In 1999, my company saw tremendous potential to increase efficiency and responsiveness by automating paper-intensive work processes and eliminating the need to continually house and reference paper documents. As a result, we became an early user of docSTAR document management systems.
Initially, both our agency management software (AMS) and document management system were accessible only through their own separate user interfaces. To perform job functions such as customer service, we had to frequently toggle back-and-forth between the systems. We would check the client name and policy number in the agency management system, and then use this information to locate related documents in docSTAR. Over a typical workday, this process could be repeated many times, diminishing productivity.
Further, we could not leverage customer data seamlessly across our entire business, creating another barrier to maximizing operational efficiency.
To further automate our work processes and make customer data more readily available across all activities, we decided to enhance the capabilities of our AMS and docSTAR by implementing the following software elements:
Deployed in tandem, these optional modules enable an automated work process that starts with a request to scan a document. Instead of handwriting instructions, we print a cover sheet from our AMS that includes barcodes containing key data from the software’s client, policy, loss, or activity log screens. In a single operation, docSTAR scans this cover sheet along with the related document, automatically reads data from the barcodes, and stores this information with the document, while ensuring an accurate link to the correct client, policy, claim, and/or memo. Filed documents are immediately accessible from the four screens in the AMS interface.
With the integrated AMS-docSTAR solution, we have achieved new efficiencies in our document-intensive work processes, while improving responsiveness in customer service by making all of our critical information available through a single work process. We no longer need to navigate between separate applications, reducing the amount of time needed for many tasks and improving workplace ergonomics by eliminating unnecessary mouse clicks and keystrokes.
But perhaps the biggest productivity improvement for us resulted from the fully automated document scanning process. To convert paper into electronic information, employees print cover sheets with all the critical information contained in barcodes, place them on top of the associated document and forward them for scanning. The agency’s filing clerk simply collects and stacks all the documents and quickly scans them in a single operation without extensive keyboard entry.
The work processes made possible through docSTAR integration significantly increased operational efficiency. Further, by creating a common way to collect and find both customer data and electronic documents, we have improved service by unlocking easier and faster access to its complete reservoir of critical information.