A Tale of Two Grandfathers: Why Lewis-Price Turned to Deltek to Better Their Business

Posted by Deltek on July 11, 2019

Lewis Price Deltek Customer

Summary: Ken Coleman – Founder, president and CEO of Virginia staffing agency Lewis-Price & Associates, Inc., knew he needed to make a change. Searching for a technology partner with vast industry and technical expertise to better his business was on his agenda. Learn how Deltek Costpoint met his ERP needs, and positioned Lewis-Price for success.

A small business owner summons the wisdom of his elders when it comes to making a change for the better.

It’s a common business conundrum: stick to the status quo or strive for growth by embracing a new way of working. When it comes to making this type of decision, life lessons often play a powerful role. Ken Coleman – founder, president and CEO of Virginia staffing agency Lewis-Price & Associates, Inc. – can certainly attest to that. His company was poised for growth but needed a new technology solution to optimize procedures and scale the business. Instead of resisting change, Coleman drew upon the advice of two influential mentors and did what he needed to do.

Lewis-Price is a career development company that staffs diverse, engaged team members in IT, cybersecurity, program management, administrative support and other high-demand areas as well as professional development training throughout the country. Their innovative and comprehensive work plans set them apart from other staffing companies. With 15 years of experience in career development services and a unique blend of professionalism, passion and dedication, they offer their clients optimized strategies to increase the efficiency of their internal and external operational activities.

Family Tradition

The story of the company is rooted in the examples of Coleman’s grandfathers – Theodore E. Lewis, Sr. and Walter Penn Price – two great men who led their lives with integrity and intention. These ideals are ingrained into the company’s culture and continue to inspire the staff each and every day. 

Theodore Lewis, known as “Pop,” was born into a segregated America and survived the Great Depression. Despite challenging life circumstances, he rose above the obstacles and stood out, all the while staying true to his values. He believed that a virtuous life would lead to the best outcome, and he was courageous in speaking his mind. He did not shy away from the hard truth, and he shared his convictions in a manner that others could hear and understand. Steady, honest and driven, Pop was a role model for all those around him.

Just like Lewis, Walter Penn Price (known as “P.P.”) was born in the early 1900s, worked for the City of Alexandria, Virginia, and believed in honesty and integrity. While Pop was known as an even-tempered man, P.P. was known for communicating with bold resolve. He addressed difficult issues with a lion’s heart, and his fierceness served as an inspiration. He worked hard to provide for his family, and he relied on his ability to speak his mind with honest intent, never disenfranchising others. He taught others how to keep a fighting spirit when the going gets tough, and this lesson became especially valuable for Coleman in the face of a particularly challenging business decision.

Supported by this solid foundation of professional excellence and inspirational heritage, Lewis-Price was well-positioned for growth and success. But, in order to achieve that future, the company needed a technology partner with vast industry and technical expertise to provide superior reporting, a reliable PO process, revenue recognition formulas, invoicing formats and the ability to manage subcontractors. Unanet, the ERP solution Lewis-Price was using, was lacking in these areas, which had a serious impact on the business, causing frustrations and impeding growth.

Bettering The Business

Coleman drew upon his accounting background in an attempt to troubleshoot and compensate for the weaknesses in the system, but it became clear that the demands on his time, the endless workarounds and the problematic calculations and reporting were jeopardizing the business. Coleman recalled, “I kept thinking, what would my grandfathers do?” The answer to that question motivated him to make a switch. 

Within a few months of examining alternatives, Coleman realized the only way for Lewis-Price to become the company he sought to create – one that represented the legacy and values that were instilled in him by his grandfathers – was to make a change… and better his business. “I determined that Deltek was exactly what we needed. I can trust the calculations. The reporting is fantastic. I can manage subcontractors. On top of that, I was especially impressed with the industry and technical knowledge of Deltek’s consultants. While I could have stayed the course with our previous solution and accepted the negative impact, that approach was neither scalable nor sustainable. So, I intentionally changed course, and I’m glad I did. It was the right decision to move to Deltek Costpoint,” Coleman said.


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About Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman is the founder, president and CEO of Lewis-Price & Associates, Inc., a staffing company headquartered in McLean, VA specializing in placing top professionals nationwide in the areas of information technology, professional development training, administrative support and other high-demand positions. 

Ken has over 25 years of progressive experience working within the finance and accounting and business areas focused within government contracting. As a corporate leader, Ken has managed all functional operational and back-office areas of business.