UAMS implemented ECM

By Bonnie Hipp posted 08-04-2010 20:10


As far back as the early 90s the UAMS Administration realized that there was a critical need for ECM (Enterprise Content Management) on campus.  In 1996, a committee was developed from all divisions of Administration to review and pick an ECM product that would meet the requirements and needs currently defined on campus.

Some of the issues that drove the cause:

  • Space constraints and campus growth
  • Demands for improved efficiency
  • Numerous users needing access to same documents
  • Cost of delivery services
  • Cost of microfiche
  •  Security
  •  Audits
  • Unacceptable risk of misplacing files
  • Inefficient and non-automated business processes lead to wasted time, mistakes, and lost information
  • Breakdown exasperated by geographically dispersed participants
  • Core business functions (e.g. accounting, HR, purchasing) handled with a combination of paper documents, e-mail, manual searches

Once a decision was made and project was approved, the Human Resource department was the first to implement the system in 1997.  Involvement from the department and IT was critical to fully understand all the process points/steps currently in place and determine the results they wished to accomplish.   They started with the Employee Records which they requested to be was very structure and used the ECM product to the fullest.   Time was taken to form the structure (by developing they made the electronic process more efficient, reduced having to search and view unrelated data, also by having capability to have direct feeds from SAP to improve controls and provide regular validation), prep the documents (which turned out to be the longest and most grueling phase of the project); then the scanning began, they choose to send the documents offsite for scanning due to limited personnel assigned to the project.  They then loaded the images into the system to have an employee index since they were more knowledgeable about the information.   It took the department approximately 6 months to complete the 18, 4 drawer filing cabinets while processing the everyday paperwork.   Once the first phase was completed and the employees felt very comfortable with the system, they then decided to back scan documentation on - terminated and deceased employees.  From there they eliminated microfiche by moving reports online and created other applications for Benefits, Employee Relations, Payroll, Recruiting and U-temp.   

By establishing the ECM, the following was made possible:

  • Immediate access for all HR employees to review current employee records for customer service from multiple locations.
  • Eliminated difficulty of having to track and ensure return of content or file.
  • Eliminated filing of paper documentation
  • Eliminated Microfiche
  • Reduced the cost of delivery service
  • Eliminated 18 lateral file cabinets and storage boxes.
  • Increase ability to maintain documents more efficiently
  • Maintain approximately 10,800 employee records, currently the largest employer in AR

Since then over 50 departments across campus have converted to the ECM system.  The product that we purchased and implemented proved to be an Excellent choose by our steering committee.  Currently owned by EMC and continues to improve and adjust to user demands.

What were your experiences with implementing ECM?  Please share your feedback, it may benefit and help others with similar issues/concerns.   

Bonnie Hipp
Senior Documentum ApplicationXtender Analyst
University of Arkansas for Medical Science

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