Pennsylvania Treasury Department

The Challenge

Although many think of the Pennsylvania Treasury as a virtual checkbook for most of the Commonwealth’s citizens, the organization does much more. It helps keep taxes low by investing taxpayer money and offers other financial resources like college savings programs.

One of the Treasury’s main responsibilities is to make sure eligible citizens get funds they are approved to receive. Even in times of high demand, these payments – like unemployment and other supplementary payments – must be processed quickly and efficiently. Additionally, because the commonwealth outsourced the processing to the Social Security Administration, some payments would cost more than $10 each. Processing more than 300,000 payments each month, expenses added up quickly. The Treasury went in search of a solution that would help transform their paper-based processes to electronic. Lengthy requests for information and requests for proposal processes lead the treasury to three product choices. In the end, though, there was one that stood out in all categories: Hyland’s enterprise information platform, OnBase.

The Solution

Working with IMR Limited, an authorized Hyland solution provider, the Treasury purchased OnBase and implemented solutions to drive three of its most important processes. Since installing OnBase, the Treasury has avoided hundreds of millions of dollars in costs across multiple processes.

With the help of OnBase, the Treasury has sped up processes across the organization and is responding to constituents faster. One of its most notable successes is the automation of the unemployment payment process. Even before the deluge of requests started pouring in during late 2008, the Treasury battled truckloads of paper managing this process. “The notion that we could manage the recent demand for unemployment checks without OnBase is inconceivable,” says Alpaugh.

In fact, despite the increase in demand, the Treasury needed little interaction with the process to ensure citizens receive their checks on time. Using OnBase Workflow, 99 percent of these transactions are completely electronic – beginning with the time a citizen files an application to the time they receive their check. Just as impressive, the Treasury enables citizens to have their payments issued via direct deposit or debit card. Less than one percent of citizens receive paper checks.

Even when Congress stopped and started the flow of unemployment benefits with its extensions, the Treasury was able to keep up. “Because of OnBase, we were ready to flip the switch to turn the payments back on,” says Alpaugh.

OnBase also improves another critical process for the Treasury by replacing the State Supplementary Payment (SSP) process. In terms of return on investment (ROI), OnBase achieved the Treasury’s ROI in less than eight hours with this process. Prior to 2005, the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) contracted with the Social Security Administration to administer SSP payments. However, this would have cost the Treasury more than $10 to process each payment. With more than 300,000 payments to send each month, this costs the department more than $30 million each year.

Handling the process itself and completely automating it with OnBase, the Commonwealth significantly reduced the cost for each transaction. “By automating the SSP process with OnBase, we realized a return on investment almost immediately,” says Alpaugh. “This means that DPW can use that money to fund other programs that serve our constituents.”

The Difference

Meets escalating unemployment claims demands: OnBase Workflow, 99 percent of transactions are completely electronic.

Brings processing in-house from federal government, reduces transaction costs: By automating their processes with OnBase, ROI was realized within eight hours.

Avoids $8 million costs every quarter, $30 million each year: By avoiding these costs, the Department can use this money to fund other important programs to better serve their constituents.

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