Harrison REMC is a not-for-profit electric utility organization, locally owned and operated by the members it serves. Since 1938, Harrison REMC has provided electricity across Southern Indiana and today, the co-op territory has transformed into a mix of both residential and industrial members. This change in membership has also led to many changes in technology and the way Harrison REMC conducts business. The co-op needed to become more digitally-driven.
To compliment their digital transformation and reduce their reliance on paper, Harrison REMC implemented Square 9’s award-winning GlobalSearch document management solution for its seamless integration with the co-op’s existing business applications which include OpenOne by ATS and Power Software. To learn more, let’s take a look at a recent interview with Rodney Brewer, Information Systems Coordinator at Harrison REMC.
- What challenges influenced you to look for a document management solution?
Rodney Brewer: We really wanted to simplify our accounts payable process. We used to have a binder that got passed around once a week, depending on who needed to approve the invoices. Sometimes it would sit in one room for a while which would hold everyone else up. GlobalSearch allowed us to assign invoices to the appropriate approvers, so they can work them at their own pace without waiting on anyone else. The other challenge we were experiencing was space. In our Service Order Department specifically, we were running out of filing cabinets and we didn’t have a good way to locate document information quickly. We wanted that peace of mind, knowing that documents were being archived properly and securely.
- Why did you choose Square 9 for your document management needs?
Brewer: We had two other competitors in the running and cost was one of the driving factors in us choosing Square 9. But if we had to do it all over again and cost was not a factor, we still would have selected Square 9 – we’ve been very happy with it. We like how customizable the Square 9 solutions are, especially because we use them for a lot of different processes. It’s quick and easy to set up and customize an individual user’s access controls and capabilities within the software. Being able to integrate GlobalSearch with ATS’s OpenOne software was also a difference maker.
- How is your company leveraging Square 9’s Solutions?
Brewer: We use it in Accounts Payable for processing invoices, and also our Service Order Department for member documents, which includes anything from drivers license copies to applications for electricity. We use GlobalSearch for billing services to keep record of meter readings and be able to access that information instantly. We will soon start scanning in bank drafts, so if a member calls in and wants to set up automatic payments, we can securely store sensitive bank information. Our easement paperwork used to take up three filing cabinets worth of space and in no proper order, so search and retrieval efforts would take a lot of time. Now we scan them in and index them based on what we call Map Location. Staff can now access any easement within seconds on our map through unique integration between Power Software and GlobalSearch.
Another place we started using GlobalSearch quite a bit is our Large Power Billing. Our meters out in the field talk to us remotely through cell modems and we’ve got another piece of software that reads all that data. But we’d still have to go in once a month and print that data out. It ended up being about 600 papers once a month, to pull out three different pieces of information for billing. So we set up a process of converting CSV files and PDFs for automatic OCR recognition to where now GlobalSearch instantly pulls those three pieces of information after a bulk scan. That’s just once a month but it saves about 12-16 hours when we use it.
- Would you recommend Square 9’s solutions and why?
Brewer: Yes, I definitely would recommend Square 9’s solutions. Their software is very user-friendly and very customizable without a whole lot of technical skills. Square 9 Support is very good, which was also huge for us. Overall, we pretty much use Square 9 across the entire company and I would say at least 20 hours a week are being saved. We’ve gotten rid of about 20 filing cabinets so far and in Accounts Payable along we’ve experienced about a 20% increase in productivity. It’s been a major time-saver for anyone trying to find an easement. Instead of spending 30-40 minutes on finding it they can complete their task in just a few minutes. On average company wide probably 5-10% more productive and have even freed up nearly a whole room that we are going to turn into a training facility. Overall we are very happy!
Interested in learning more?