Forty Years of Making a Difference: Where We’re Going (Part III)

In honor of our fortieth anniversary in 2019, we will be posting a series of posts from our founder, Jack Marston, Sr., reflecting on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we plan to go. These will be posted on the first three Wednesdays in February. Click to read about where we’ve been and where we are.


While it is important to look back and celebrate the past forty years and the many accomplishments our dedicated team has achieved, it is equally important to look ahead at what the future may hold.

Over the past forty years, we have laid a great foundation, and been a part of great things such as:

  1. Transitioning batch processing services to online/real time processing.
  2. Evolving as security measures expand, staying ahead of the curve.
  3. Broadening the scope of existing applications, as well as adding new ones to address the growing business needs of our clients.
  4. Focusing our expertise and knowledge on how to provide cutting-edge technology to the public health market.
  5. Introducing mobile products and support to our application line-up. We will follow the trends and find the best way to integrate them into our products.
  6. Generating growth within existing user environments.

We will continue to move forward, advancing with technology and the ever-changing public health market, so that we can better serve our clients. To do that, we will focus on the following tenets, using them to guide us as we grow and expand.

Maintain and build our partnerships with public health agencies

As we ease into the future, we must hold onto our core beliefs. We will continue to be dedicated partners with public health agencies and the communities they serve. We have striven to build, host, and maintain the best technology solutions for our clients and we are committed to continue that into the future.

Provide the best technological solutions for clients leveraging latest technologies and processes

The applications and services we provide will not change in that we will continue our mission to further expand and refine the solutions we support, as well as finding the best ways to integrate them with other applications and new technology.

We have three areas of focus that include:

  • Integration – What public health systems can be integrated to improve patient outcomes?
  • Big Data – With all this data we need to continue to build, refine and expand our data warehousing capabilities.
  • New software and New Industries – Breaking into new public health and government programs to provide information systems suitable to their needs.

Enhance support services

We provide some of the best customer support in the industry. Many of our clients are on a first-name basis with our support personnel, and we’d like to continue fostering these relationships.

Further, we want to continue to build on all of our support services—from implementation to customer support—so that CDP will be recognized as the best support provider in government and public health software.

Enhance the client experience

We value our clients and strive to provide them the best support that we can.  As we navigate into the next chapter for CDP, this is a key focus area for us; building and continuing our strong support services.

Our company is non-existent without the valued partnerships and relationships we have built with our clients. We appreciate the collaboration we have had with our clients and will build upon this in the coming years.

As technology evolves and our product lines expand, it can be intimidating to get started and stay ahead of the curve. But we will be there for our clients every step of the way. Moving forward, we will maintain and build a more collaborative environment that will help them thrive in the world of technology. We are in the business of providing a high-quality product and results, and we will do what we need to do to ensure our customers are reaching their full potential with our products.

Maintain family-first culture

Internally, we have cultivated a family-like culture within CDP. This family-first culture is instrumental to our success and something we look to maintain and build upon as we continue to grow into the future.  CDP will continue to be a place where our team enjoys working.

It’s been an amazing forty years, and here’s to more. I’m proud of how far CDP has come and can’t wait to see just how far it will go.

Forty Years of Making a Difference: Where We Are (Part II)

In honor of our fortieth anniversary in 2019, we will be posting a series of posts from our founder, Jack Marston, Sr., reflecting on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we plan to go. These will be posted on the first three Wednesdays in February. Click here to read last week’s post about where we’ve been.


After all our success creating applications for the public health sector, we knew this is where we wanted to focus our efforts.

While spending time in these public health clinics, we saw that many of the same patients served in the local health departments were also mothers and children who were part of the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Recognizing this crossover of clientele, we began developing an online and real-time WIC system. This project included the provision of WIC food vouchers for the WIC participants.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the federal government and other states became interested in replacing the paper vouchers issued to WIC participants with a more automated process, similar to a credit card. Together with Kentucky, we worked to convert the state’s food voucher process to an electronic card processing system using an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card. This was the first online, real-time WIC EBT processing in the country. Kentucky was just the first of many WIC state agencies and tribal organizations to adopt WIC Direct, our EBT processing solution.

Building on what we started with Kentucky’s WIC system, we’ve also expanded to perform maintenance and enhancements services for two of the three State Agency Model (SAM) WIC MIS systems: SPIRIT and MPSC. These two systems are utilized by nearly 30 of the 90 WIC programs nationwide. Although we didn’t create the systems from the ground-up, we maintain the enhancements and software updates for these programs. A WIC MIS system is responsible for capturing data related to the WIC families visit including capturing demographic data, nutritional risk data as well as assigning and issuing food packages. The issued food packages ultimately get communicated to an EBT card and then WIC purchases can be made. Being heavily involved in the WIC EBT industry, it was a natural fit to begin providing WIC MIS services as well.

One of the advantages to having electronic systems, specifically for WIC transactions, is the wealth of data available. It’s possible to track prices and trends and a variety of other things. But that information can sometimes be hard to find.

That’s why we developed Data Direct, which is the data warehouse application we offer. This system provides an extremely powerful business intelligence and reporting tool to our clients. We provide our clients with pre-defined reports that can be displayed in a variety of ways, but our customers can also create ad hoc reports. We view data visualization as one of the next key steps in forward thinking for the ever-evolving WIC and public health industries. This tool is currently provided to all our WIC EBT clients, but we will be opening it up to include WIC MIS data, as well of that of other public health programs in the future.

Along these lines, we are currently partnered with ezEMRx to bring their electronic medical record (EMR) system into the same public health sector. A natural fit!

We are excited about where we’ve been and the things we learned while getting here, and how best we can use them for the next forty years. To learn about our future plans, see Forty Years of Making a Difference: Where We’re Going.

 

Forty Years of Making a Difference: Where We’ve Been (Part I)

In honor of our fortieth anniversary in 2019, we will be posting a series of posts from our founder, Jack Marston, Sr., reflecting on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we plan to go. These will be posted on the first three Wednesdays in February.


In recognizing the fortieth anniversary of Custom Data Processing, Inc. (CDP), it’s important to understand the world in which we lived in the 1970s.

Prior to creating CDP, I spent several years selling large mainframe computers. They were big, they were bulky, and they were expensive, which limited sales to only the larger organizations who could afford the space and money.

With that in mind, CDP was born with the goal to provide computer software services to smaller organizations at affordable prices (Software as a Service, or SaaS). We started out by purchasing resource time on computers at the larger firms I had developed a relationship with as their salesperson.

As the number of clients and applications we supported grew, we were able to purchase our own computer hardware to continue expanding our SaaS activity.

The initial product that we built was related to the home healthcare sector. The goal of the project was to create an application for clinical home healthcare services which included scheduling visits to patient homes, providing healthcare services to patients, and billing for each home health clinic.

The work we were doing on that project jumped significantly when we won a contract in the public healthcare sector of Kentucky. With the successful installation of our home healthcare services at this clinic, we had a swath of new customers in the government marketplace. It didn’t take long before the home healthcare application created by CDP was used in all of Kentucky’s public health clinics.

The director of environmental health services in Kentucky had observed the successful home healthcare application and decided to contract with CDP to develop an application to house all of the establishments in the state that were being inspected in an online and real-time environment, hosted on CDP’s computer system. This application scheduled and tracked inspection activity, performed billing tasks, and printed certification documents after inspections.

Finding a niche in public healthcare, we continued our growth by creating additional systems. After all, public health entities still have employees and bills to pay, as well as billing to control. The next application we created was a public health financial system that provided employee time tracking, payroll processing, accounts payable, billing, and receivables tracking. Like the other applications, it didn’t take long before these systems and services were in use at multiple user sites. In fact, all three of these systems are still utilized today.

It was a different world in the seventies and early eighties. It didn’t take long before we realized that this was where we needed to be. Just seven years after our inception, we added more to our portfolio that would set a course for the company’s mission to serve those in the public health sector. Find out next week in Forty Years of Making a Difference: Where We Are.

From the Desk of Human Resources: The Biggest Truth

It was a year ago that I started working at CDP—a year already? It’s been an amazing year, though.

Every Human Resources professional will agree that the most common question we’re asked about our career choice is, “Why do you work in HR?” For me, I picked HR because it’s a business function that allows me to practice some of the same values that my family instilled in me. Unlike many career paths, I get to be courageous, build meaningful and lasting relationships, coach future leaders, create opportunities for others, and cultivate a positive and ethical work environment.

In December 2017 I packed up my unconventional HR antics and parked them at CDP. I immediately felt an overwhelming amount of support from a team that is scattered across the country as CDP has employees in 16 different states. Reactions to that vary—some think, “wow,” while fellow HR people cringe because having employees in so many states represents another layer of challenges and complications.

Not long into this journey, I noticed an endless amount of opportunity. Not only was I excited about the chance to practice my values and create opportunities for others, I also love being instrumental in finding the right opportunities for others. I enjoy learning about someone’s passion and motivation, using that information to find them the right opportunities to grow.

Beyond the basic logistics behind why I love being in HR, I found a special place at CDP. Here, a business opportunity is more than just another business venture, we also use it as a chance to provide employees growth to unlock their true potential. After all, finding an employee the perfect opportunity to flourish is what makes Human Resources so worthwhile. I believe in the employees I work with, and they believe in what they get to do. At the end of the day, that fosters a feeling of support unlike any I’ve experienced.

This feeling of inclusion stems from CDP being a family-owned business, but most importantly, it stems from the belief that employees are family. That’s why we have such a low turnover rate—our employees are here for the long haul.

The other question I get about my job is what have I learned from my year at CDP? That’s simple. I am not alone. I have a support system of more than 130 extended family members and managers who echo my ideas and attribute them back to me. Starting a new job doesn’t always have to be scary. It wasn’t for me because I found an organization that shared my values. Finding a workplace that does that was a high point in my career and I look forward to what the next year will hold.

About the Author

Bonnie Lozada

Human Resources

Never met a doughnut or a PTO request she didn’t like.

Ask the CEO: Why is CDP’s focus on public health?

In the early 1980s, our founder, Jack Marston, recognized the lack of computing resources and systems in the public health agencies in Kentucky. He began building systems for these agencies to support their programs, including health inspections, clinic visits and services, and WIC. CDP established a presence in Frankfort, Kentucky by hiring key personnel, some of whom are still with the company. As these systems became recognized by other states for their valuable contribution to providing services, additional states contacted CDP.

As of 2018, CDP supports computer systems for more than 40 states and Indian Tribal Organizations. We are the leading provider of public health systems in the country. We are proud of our focus in this area; providing assistance to help the most vulnerable citizens in our communities.

About the Author

Stan Cochran

Stan Cochran

Chief Executive Officer

The guy who tells us what to do.