Lakeside Ranch, LLLP

Lakeside Ranch, LLLP, is a Limited Liability Limited Partnership in the State of Arkansas with three areas of business: the design, programming, and implementation of computer systems for various industries; a cattle ranch on the Strawberry River near Evening Shade, Arkansas; and real estate development.

Lakeside was the successor to Dougherty & Associates, a proprietorship owned by David M. Dougherty in 1982 to market computers by various manufacturers and software of his own development. In 1984 the Harris-Eaton Corporation was formed to meet rapidly expanding business demands, and in 1985 Harris-Eaton became an Applied Digital Data Systems dealer. The key ingredient was that all systems were written utilizing the Pick Post-Relational Database Management System and strict programming standards were enforced to make the systems easily customized and maintainable. Harris-Eaton grew rapidly and had produced systems for over two dozen industries by the time the company was sold in 1989. Mr. Dougherty retained ownership of the software he had developed, and reverted back to the D&A proprietorship to continue developing and selling computer systems. By 2005 the list of available systems included:

Accounts Payable
Advertising Agency Management
Automated Report Generator
City Management
Convenience Store Inventory Control
Convenience Store Sales
Custom Screen Management
CPA Time Accounting
Distribution Sales
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
Fixed Asset Accounting
Fuel Management
Judicial Court Scheduling
Internal E-Mail
Inventory Control
Law Office Matter Management
LTL Freight Billing
Payroll (all 50 states)
Private Industry Council Management
Shop Costing
Safety Management
Truck & Automotive Rentals
Trucking Claims Management
Trucking Intermodal Settlements
Public & Private Utility Billing
Vehicle Leasing
Warehouse Control w/ Bar Codes
Workers Compensation

Accounts Receivable
Automated Freight Rating
Cartage Billing & Rail Settlements
Collection Agency Operations
Convenience Store Management
County Treasurer/Collector
CPA Bookkeeping
Data Base Management Utilities
Electrical Contracting
Employee Leasing
Fuel Dispensing and Accounting
Fuel Tax Accounting
General Ledger (multi-company)
Human Resources Management
Intermodal Operations
Law Office Time Accounting
Land Development & Sales
Mail Handling w/Zone Skipping
Personnel Management
Sales Management
Time Clocks, Time & Attendance
Truck Dispatching and Control
Trucking Driver Hours Control
Truckload Billing
Utilities – File Optimization & Archiving
Vehicle Maintenance
Wholesale Sales & Distribution
Write-up General Ledger

Utilizing advanced database technology, D&A's systems performed best in medium sized organizations with up to ten companies, three to fifty departments for financial reporting, and from twenty to several hundred work stations. A client like a fifty million dollar trucking company might use a dozen systems and sub-systems, all integrated with D&A's accounting and financial systems, and all serviced and maintained by D&A. These systems had all been developed by David M. Dougherty who produced over four million lines of computer code over twenty-five years.

All of the above systems were customized to some extent for each client and industry. Most were developed in a cooperative mode with a specific client. Dougherty believed strongly that a programmer could not be effective in writing a program or system until he was intimately acquainted with the business and the jobs performed by a company’s personnel. For example, to write the LTL Trucking industry software, Dougherty rode with drivers on their routes, and performed every job in the company from entering and rating freight bills to generating the multi-company and division general ledger and financial statements. That was the key to his writing software that became highly prized by his customers.

Of particular note was that all the software modules contained features usually not found in standard application packages offered by bigger companies. Accounts Payable, for example, allowed for an unlimited number of terms, something especially important for distribution and warehousing companies. It was impossible to pay an invoice twice, and trial balances were automatically generated every day. In Accounts Receivable, invoices could be combined onto transmittal summaries on a daily, weekly, monthly, or on demand basis, and payments could be applied to invoices, transmittal summaries, or on account if the customer was on a balance forward basis instead of open item. Posting to General Ledger was made through journal pages generated in Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Sales, and Payroll, as well as general journal pages in General Ledger. The GL worked well for companies from one employee to thousands. General Ledger also featured accounting and the generation of statements by plant or location, divisions, groups of divisions, companies, and consolidated statements. Dougherty claimed, not incorrectly, that few, if any, software packages offered more features than his.

One of the strongest parts of D&A software was its Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) module. It supported all ANSI standards for transportation companies, and SHIP.DAT, and could easily furnish any non-standard data elements requested by shippers. On one occasion, the ease of use became embarrassing. A multi-billion dollar shipper wanted to set up a D&A client (gross sales about 60 million) to automatically transmit freight bills daily to the shipper on a highly customized standard. In a high-level meeting with a delegation from the shipper, Dougherty was asked how long it would take. The answer was “maybe an hour,” and when the shipper’s representative posed the same question to his EDI manager, the answer was “six weeks.” Dougherty then offered to write the software for the shipper’s side, and before the meeting was concluded, furnished all the necessary software to the shipper’s team. The shipper was shocked: everyone in his delegation had assumed Dougherty had been fabricating, particularly when they saw the small AT&T server sitting all by itself in the freight company’s computer room without any data processing manager or staff. They had expected to see a large IBM AS-400 that was so common in trucking companies, and a staff of at least 30 professionals.

That illustrated the main drawbacks to D&A systems: they were not sufficiently pricy to make in-house information technology (IT) professionals happy, and they also eliminated the need for highly-paid in-house IT personnel. In fact, most of D&A’s clients possessed no IT personnel at all except for someone to look after the equipment in the computer network and a clerk to generate custom reports on request by department managers.

By 2003, Dougherty had begun to limit his programming of new systems and applications, and was seriously considering retiring. The D&A land development and sales system for the selling and financial handling of large tracts broken up into many small lots had introduced Dougherty to the land development business. Originally developed in 1984 for Harlan J. O'Leary in El Paso, this system was instrumental in making O’Leary’s Sun City Incorporated a financial success. Following the purchase of a cattle ranch in Evening Shade, Arkansas, in December, 2000, Dougherty began looking at land development in Arkansas as a potential business to keep him active in his retirement. He had furnished computer systems to over 300 companies across the nation, about half of which had been in two vertical markets, convenience store chains and LTL trucking, but that was now moving into the past.

Dougherty found the local banking community a very welcome surprise with its emphasis on personalized banking services that were enjoyed in many parts of the United States before banks became extremely large, impersonal institutions. In fact, personal service is the hallmark of Northern Arkansas -- business is often still conducted on a handshake, and a businessman's word was his bond. Although cell phones, computers and services normally associated with large cities are found in abundance in Northern Arkansas, residents are apt to leave their keys in their cars and trucks, take time off for hunting and fishing, and spend more time outdoors than watching television. The culture is the traditional American apple pie and motherhood with few of the stresses found in large cities. Politically, the race for County Judge is often more important than the US Presidency.

Properties in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri were (and still are) unbelievable bargains when compared to similar properties in other states. From 2000 to 2006, however, Arkansas land prices moved up approximately 50%, but still remained far below comparable properties on the national market. Construction costs remained low during this period, with basic homes being built for $45 to $55 per square foot, intermediate residences from $55 to $75 per square foot, and executive homes from $65 to $90 per square foot.

For someone moving in from the East Coast where construction costs are over $125 per square foot with high additional costs such as impact fees and property taxes five times that in northern Arkansas, it is possible to upgrade one's property and life style and realize extra cash in the bargain. Skilled tradesmen are available well below big city rates; for example an accomplished carpenter can be retained for fifteen to thirty dollars an hour. An additional bonus is that tradesmen in Northern Arkansas are almost exclusively native-born American citizens whose only language is English.

The proprietorship was made into a Limited Liability Limited Partnership in 2003, with David M. Dougherty as General Partner and son David H. R. Dougherty as Partner. An offer was made on an 880 acre former campground tract soon afterwards, but that opportunity fell through during the "due diligence" period when it was discovered that access rights to the campground's lake could not be obtained. Meanwhile the programming and systems implementation continued unabated except that D&A now built its own computers for resale and began producing GUI- type rather than character-based systems on personal computer work stations.

In December, 2005, the River Ridge property came into view, and D&A purchased the remaining unsold River Ridge lots in February, 2006, for development and resale. David M. Dougherty concentrated on this project and real estate development, while David H. R. Dougherty assumed the management of the computer systems part of the business.

The River Ridge Subdivision, with its spectacular White River frontage lots and large off-river wooded tracts was the answer for many Americans looking to retire, have a second home in a rural or small town setting, or even operate a home or telephone oriented business which does not have to be located in a particular city or state. River Ridge offered easy living, modern conveniences, large lots, outstanding views and major river access for bargain prices.

In 2008, David H. R. Dougherty ceased his activity with D&A and took over the computer and software segment of the business as a sole proprietor in the Chicago area. The last new D&A computer system client was accepted in 2008, and the partnership went into strictly a maintenance mode. In 2015, D&A was dissolved, and a new partnership, Lakeside Ranch, LLLP, was created with relatively small holdings. Henceforth, David M. Dougherty, now in his middle seventies, concentrated on running the ranch and writing history books. Land development ceased, and the remaining speculation and developmental properties were put on the market through a real estate broker.