#OTTC14: Stomping the Beast of Inefficiency

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As OnBase by Hyland concluded the OnBase Training & Technology Conference (OTTC) today, the Beast of Inefficiency was nowhere to be found.

OnBase users had made a mockery all week of the brute that had once been a bugaboo in so many organizations. Dozens snapped selfies with cardboard likenesses of the eternal enemy of productivity.

Beast watchers speculated that the galoot had retreated from the celebration of process-improving victories at hundreds of organizations empowered with OnBase. Although it was rumored that armed with the power of the industry-leading enterprise content management (ECM) software, some users now found the once-frightening beast adorable and stowed him in their suitcases.

Champions from multiple industries – healthcare, higher education, banking, credit unions, insurance, manufacturing and government – regaled each other the past few days with tales of their triumphs in accounts payable, human resources, other back-office operations and their core business processes.

“For the front-line workers, it was a revolution,” said Elizabeth Hershey, vice president of delivery channel support at the DFCU Financial. “I’ve never run a project where people truly – truly – fell in love with the product.”

Just two years ago, the beast was lurking in the Michigan-based credit union. Workers were crushed by the burden of jumping between multiple systems. Printers fired off documents destined for shredders. Distracted branch workers were busy searching for information instead of pursuing their passion for focusing on member service.

Hershey and her team used OnBase to banish the beast from DFCU’s branches, eliminating 80 to 100 hours a week of menial tasks across the organization.

“We’re now focusing on more important things like mitigating risk and providing even better customer service,” she said. “There’s no comparison of what we had before and what we have with OnBase. Those beasts have been slayed.”

The beast, however, is as adaptable of a creature as Voldemort, whom attendees saw Tuesday night during a private party at Universal Studios.

“I have a six-year plan for battling all of our beasts,” she said. “We’re going to use scanning in the branches to cut $80,000 a year in courier costs.”

Her comments mirrored those of many at OTTC. In a survey of more than 100 attendees, three-quarters said that since implementing their initial solution they have expanded OnBase to other processes and departments. One-third said OnBase is now used across the entire enterprise. And the vast majority of people said that within the next year, they are confident they will vanquish the beast from yet another nook, cranny or corner of their organizations.

Just this year, the beast was hanging around California State University, Fresno, feeding off the time wasted by manually entering data and hopping between multiple applications. Analyst Programmer John Howell chased away that beast earlier this year after using OnBase to eliminate an entire legacy system replacing manual data entry with advanced optical character recognition (OCR) technology.

“They’ve loved it,” Howell said of the staff members he has helped. “It’s freed them up to do other things.”

Howell said he is able to support OnBase single-handedly while also managing other systems thanks to the software’s point-and-click configurability.

“I wouldn’t have the time or resources if I had to do all of this using custom code,” he said.

Admissions, financial aid and the accounts payable departments are all clamoring for Howell to eradicate their beasts next.

Kim Amrhien has been waging war on the beast since 1999 at Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indiana. After victories in vital records, OnBase has expanded to other departments, many of which aren’t even aware they are using OnBase because of the seamless integration with its line-of-business systems.

All these years later, Amrhien is still finding areas to battle the beast, and she was sure about which beast she will butcher soonest upon her return to the office.

“If I never have to look at another HTML form, I’ll be happy,” she said, confident that with OnBase she will prevail. “Unity Forms are exciting, simple and easy.”

Fulton Financial Services has used OnBase, supported by Hyland partner Fiserv Imaging, for six years. Since taming mortgage processing and other processes, Business System Administrator Christopher Snavely has continually looked for additional opportunities for improvement.

As inspiring as he found the more than 200 courses at OTTC, the most inspiring part of the experience was rubbing shoulders with people from other organizations.

“From my peers, I learned of additional ways and areas for improvement,” Snavely said. “I’m confident I can go back and attack the beast.”

We are too.

Gabriel Baird

Gabriel Baird has written more than 1,000 articles for news organizations including The Baltimore Sun, The Sacramento Bee and The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Many of his stories have focused on government documents, policies and procedures. He also has analyzed audience and demographic trends as a reporter and market researcher. Gabe plays on a rec-league kickball team called The Dirty Birds and believes it’s better to be thrown out taking an extra base than to play it safe

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