Case Study: Document Imaging and Business Process Management - A Partnership Built for Success

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This presentation is a case study on how a self- administered, self-insured non-profit was able to solve an archaic paperwork document problem by placing the Fund’s workflow under the control of BPM software and replacing paper folders with electronic folders and digital images of member correspondence and other documents. Smith discusses why the Fund turned to a BPM solution and how an imaging and retrieval system was integrated into its processes. Smith offered insights into the benefits the Fund experienced since implementation. Some of the benefits include:

  • Working in a close-to-paperless environment
  • Real-time progress reporting
  • Ability to give company-wide access to files as they are in process and store those files indefinitely
  • Ability to measure how effective a process is based on the amount of time it takes from the beginning to the end of the process.

DeShoran Smith has been the Manager of Systems Integrations at the 1199/SEIU National Benefit Fund for the last four years and is a Comptia certified Document Imaging Architect. Smith’s main responsibility is developing Imaging and Workflow applications throughout the organization.

Smith had to address an ongoing need of his organization to create a better way to find and catalog the information needed on a day-to-day basis. Smith said it all started with a VIP needing to find some important pension information and not being able to locate it. 1199 National Benefit Fund has 1400 employees with about 30 people in IT.

Smith found to his surprise as he began to unravel the processes that the system was archaic with much information still on paper kept in manila folders. Documents had a habit of going missing from folders. When a staffer said he did something, you just had to take their word that they did it.

The project goals were to store images of all related documentation, to develop workflow and to set the rules for those documents to insure real-time reporting. The goal was to find any document on demand and be able to see where it was within the process at any time.

The determination of roles were as follows:

  • Calculation - pension amount
  • Recalculation - pensions adjusted
  • Quality control
  • Quality Assurance
  • Clerks
  • Supervisors
  • Managers

This gave insight into the workflow and everyone's role in the processes. When they got to the stage of mapping the above processes, they could begin to see what kind of BPM solution they needed. The criteria for the BPM software were:

  • Must create the applications as fast as possible
  • Must be flexible, allowing importing forms if needed
  • Must be open architecture that would allow integration with the imaging system
  • Must not have a large IT overhead
  • Must be cost-effective allowing good ROI in a timely manner

The overall goal was to create better value for the fund members. Metastorm was chosen as the application provider because everything about their application seemed to be a good fit with what was needed. The documents are read from the imaging system and the workflow is created by the Metastorm application. The exact process previously mapped by hand was reproduced in E-Work. Smith said it has the capability to map any process you can think of. He related that not having a birth certificate in a pension application, for example, causes a 45-day hold. The Metastorm application automatically holds the document for that period of time, then sends it to the person who needs it. Also anything entered into the system can be made into a report giving real-time transparency.

Smith said that the BPM solution they have has given them the ability to track information in a way they never have before.1199 National has found that it is a great business tool and has also been a boon for customer service, giving much more value to the membership.

DeShoran Smith recently spoke on this topic at BrainStorm’s Business Process Management Conference in New York. For more information on this conference, visit

To hear the archived audio file of this presentation, visit:

Jon HuntressSpecial Events Correspondent


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