. In most cases, some features end up not being used at all. However, certain software packages offer a choice of customizable and adaptable modules. While this solution may meet short-term needs, it quickly leads to technological limitations in terms of customization. In short, users adapt to the capabilities of the software package, while the custom software adapts to its users.

Choose software that truly reflects your needs

Custom software

Custom software is created according to the expectations and current needs of users. We start by thoroughly analyzing issues and processes in order to design and implement the most appropriate software. This way, the collectively designed modules are fully adapted to a union’s administrative operations. It’s therefore a custom solution that reflects the union’s specific needs and activities.

Unions can benefit from many other advantages by investing in custom software. Here’s a short list:

  • Significant efficiency gains in terms of time, follow-up, and communication. It promotes collaboration and peer support while helping to automate tasks and reminders throughout the union.
  • Dramatically improved membership service quality.
  • Data security monitoring. Technologies are carefully selected through the expertise of a digital partner and thorough enforcement of security protocols.
  • Ownership of customized software: an added value for unions. They have total control over the software, allowing for modifications and upgrades.
  • Scalable and adaptable: custom software adapts to your organization as it changes or grows over time. Unions with new collective bargaining agreements can add processes. The ability to adapt is a real asset. They can also gradually add new features according to their budget.
  • Integration with your existing systems: custom software solutions can be integrated with your existing technology without compatibility issues.
  • Cost savings on recurring monthly or annual licensing fees: this solution offers significant long-term savings.

Accomplish all of your union’s tasks in just a few clicks

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a custom software package:

  • High start-up costs: although the ROI is better in the long run, the money invested must first be recovered. Early on, you’ll see improvements in the productivity of your management staff and the quality of your membership services, as well as a faster payback on your initial development costs.
  • Longer implementation time: the analysis, listening and needs assessment phases must be taken into account. It’s important to propose a solid structure at the start of the project in order to implement a stable and efficient solution that supports the union’s future operations.
  • Difficult to test before investing: by definition, a custom software solution must be built; it doesn’t exist yet. It’s therefore crucial to choose a trusted partner. Customer opinions and testimonials, expertise in the union environment, and referrals from other unions can help in the decision-making process. However, it’s possible to explore the possibilities through a demonstration.

Every union has to deal with its own sets of circumstances, budget, and constraints. The choice between commercial and custom software depends on several important factors. Our experts at Uzinakod will be happy to assist and advise you. They’re committed to asking the right questions, reviewing your priorities, responding to short-term needs, and considering your long-term vision.

Uzinakod’s expertise in the union sector

At Uzinakod, we’ve developed a strong expertise in the union sector over the course of many years. Specialized in the development of custom software, we believe in innovation and in the importance of a human approach. Some unions have already placed their trust in us, opting for unique software that reflects the way their organization operates. For example, the Syndicat des Cols bleus regroupés de Montréal specifically requested an insurance module tailored to their needs.

We leverage our business knowledge and technical expertise to design and implement high-quality, reliable, scalable, easy-to-use and cost-effective solutions, providing our clients with full support in a collaborative environment. Each software was fully designed and developed in Quebec by our permanent employees! We gently press our clients in order to identify their true needs and build the best value-added solution possible. Tell us about your next challenge!

CUPE-Quebec Convention Logo

Proud partners of the 33rd CUPE-Quebec Convention

From May 16 to 18, 2023, our experts will be at the Quebec City Convention Centre as part of the CUPE-Quebec Convention to present the advantages of a customized union management platform and provide you with valuable expert advice. Come and meet us at booth 10 in room 200AB.

*According to Statistics Canada based on the Labour Force Survey (LFS). 2021.

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