Remediating Process of an Environmental Services Company

Case Study

Overview

Our client, a 24/7 environmental and emergency response services provider with customers throughout the Eastern United States, had many manual processes slowing down the turnaround time for accounts receivable. With over 40 regional offices, specializing in emergency response and remediation, industrial, marine, and waste service, the company looked for a process automation solution that could improve efficiency and offer greater mobility.

The Problem

Keeping track of equipment and materials requisitions and employee timesheets using paper forms, while on the job site, often meant waiting for the right documentation to trickle into the office. Having paper forms also meant they would need to be keyed in by administrative members before moving through the processing cycle. The domino effect of this paperwork spilled into not being able to efficiently bill clients for their services.

Project managers also had no transparency of the jobs in progress or what to expect with unexpected equipment and material requests. Employees could make emergency purchases in the fields, without a PO number and without having anything approved.

The Solution

Using OnBase Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software, FileSolve provided the client with standardized, mobile forms processing. Paper daily roster forms and equipment and material request forms were digitized. FileSolve’s team also identified stages in the process that could be automated and streamlined.

For instance, previously, managers might have been notified in the middle of the night of a train derailment and needed to get up and log into a system to see the next job number on the project list and open a new file. By digitizing the process, the supervisors can now do everything on their mobile devices (without even getting out of bed at 3 a.m.).

FileSolve's AP/AR automation solution:

  • Offered timely invoicing
  • Reduced turnaround time for expense payment
  • Improved visibility into available materials and resources
  • Streamlined manual processes such as sorting, matching, and filing invoices

“With paper forms, there was no way of knowing if you have all your forms in. Or what if they’re dropped in the mud? You couldn’t know what physical form that paperwork was going to be in.”

— Michael Brown OnBase Engineer

The Outcome

The client no longer has to wait for hard copies of paper forms to get back to the office. With Unity Forms, supervisors and staff can fill out forms on a mobile tablet, anywhere. When they click submit, the document is sent directly to the main office, and the data entry step is already complete.

FileSolve also implemented data validation to further expedite processing time. Providing dropdown lists means names can’t be spelled wrong. Rules are also set to prevent forms from coming in with essential fields overlooked. Plus, there is no longer a need to reach back out to people in the field to interpret illegible writing.

What was once a three-week billing cycle has now been shortened to just days with our OnBase automation. Not only does this improve cash flow, but it also helps improve vendor relationships. It also brings cost savings as the client no longer incurs late fees and can take advantage of early payment discounts.

As far as equipment and materials, there is now an online database. Previously, the client needed to update forms in Excel and print however many copies to take with them to a job site. Now, the company can save time and money by simply updating the database without having to reprint anything.

With projects automated from the outset, there is now greater transparency throughout. A project manager can view dashboard reports and get real- time visibility into what materials, equipment, and employees are being used. When an emergency purchase is made the cost is associated with a PO immediately and goes into an approval queue right away — instead of eventually getting submitted.

Upon seeing the success with these initial solutions, the client expanded the ECM’s mission. Now employees clock in and out for the day and for breaks using mobile forms too. Yet another improvement of process for our client thanks to the point-and-click simplicity of the solutions we offer with OnBase.

FileSolve’s AP/AR automation solution:

  • Offered timely invoicing
  • Reduced turnaround time for expense payment
  • Improved visibility into available materials and resources
  • Streamlined manual processes such as sorting, matching, and filing invoices