Bestwork Industries for the Blind
“Expertise, savvy and professionalism…”
With a staggering 70% unemployment rate for people who are blind or visually impaired, Bestwork Industries for the Blind is an independent nonprofit providing employment opportunities and empowering people through training and technology. What started out in 1981 as a small state contract workshop has evolved into a dynamic organization employing individuals in such fields as textile manufacturing, military apparel construction, paper converting, packing, warehouse and distribution, and commercial sewing, providing clients with impeccable standards of excellence.
“We are very much a nonprofit organization, but we are also very much a business,” says Belinda S. Moore, MSW, President & CEO, sitting in Bestwork’s cavernous production and distribution facility in Cherry Hill, N.J. In her 27 years of leading the organization she has witnessed significant growth in its size and complexity in providing socioeconomic and workforce development. As a result, she has come to rely on Your Part-Time Controller’s services on several key occasions.
Moore initially brought in YPTC to help a small finance department to better organize its processes. “They were recommended to us as a great company that could come in and help us with our accounting. We were quite satisfied with the results and then we didn’t need them for awhile,” she recalls.
But then Bestwork experienced two concurrent growth challenges. They were expanding the finance department and hiring a CFO. Simultaneously, they were transitioning into Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), a software and technology package that would integrate all facets of the organization’s finance, manufacturing, inventory, production, and other operations to guide better management decisions.
“We were making a really big leap,” she says, “and trying to do two big things at once. We decided we needed more expertise on our team to provide support to our staff and to work with our IT company.”
So YPTC was called upon again. Moore had doubts at first that YPTC had someone who could handle the job. “They said, ‘Yes, we can do it,’ and sure enough they did. They had someone with the expertise, savvy and professionalism to understand the complexity of integrating our systems and interfacing with our IT company to launch ERP.”
Moore was so impressed that other projects followed, including having YPTC serve as a temporary CFO. “It’s helpful to have someone in that critical position who not only understands accounting and finance and does them well, but who also provides leadership skills. That’s what we wanted, and that’s what we got.”
Moore also appreciates the depth of YPTC’s expertise. “They have so much experience and their client base is so diverse that nothing surprises them. They come in and say, ‘Don’t worry – we can help you.’
“I couldn’t be happier,” she adds, praising YPTC’s assistance, assessments and trainings that help her make good decisions for Bestwork’s future. “I would tell CEOs of other nonprofits that you always want to have a partner who understands what you need, what you do and who you can rely on.
“You could go to a temp agency, but Your Part-Time Controller works with you, addressing your fundamental concerns, empowering and strengthening your organization, and helping you go to the next level. Going forward, if I need extra help I will always reach out to them.”