The Who, What, Why and How of Implementing myEpic Workflows
Technology | Connections Editor | Mar 23 2018
Applied Epic has a lot of bells and whistles that not every user is aware of or even fully understands. One of those features is the myEpic workflows, which allow for advanced customization for each process and agency. They can be incredibly helpful in cutting down basic number crunching by automating processes, but setting it up correctly for your agency or brokerage is a very large project.
To help, Applied Client Network chatted with Collin Passman, IT Manager and Systems Coordinator at The Signature B&B Companies. Passman and his team went through a myEpic workflow transition a few years ago and has truly seen the benefits of undertaking this project. He shared his full story in a recent webinar, “Customizing myEpic Workflows – A Case Study of an Agency that Went Through the Process,” which is now available for on-demand replay.
Below, Passman outlines why this project was so crucial for his agency to take on, what other agencies would be a good fit for implementing a similar system and what tangible rewards he’s seen as a result.
What were your processes like prior to implementing myEpic workflows at your company?
Collin Passman: We chose to customize myEpic because we had no consistency in the way people were working, even though we had written workflows in place. People were taking shortcuts, and it was becoming harder and harder to pick up someone else’s work and find out what they were doing. Reports were becoming more difficult to run because people were not using the correct activity codes or inputting data correctly.
What were some of the primary challenges your agency faced when taking on this project?
Passman: The first challenge was getting people to believe that we could automate the system to such an extent that we could drive our users down a workflow path that we wanted them to go down. The second challenge was the actual writing of the workflows in such a manner that the Applied team could translate them into a script and then be added into our Epic system. No one on my team, myself included, ever worked on computer flowcharts previously, so we had to become familiar with “if” statements, “ask” variables and translating our workflows into diagrams. Once we were shown a few times, we became comfortable with the process.
What concerns did you and your team have at the outset of the project?
Passman: We never questioned why we were doing it; we only questioned how we were going to train our users to utilize the customized workflows. We have some progressive users that we thought would embrace it, but we also had some users we knew would fight change. The concern was to make believers out of everyone — and we did.
What would be the most important piece of advice you would give to someone taking on a similar project at their agency or brokerage?
Passman: I have 3 pieces of advice.
First, choose a team of people to work with you in testing the product. One person alone cannot do this. On that team should be power users who will embrace the project and run with it, influencers who will spread the word throughout your agency on how good the workflows will be, and doubters who will go over everything with a fine-tooth comb and help you find everything that is wrong during testing. They will be the ones to point all the little things that, if caught and corrected, will make the transition much easier. They will also be the ones who, when they find out that this is such a worthwhile project, will spread the good word throughout your agency.
Second, explain what is going on to all users and why you feel the need to customize the workflows. When you explain it to them, make it sound as if it is being done to make their day-to-day processing easier. If you make it sound like a micromanagement tool they will resist. Always spin the positives.
And finally, train users well in advance and then retrain them close to the launch date. People tend to forget things, and if you use this positive reinforcement training, they will learn it much faster.
Although this is considered an “intermediate” webinar, what advice would you give to a more beginner-level Epic user looking to improve workflows at their agency or brokerage?
Passman: Here is the best piece of advice I can give: Don’t fight the system; rather, find out what the system can bring to you to make your day-to-day processing easier. Find out where your users are getting bogged down, where their frustrations are and address those in the creation of the workflow.
How did you leverage Applied Client Network and Applied Systems over the course of this project?
Passman: I had learned about myEpic workflows in 2014 and kept up on the improvements in the processes through attending Applied Net and my involvement on several committees. I used the Applied Client Network forums to follow people who were using the pre-installed workflows, and then once Applied Systems announced that we could customize, I spoke with several people there to find out more details about the process.
What would make an agency or brokerage right for this kind of project?
Passman: An agency looking for consistency in day-to-day operations and optimization of their employees’ time is perfect for this type of project. An agency that has a user taking 20 minutes to do a certificate when it should only take 5 is perfect for this project. An agency that sees highly compensated employees getting more and more frustrated with their day-to-day processes is perfect for this project.
How have processes improved after implementing the workflows?
Passman: We have seen marked improvements in the following areas:
Processing time has decreased significantly leading to happier users and more satisfied customers. Workflows have become more consistent leading to better input of data and output on reports. Higher compensated employees have been able to spend more time connecting with clients, which has led to greater customer satisfaction and increased revenue. Time needed to train a new employee has gone down to 1.5 days from 3, leading to that employee becoming productive in a faster time frame and freeing up the trainer faster to do other work
In all, the return on investment has been far greater than we originally anticipated.
Want to learn more about customizing myEpic workflows from Collin? Listen to his on-demand webinar, “Customizing myEpic Workflows – A Case Study of an Agency that Went Through the Process.”
Tags: Technology , Applied Epic , Workflows