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Manke Lumber Company


Optimum HRIS Advocate:

Traci Responte, Payroll Manager

In business for over 50 years, Manke Lumber is a family owned organization with ties to virtually every aspect of the wood products industry. From the forest to retailers, to residential and commercial projects, Manke Lumber offers a variety of quality services and industry leading wood and lumber products.

Manke Lumber has been a valued customer of Hagel & Company since first selecting the Sage Abra HR and Payroll system in 1998. That system worked well for many years, but the system became dated and therefore both Hagel and their customers needed to look for a new, innovative and modern solution. For Manke specifically, the old system was not performing efficiently and areas as critical as their direct deposit ACH payroll file were not running correctly. This was a major problem. Traci and her teammates at Manke Lumber also discovered issues with the old Sage system staying compliant with new federal requirements and they were not confident that Sage would be improving the software anytime soon. Not only were they frustrated with Sage’s technical support, but they now needed to utilize multiple third party vendors for critical services including taxes and ACA reporting. It was time to find the new solution that they could rely on for the next two decades.


Search for a Solution:

Manke Lumber and Hagel & Company have had an excellent relationship for many years and Traci has complete confidence in Hagel & Company, as well as their Senior Implementation and Training Consultant, Jeff Moan. As soon as Traci realized they needed to look for a new solution, she contacted Jeff right away for his recommendation. Jeff knew that Hagel & Company’s Optimum HRIS would be the perfect fit for Manke Lumber. Traci needed a system with workhorse capabilities to keep up with her large weekly payrolls and Jeff was confident that Optimum HRIS would deliver.

In the first Optimum HRIS demonstration, Traci noted that Optimum was very different. She found it to be much more user friendly than her current system. Initially it was almost overwhelming how much additional functionality she would have, but she quickly grasped how Optimum would save her time and energy. She loved the clean layout of the Windows design and in a relatively short time, Manke Lumber decided to move forward with Optimum HRIS.

The Implementation Process:

The implementation from Sage Abra to Optimum went extremely easily in part because Hagel & Company has developed multiple custom reports and tools designed specifically for extracting Abra data. Another hallmark of Optimum is how easily one can import and export to and from it as needed. Traci found that the implementation went very smoothly and was very appreciative of Jeff’s attentive assistance and knowledge throughout the process. She states, “Jeff is incredible to work with. He is so nice, patient and knowledgeable. He has a deep understanding of technology but explains things so well to someone who may not have a computer background.”

Results and Benefits:

Manke Lumber has now been live on their Optimum HRIS for over two years and Traci expresses that they absolutely love the system. She says it is now proven that Optimum handles her weekly payroll “way better than Abra did.” It is a very stable, SQL-based single database system. Manke Lumber successfully supports the Optimum system in house without even having a dedicated IT person on staff.  

Optimum Payroll provides numerous standard reports with a wide variety of sort and selection options to fulfill managerial, compliance, and strategic planning needs. Traci enjoys utilizing these reports quite often, as well as a 401K report that was easily custom written by Jeff. Traci is pleased that the report capability is so strong and exclaims, “you can get anything you want out of reports.”

As part of ongoing customer support, Optimum HRIS sends frequent updates and is always in front of legislative changes. Unlike before, Traci now feels confident that her reporting will be accurate and she will always have the information she needs from Optimum. 

Manke Lumber also appreciates how all-inclusive the Optimum HRIS payroll system remains throughout their ACA reporting, tracking, and tax filing.  In fact, Traci often receives solicitations from companies that specialize in providing outsourced ACA reporting, but Optimum is already able to provide that valued information. She indicates these consultants are always surprised that she has a payroll system that includes ACA reporting at no extra cost.

Optimum HRIS has proven to be a great value for Manke Lumber and the Manke team is confident they have selected the system that will support their success and growth for many years to come.

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