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How LiUNA Turned Their O&M Budget into Their Digital Transformation Budget with Appian

Andrew DeSoiza, Director, Public Sector Marketing
November 16, 2021

Have you ever thought about how your government organization can harness the power of digital and automation to save time and effort?

On Thursday, October 21st, IT leaders from national and international labor unions gathered virtually to learn about the digital transformation recently executed by the Laborers' International Union of North America (LiUNA). Hosted by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of International Unions, this event was an opportunity for key LiUNA partners—Groundswell Consulting Group, Teknion, Cherry Baekert, and Appian—to share how they helped further the organization’s modernization goals.

LiUNA was hampered by a multitude of time-consuming and complex processes, which were slowing down operations, driving opportunity costs upward, and stifling innovation projects. LiUNA CIO, Matt Richard, was faced with a challenge—the custom applications they used to process membership per capita payments at a regular cadence were working, but managing the data and adding or closing out submissions often took weeks, sometimes months. And LiUNA has a highly complex digital infrastructure, considering its over 500,000 members and the number of labor unions it works with every day. Optimizing legacy operations while maintaining security and trust, and doing so at scale, would be quite the challenge.  

Nevertheless, driven to transition from their legacy applications that required manual customization to a modern and dynamic infrastructure that would save time and streamline data, LiUNA turned to the Appian Low-Code Platform.

“We ultimately chose Appian as our modern platform because of its flexibility, allowing us to build all membership-based applications and process all of the data about our members in one place.”

Working with Groundswell Consulting Group and Appian, Matt was able to streamline their data collection process by digitizing previously handwritten and scanned documents into a clean, easy-to-use mobile interface on the Appian Low-Code Platform. LiUNA’s new applications  change how data gets submitted and gives them access to data in real time, shortening some of their processing membership life cycles to as little as 1–2 days. More importantly, the new applications put their IT team in control. They are now able to derive valuable insights from their data, enabling them to act and react in a timely manner. These capabilities simplify pass off to communications and strategy teams, allowing more time to focus on delivering an enhanced experience for their members.

As part of this discussion, Cherry Baekert and Teknion, two companies that also played vital roles in accelerating LiUNA’s digital transformation, shared their points of view on how strategic IT decisions impact organizations for years to come. Constant optimization emerged as a theme from this discussion, with a focus on how to become future-proof—and in order to become “future-proof,” organizations must constantly look to identify, design, and optimize internal applications and processes. Both companies agreed that striving for continuous optimization paves the way for achieving new efficiencies and serving union members in the best way possible.

What does the future look like for LiUNA? They are excited to take advantage of the capabilities that continue to be released as part of the Appian platform, with the ultimate goal of continuing to improve their members’ experiences. Additionally, they are eager to continue to optimize and digitize internal processes, moving away from paper-based processes entirely.

LiUNA’s digital transformation was made possible by a combination of best-in-class technology and forward-thinking partners. The organization now has a single modern platform to run mission-critical business processes while still taking advantage of existing systems—they essentially turned their O&M budget into their digital transformation budget. 

To get started on your government organization’s digital transformation journey, please visit