GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE ACCELERATES PROCESSING TIMES BY AUTOMATING THE OPEN, PREP, AND SCAN PROCESS
The Georgia Department of Revenue (GADOR) is the principal tax collecting agency for the State of Georgia. The Taxpayer Services & Processing Division is responsible for receiving and processing returns and payments, tax credit administration, customer service, and electronic filing. These various documents and paper types are sent through the mail and received on a regular basis with peaks during tax season. The speed at which mail is internally sorted and distributed to the appropriate personnel for processing can affect cash flow, credit standing, and customer service responsiveness, so finding a way to manage the mail prep process and achieve peak performance levels is critical.
GADOR’s process to handle incoming mail was very labor intensive and time consuming. Mail was delivered by the truck load and rough-sorted into piles and counted. The sorted piles would then be taken to multiple workstations where the mail was opened, extracted, sorted again by batch and prepped for scanning. The batches were then transferred to the scanners for imaging. Four to five people were handling each piece of mail, creating congestion in the process, and delaying access to the information for downstream processes. If returns were not processed in 90 days, GADOR would owe interest, and costs would increase. GADOR wanted to address two key areas – 1) eliminate long delays in processing time; and 2) be less dependent on hiring seasonal staff and third-party contractors since labor was extremely difficult to find, hire, and train, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
AVERAGE NUMBER OF DAYS TO PROCESS
DECREASE IN CONTRACT LABOR
NUMBER OF CONTRACTORS NEEDED FOR OPEN, PREP, SCAN, AND DATA ENTRY OUT OF THE 12 HIRED
GADOR integrated OPEX® Model 72TM Rapid Extraction Desks (RED) to their fleet of OPEX scanners to incorporate a one-touch scanning process for incoming mail, which streamlined their process and allowed them to handle the workload with minimal temporary labor. As mail arrives at GADOR, operators can now open, prep, and scan the contents in one step. For example, in 2019 processing time on average was 31 days, but in 2020 that was cut down to an average of 8 days. Darcy Pyle, the Director of the Taxpayer Services Division at Georgia Department of Revenue, can easily manage the workload on-site without relying on seasonal contract labor. “Use of technology to improve a process is a good thing and our employees see a positive impact,” said Pyle. These automated improvements offer employees the opportunity to cross-train for growth and provide career advancement, which is a win-win for Pyle and the Department.
With the streamlined process in place, GADOR is prepared for 2022 and is adding OPEX® Insight™ performance monitoring software to automate production measures and improve forecasting. With the ability to easily reach deadlines and handle higher volumes of mail, GADOR no longer has to rely on finding temporary employees or third-party contractors. The risk of missing mail processing deadlines has also decreased significantly and GADOR does not have to worry about incurring additional expenses. Employees no longer need to waste time on sorting, prepping and unnecessary handling of the mail. GADOR can now look at other areas of their Department where they could potentially obtain similar results.
UNPREDICTABLE PEAKS DUE TO PANDEMIC
ABILITY TO FIND AND KEEP CONTRACTED LABOR
KEEP UP WITH PROCESSING DEADLINES TO AVOID INTEREST
“USE OF TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE A PROCESS IS A GOOD THING AND OUR EMPLOYEES SEE A POSITIVE IMPACT.”
-Darcy PyleDirector of Taxpayer Services Division at Georgia Department of Revenue
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