Case Study: Minnesota Continuing Legal Education

Minnesota Continuing Legal Education (CLE) is a not-for-profit, self-sustaining division of the Minnesota State Bar Association that provides continuing education for all Minnesota lawyers by developing a comprehensive variety of services including seminars and seminar materials, books and their supplements, periodical services and indexes, plus a complete videotape library.

Minnesota CLE operates out of administrative offices in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and a conference facility in downtown Minneapolis, which is the production site for the majority of more than 500 educational opportunities offered annually. These programs consist of live seminars, videotaped presentations, and skills training courses covering a wide variety of topics.

Due to the unique nature of their business, it is important that their systems facilitate the easy promotion of their products and services, tracking of their customers’ education credit hours, and management of inventories.

The Need to Manage Information

Minnesota CLE’s previous system was Solomon; all of their line-of-business transactions were entered on an IBM System/36—AS/400. Their accounting and business applications were running on two separate systems and required the accounting office to download System 36 data to Solomon weekly. In addition, their previous system did not address inventory control. This configuration made operations extremely inefficient and created significant challenges for the company overall.

Business Solution

Minnesota CLE determined that Microsoft Dynamics GP offered the most robust scalable solution for their needs. The system includes Account Level Security, Bank Reconciliation, Bill of Materials, Dynamics Modifier, eCommerce, eRequisition, eView, Explorer, FRx, General Ledger, Integration Manager, Intercompany Processing, Inventory Control, Multidimensional Analysis, National Accounts, Payables Management, Purchase Order Processing, Receivables Management, Sales Order Processing with Advanced

Invoicing, Seagate Crystal Reports, and System Manager. Customizations were implemented that allow them to sell their seminars and publication products, track their customers’ education credit hours, and manage their inventories.

The Results

Microsoft Dynamics GP enabled them to completely integrate their accounting and business applications. In addition, switching to a client/server accounting significantly reduced errors and the time spent on downloads. All of their reporting data is accurate and timely.  It allows them to easily generate reports in whatever format they wish and completely solved their inventory issues. The company-wide access to information allows them to make better decisions and has generated cost savings in many areas of the business.

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