California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) manages California’s water resources and drinking water, balancing the needs of industry, the public and the environment. Its 2400-odd employees recorded their hours daily on paper, requiring over a dozen staff members to re-enter timesheet data manually into an external system in electronic format. Archiving requirements – seven years of all records – were overwhelming as well. Human errors and aggressive deadlines for data entry made the process even more challenging.
After extensive business analysis, Database Republic designed and implemented a BPM system that validates user input based on custom business rules, enables role-based timesheet approval and prepares file uploads directly into the State Controller’s system, radically improving accuracy and lowering costs.
Database Republic transformed SWRCB time tracking by:
1) Allowing users to enter hours at any time during the month, validating their input against the state calendar, absence and overtime rules and billable program cost accounts;
2) Creating a consistent approval workflow that allows supervisors and organization liaisons to review, approve and validate timesheet entries;
3) Enabling HR and Accounting to review timesheets based on custom review rules; 4) Automatically generating upload files to interface with the State Controller’s Office system;
5) Allowing the tracking of relevant employee data in the HR database 6) Permitting timesheet printing to satisfy legal requirements if timesheet data is contested
• Reduced data-entry staff from approximately 14 to one person
• Saved on purchase and archiving costs (7 years!) of paper time sheets
• Error-free data capture avoided human calculation error
• Complete process transparency allows for easy adjustments and avoids lost timesheets
• Reduces review time since computer-based rules have already been applied. The system eliminates inadvertently entering time on weekends or holidays.
• Streamlines effective and on-time information reporting
• Allows HR and Budgeting staff to see staffing levels in real-time • Easy reconciles actual employee hours to budgeted hours
To satisfy the licensing requirements of 300+ environmental, recreational, safety, and security policies and procedures, DWR needs to respond to a variety of FERC inquiries and requests each of which may contain multiple line items that needs to addressed, tracked and responded to. This system presented formidable logistical challenges since line items need to be addressed by different parts of the DWR organization and may require different completion dates. In addition the line item correspondence approval process differs depending the line item type and relevant internal departments. The original adhoc system using a sophisticated system of hard copy folders and dedicated staff each organizational unit. The system was prone to expensive errors and started to fail as the volume of communication continued to increase.
Database Republic helped DWR to document and analyze the different ways they handled requests and inquiries and helped them find the most efficient way to keep track of the correspondence. The solution addresses:
• Recording incoming correspondence, parsing it into line items and assigning a responsible person for each line item
• Tracking line items and making their status transparent to the organization through comprehensive real-time reports.
• Collaboratively creating appropriate responses to FERC which take into account taking account the organizational chain of command and the type of line item being addressed
• Custom workflow to handle incoming correspondence, line item progress and outgoing correspondence.
• Ability to chain correspondence
• Ability to track lifecycle of line items
• Real-time reports
• Ability to work collaboratively on the same document
• Tailor-made task lists ensured so that appropriate tasks are sent to the right people. Any can see clearly see what they need to do at any given moment.
• If the workflow changes as the result of organizational restructuring or evolving business requirements the system can be reconfigured without programming.
• Chaining correspondence into “conversations” allows users to understand the larger context of any individual letter.
• For any correspondence users can now reconstruct all prior communications among all parties Tracking line items allows users and management to stay on top of their commitments to FERC and to respond to status updates request with precision and integrity.
• Reports provide visibility into the work being done, allow timely corrective actions, improve resource allocation and facilitate collaboration.
• Different parts of the organization can now contribute to outgoing correspondence in accordance to their respective competencies and specialized knowledge.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) provides a universal medical language system (UMLS) to 2,500 licensees, and processes 50 new license applications each month. When Database Republic was hired, NLM was processing applications over the phone and via email, its staff was making minimal use of existing technologies, and a manual process limited both staff and customers. Response time to customer requests was slow, application processing was error prone, and tracking was done in primitive fashion through a Microsoft Access database. Only one staff member at a time could use the database.
Database Republic vastly improved NLM’s application processing speed and accuracy by (1) creating a self-service application to interface with BizFlow, (2) developing a BizFlow-based licensing approval process, (3) converting the existing Microsoft Access database and integrating it with a back-end Oracle system, and (4) designing user-friendly licensing and approval forms with BizFlow forms designer. The result is a web-enabled licensing and approval process that is five to six times faster than the previous manual process. The Inflow solutions implemented by Database Republic provide customers with quick response times and give NLM staff full processing and tracking control of the licensing system. Multiple users can update the database, notifications to customers are automatic, and auditing is efficient and reliable. With the help of Database Republic, NLM is now maximizing its technology resources and preparing for future expansion.
• Fully automated licensing approval process
• Web-based self-service application
• Online BizFlow forms
• Oracle database integration
• Expansion of the number of licensing requests and applications
• Enforced customer acceptance of future changes to licensing agreements
• Integration of new information into the database and renewal process
• Faster response time
• More intuitive application process
• Error-free data capture
• Automated tracking and auditing
• Multiple system access by customers and staff
The School Employees Credit Union of Washington (SECUWA) wanted to offer its 65,000 members the ability to get VISA card approval within four hours, and to be the first credit union to do so. To achieve this, Database Republic needed to redesign SECUWA’s application process and then customize BizFlow to (1) integrate with a legacy financial system, (2) link to a third-party source for nationwide credit history data, and (3) replace a homegrown “decline letter” mechanism. The goal was to give SECUWA an automated, faster, more accurate, and more trackable application system.
Database Republic streamlined the application process and used Wordforms to auto-generate approval and decline letters. BizFlow proved to be highly adaptable to business processing needs, although initially complete integration was not possible due to SECUWA’s security strategy. Our collaborative focus with SECUWA led them to rethink those strategies. The solution we eventually implemented provide elegant, third-party technology that satisfied SECUWA’S security requirements and allowed tight integration between the two systems.
• Automated VISA application processing
• Automated credit committee voting process with counter-offer capability
• Integration with document management system • Integration with MS SQL Server database
• Pivot-reporting (process metrics) and performance-measurement reporting capabilities
• Faster, more accurate processing plus automated tracking
• Direct access to core financial data
• Up-to-the-minute reporting accuracy, with unlimited flexibility
• Streamlined communication and decision-making between committee members
• Automated generation and archiving of decline letters
• BizFlow automation of other business areas (loan documents and mortgage applications)
• Acquisition of more third-party systems to integrate with BizFlow