Location: Auburn, NH
Industry: Employer Services including Benefits Planning, Human Resources, Benefits Administration, Payroll Services and COBRA Administration
Highly manual and paper intensive processes across all business units. Desire to reduce paper-based workflows, streamline new client onboarding, and improve efficiencies between departments to result in a better overall experience for new and existing clients.
DocStar Document Management, Frevvo Electronic Forms and Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud Hosting, combined with PiF Technologies’ Professional Services
CGI’s Payroll Services can best be described by David Langlois, Vice President of Payroll Operations, as such, “We simplify the payroll process for our clients as much as possible by providing the best customer service we can. That includes a hands-on approach and local service from a trusted name. We want clients to know they can feel confident in coming to CGI for all of their employer business solutions.”
On the Benefits Administration side, Dee Frappiea, a supervisor within the Benefits Administration Department, adds that CGI “Offers a suite of comprehensive value-added services to our clients, including Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Health Reimbursement Arrangements, Commuter Choice Plans and COBRA Administration. We believe that the personal touch with a high level of detail is what differentiates us from other local third-party administrators.”
The Payroll Services business unit of CGI relies heavily on paper. A web-based/cloud accessible and easy to use Document Management system seemed like the perfect solution. Given the sensitive nature of the data stored for payroll services, it was important to have a system with Enterprise-Class Security features including document level security, document distribution capabilities with password protected links, audit trails, standing encryption, and the ability to freeze and retain records based on required schedules. DocStar does all of that and more, which made the investment all the more worthwhile.
For David Langlois, choosing to work with DocStar and PiF was an easy choice. In a previous role as Manager of Payroll Services for a different firm, he had overseen the implementation and use of DocStar, and was already familiar with the PiF team and their expertise.
He joined CGI as the Vice President of Payroll Services and his charter was to build the division from the ground-up. Based on his experience, he knew he needed a Document Management system that would enforce a consistent naming and filing convention for all documents rather than scanning to Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive. He had also experienced the difficulties of “hunting & pecking” on network folder trees time and again looking for misfiled documents. In addition to those capabilities, having a solution that by default uses full text Optical Character Recognition (OCR), meaning every word on every document is fully searchable in DocStar (so digital documents will never get lost!)
Knowing that a solution like DocStar was one of the items integral to the growth and success of the new business unit, he conveyed to CGI leadership the benefits of using a robust Document Management system like DocStar. “It just made sense, and as a result there wasn’t much convincing. It was, ‘yes, let’s do it.’ It has saved us all the time in the world considering the large volume of paper we have to manage, including bank statements, ACH files, tax notices, cashed checks, new client setup information and employee demographics. There’s a lot that goes into processing payroll for clients, so it was an easy business case for me to make.”
Soon after CGI gave the green light to go with DocStar, David said the implementation of the project was simple. David reflected on the process, “one of PiF’s Training and Implementation specialists came on site and due to my experience with DocStar, I had already laid out what I wanted, including the structure I liked. The PiF team accommodated what I wanted and also recommended some new best practices based on recent enhancements in the software. A tremendous benefit with DocStar is that it’s customized to your needs and what you’re looking to make work. The implementation was completed in just one day. Following that, they trained my staff and the Payroll Services team has been using it daily as part of their workflow since.”
Before frevvo Electronic Forms, the CGI client onboarding process required their Account Executives to complete a 20+ page paper package by hand, then manually route those documents around to various departments. Inherent in any paper-based process like this are challenges such as non-legible handwriting, incomplete forms, missing documents, and not actually knowing where the documents are (Where is it? Who has it? I can’t find it!).
Per Dee Frappiea, “having a cloud based, mobile friendly and e-Sign compliant forms package seemed like the way to go for CGI. Eliminating the need to interpret handwritten documents, using a solution that also enforces character strings or regular expression (Reg-Ex) for an email address, phone number, type of business entity, FEIN or other required information would be beneficial as well. Knowing that the CGI team could complete the internal client onboarding process through the click of a link, anyone on the team would know where it was in the process, all required information and supporting uploaded documents were there – and, more importantly the CGI Benefits Administration team was up and running with our administrative services!”
As a function of servicing their client base, Dee noted that CGI also handles frequent ongoing changes to their client’s account and plan designs. Oftentimes these changes are communicated via multiple emails. Although a great tool, email communication unintentionally complicates this process for CGI, requiring them to gather information from multiple sources or initiate contact with clients to verify new or missing information. And in most cases, these are time consuming tasks. Electronic Forms simplified the internal process by allowing the Account Executive to update the Electronic Form with any changes to the account or plan design, which then would allow the Benefits Administration Department to quickly identify these changes within the form and update their administrative software systems accordingly.
CGI also offers COBRA Administration, which is led by Rey Simonetti. Rey noticed a clear benefit for his team by digitizing the client intake forms, “we receive a ton of internal and external emails and sometimes the communication notifying us of our client’s COBRA plans or information would indicate “same” or “no change from last year”, and as part of our due diligence, my team would be required to validate this data. Unfortunately, we would often find that something had changed, which caused unnecessary calls and emails confirming these changes. Thankfully, by utilizing Electronic Forms, this tool mandates using “required fields,” which ensures the data is updated and accurate. This is a tremendous help during a client’s renewal, as the forms package has all of the client information from the previous year, so there is no need to re-enter” (or complete the paper form with a pen, year after year).
Both Dee and Rey agree that soon after implementing Frevvo Electronic Forms, CGI realized the efficiencies of a streamlined digital forms process, the reduction in time to get a new client enrolled, and the ease of use of managing clients with modules like the “plan change workflow.” Electronic Forms freed up the team from traditional “back and forth” due to the package being incomplete, one could not read a dependent’s date of birth, or the form was “in the other building.” Electronic Forms has reduced the time and eliminated the frustration for the CGI team in getting a new client enrolled or an existing client renewed and managed. Even better, the overall client experience is now digital and seamless.
Per Dan Cronin, President and Founder of CGI “When we started CGI over 20 years ago, it was our goal to create an agency that would provide the highest level of customer service possible. Given the competitive nature of our business, providing innovative and high-touch value-added services is what differentiates CGI from our competitors. We pride ourselves on our outstanding and dedicated staff who are seeking ways to continually improve the customer service experience.”
Part of CGI’s core is the white glove service they provide to their clients, this is directly aligned with the approach that PiF Technologies takes with every client they have as well. “I see PiF as a mirror image of CGI and the white glove service that we provide. Essentially their team is very accessible, and they have a staff of subject matter experts to service and support us with our challenges,” David Langlois says of the PiF team.
With multiple projects and implementations across multiple business units at CGI, ensuring that both went smoothly was a priority for PiF. This same mindset is applied to all projects across PiF, regardless of size of project or solutions used.
PiF has helped customers leverage the latest digital solutions to transform their business processes for 25 years. Their expertise lies in their ability to design, deploy and support complex, fully integrated solutions with workflow automation, artificial intelligence including intelligent data capture, smart web forms, robotic process automation, and cloud hosting. They support a broad range of customers such as The Kraft Group (New England Patriots), internationally known clothing retailer Vineyard Vines, as well as other benefits administration and insurance agencies similar to CGI.
In 2021, PiF Technologies celebrated its 25th year in business. They’ve been a DocStar partner since day one and got their start selling a simple solution; scan, file, and retrieve. While the technology and complexity of their projects have evolved, their dedication to their customers and their desire to stay on the bleeding edge of technology has been their number one priority.
They cover a broad range of applications and industries. Popular implementations include AP Automation for Manufacturers and Distributors, Non-Profits, Construction firms, school districts, and any other business that faces inefficiencies in their processes.
Their expertise lies in their ability to design, deploy and support complex, fully integrated solutions with workflow automation, artificial intelligence including intelligent data capture, smart web forms, robotic process automation, and Cloud hosting.
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