OnBase ECM Workflow

Source: KeyMark Inc.
OnBase Workflow is an electronic document routing system that enables users to process work more efficiently, faster, and more accurately than with traditional paper processing.

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Case Study: Clemson University

OnBase Workflow is an electronic document routing system that enables users to process work more efficiently, faster, and more accurately than with traditional paper processing. OnBase Workflow is beneficial whenever successive points of input or action are required in order to complete a task, process, or procedure. From processing applications to approving expense reports to managing remittance processing, workflow streamlines collaboration and accelerates the completion of critical business tasks. Additionally, OnBase Workflow can easily integrate with and provide the backbone to e-commerce solutions as well as be tied to organizations core ERP and CRM systems.

With OnBase Workflow, users or integrators define and configure document states, rules, actions, and lifecycles with a comfortable Windows interface. Upon configuration, workflow instantly routes documents through the business process as each increment of user or system work is completed within a queue. OnBase Workflow also supports such advanced features as alternate routing logic, automatic criteria calculation, rendezvous, simultaneous notification, load balancing, reporting, ad hoc workflow, VB scripting, and API functionality for integration with core legacy or ERP/CRM systems. When integrated with OnBase Web Server, the benefits of OnBase Workflow can be made available via the Internet to users throughout your company, regardless of their location.

Workflow, which is entirely point-and-click configurable, has been designed to allow for quick implementation. Much, if not all, of the programming that is required by traditional workflow systems has been eliminated. Workflow configuration consists of two central windows: the Tree Configuration window and the GUI Configuration window.

The intuitive design of the Tree Configuration window provides a workflow designer with the tools to define the work (system, user, or timer) to be accomplished at each queue and define the rules and actions that determine how documents will be routed. Simple right-click mouse functions and easy to understand configuration windows give non-programmers an unprecedented ability to design and deploy sophisticated workflow solutions.

The GUI Configuration window allows the designer to determine how the actual flow of a life cycle will appear and how documents will be transitioned through the life cycle. Through the use of a configuration toolbar and grid map, workflow life cycles are designed within minutes. Upon the creation of the life cycle queues, the graphic layout and the transitions, a basic workflow has easily been established.

Once the workflow layout and transitions have been defined, the designer completes the life cycle queue attributes by returning to the Tree Configuration window. The designer can choose from a large pre-defined list of rules and actions, or custom define rules or actions, utilizing VB scripting, through a robust set of exits provided in OnBase Workflow.

Users enter workflow by selecting the workflow button on the OnBase Client toolbar or by selecting the menu option "Workflow Inbox" In a normal user environment, the user will see only the queues to which he or she is assigned. The administrator can elect to hide or show a disabled icon for those queues to which a user does not have access.

In order for a document to enter a workflow process, its document type must be associated with a specific life cycle. A document type can be configured to enter a lifecycle at a specific queue and automatically initiate workflow. Documents are brought into a workflow life cycle in all of the same ways documents can currently enter OnBase COLD, DIP, Imaging, etc. Selecting a document from the OnBase Document Retrieval window and selecting the "Execute Workflow" option will manually start a workflow life cycle. OnBase can also initiate workflow from electronic forms, Internet forms, and e-mail messages.

Once in Workflow, users see a list of documents that are waiting in their respective queue. A task bar displays the user options for that queue. The user, upon selecting a document, can "Begin User Work" select a task to perform from the task bar, or route the document to another user or queue. The "Begin User Work"option prompts some type of user interaction, such as a question for the user to answer or series of tasks that the user should perform. When the user completes all user work and tasks, the document continues through workflow and the user proceeds to the next document. When a document is at the end of a lifecycle, there are options for eliminating, archiving, or sinking the document.

The following workflow scenario describes a simplified Loan Production/Approval process. The workflow monitors the status of loan files and automatically routes them to the appropriate person(s) based upon pre-defined rules and process flows. In addition to automated routing, authorized users have the ability to route documents on an ad hoc basis. One of the significant benefits of this system is that it allows management to analyze the Loan Production process, plan and test changes to the work process, and roll out those changes with relative ease.

Workflow provides a heads-up work environment where the tools required for an individual to do his or her job are readily available on the desktop. All documents related to the loan are immediately available. With workflow providing all relevant documents and tasks, directly on the screen, users can focus on the immediate task at hand. In some cases, workflow identifies which task the user is performing and automatically opens documents appropriate for that task. When a new loan file arrives, it is assigned to an available underwriter. The underwriter selects the loan file and workflow executes the user work specified for underwriters. For example, a form may be displayed in which the underwriter enters comments and then selects the appropriate button: cancel, approve or deny. A rule then tests to determine the underwriter's response and initiates the appropriate transition - to cancel, deny or to route to the account manager. It may be necessary to route the document to multiple underwriters for approval before submission to the account manager. If the underwriter were out sick that day, a timer, (a monitoring process running on the workflow server) automatically reassigns the loan file to another underwriter.

When the loan file makes the transition to the account manager queue, the system work for the account manager queue initiates and automatically faxes the approval to the broker. The loan file rests in the queue until the account manager selects it and begins the user work. When the account manager completes his/her work, workflow checks to see if any outstanding funding conditions remain. If there are no further conditions, workflow automatically routes the appropriate documents to funding. Otherwise, the loan file remains in the account manager queue until all conditions are fulfilled.

Typically, queues are shared by groups of individuals. Many workers can share the same queue, but they would only see the files assigned to them. To the user, it appears as if they are the only one using the queue. Queues can also be configured without any user work. These are called system or server-side queues. They handle background processes such as ticklers, timers, and other data processing functions.

Core Features

  • Ensures that documents are routed in a standard, controlled, and prompt manner
  • Accommodates exceptions to the configured model by assigning specific users with rights to add or exempt stages on an ad hoc basis
  • Forwards documents without delay to each successive phase
  • Automatically distributes documents to specific work groups
  • Allows documents to be prioritized in each queue. If there is no priority assigned, the documents are sorted by the date and time they enter the lifecycle
  • Monitors and measures the time it takes to complete a process
  • Audit Queues allow periodic review for quality assurance
  • Supports Internet access for users outside of the immediate office environment
  • Processes are easily added or adjusted at the document, process, group, or enterprise level by specified users or administrators
  • Point-and-click configuration enables customization of both the routing and the user interface without programming
  • Integrates seamlessly with other OnBase modules and incorporates powerful cross-referencing to COLD, image or application documents
  • Extensive set of pre-defined rules and actions adds to ease of configuration
  • Integrates easily to other legacy systems utilizing VB scripting and robust API calls

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Case Study: Clemson University