Customer success story: United States Coast Guard

success story

The time savings created by using Perceptive Content from Lexmark has dramatically reduced the United States Coast Guard’s (USCG) backlog of inquiries and number of people in the on-hold queue. Freedom from filing, looking for lost documents and delivering documents to different locations has also resulted in greater employee productivity.

The challenge

With more than 40,000 men and women on active duty and tens of thousands more retired and annuitant members, administrative functions such as military pay, retired and annuitant services and travel claims were slowed by the massive amounts of paperwork required for military records. USCG decided to implement a document management system to help alleviate the paper overload and provide better service to its members. Though one department was already scanning paper into large multipage PDF files and storing them on the network, the inability to index and organize documents made it difficult and time-consuming to find a specific document.

Having previously purchased a content management system that failed to get off the ground due to its complexity and poor customer service, USCG decided to replace it with a process and content management solution from Lexmark. Perceptive Content stood out for its ease of use and ability to quickly and easily integrate with USCG’s existing PeopleSoft and custom applications.

The solution

Seamless integration improves personnel management

Using patented LearnMode™ technology, Perceptive Content integrated with USCG’s PeopleSoft system and proprietary software in the military pay, retired and annuitant services, and travel claims divisions. Integration allows clerks to view a member’s complete military file directly from their record in PeopleSoft or other application, providing instant access to an entire personnel file from anywhere at any time.

In the USCG’s Topeka, Kansas office, two million documents dating back to the 1940s filled nine massive electronic, rotating file cabinets. The file cabinets, each standing 25 shelves tall and 15 feet wide, made the process of locating a member’s file frustrating and time-consuming. Documents were easily lost, files had to be shuffled around as they grew, and when the cabinets broke down there was no way to access the documents.

With this system it often took days to respond to members’ inquiries and retrieve the appropriate paperwork. Files were thrown back into the filing or scanning bin, often getting rescanned into the system as duplicates. With Perceptive Content, clerks simply pull up the records on their desktops directly from their business applications, saving time and providing quicker customer service.

The results

Cutting into backlog, removing customer service delays

“Perceptive Content has cut the time to service our customers from days to just a few minutes,” says Dan Rogers, information technology specialist at USCG. “Now we just ask for the claim number and the document pops right up, so we resolve issues while on the phone without having to call anyone back.”

Rogers adds that the backlog of inquiries and number of people in the on-hold queue has dropped considerably since implementation, partly due to the instant document access Perceptive Content gives the clerks.

More room, greater productivity

Perceptive Content provides a central repository for all documents, enabling simultaneous access for authorized users, regardless of their location, and eliminating delays caused by waiting for documents. Employees no longer waste time and supplies making multiple copies. Paper is now scarce in the offices, and eliminating file cabinets has freed up 800 square feet for expansion. Paper documents are scanned and quality checked as they arrive, allowing clerks to do their work without leaving their desks.

The travel claims division uses Perceptive Fax Agent to capture travel documents for instant processing. A barcode on incoming faxes tells the solution how to automatically index, link and route documents as they are received, eliminating the need to go to the fax machine, reroute misdirected faxes or scan paper. Freedom from the steps of filing, looking for documents and delivering documents to different locations has resulted in greater employee productivity.

“Perceptive Content saves an employee a lot of time, and if you compound that by 50 people, it comes to huge time savings,” Rogers says. The easy-to-use interface ensures Perceptive Content users can learn the new system with minimal training.

“We’ve made it pretty easy for the users,” Rogers continues. “They love that they don’t have to leave their desks to find what they need.”

Meet the United States Coast Guard

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has abroad and important role in homeland security, law enforcement, search and rescue, marine environmental pollution response, and the maintenance of river, intracoastal and offshore aids to navigation.

Official missions: 11

Staff: 42,000

Founded: 1790

Products in use: Perceptive Content

Integration: PeopleSoft