MTS, a leading provider of tax consulting services for over 800 nursing home facilities, had a highly complex and manual process for new hire intake and determining tax credits for hiring individuals from certain targeted groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. In order to scale, they were seeking to apply technology that would automate their current business processes.
Highland partnered with MTS to deploy a business workflow automation system with a goal to save time and resources spent on collecting new hire data, as well as calculating tax credits. By custom configuring a CRM solution utilizing the Creatio platform, the Highland team developed a strategic, streamlined workflow management platform that leveraged and automated data intake and calculations – further increasing and maximizing employee productivity.
Reducing human error and time spent on complex data processes
MTS sought to automate their current complicated process that involved collecting information on new hires for all facilities, then taking that information into an approval process to determine eligibility for Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTC). These are tax credits that facilities could gain from hiring employees, such as qualified veterans, SNAP recipients, SSI recipients, and more. MTS was collecting employee information manually, which often led to incomplete or missing information, longer processing times, and facilities not receiving their maximum amount of eligible tax credits. This employee information was then being tracked, verified, and calculated through spreadsheets - another manual process that was susceptible to human error.
The challenge of collecting three forms and dozens of data points from new hires at over 800 nursing facilities caused the MTS team to step back and say, “There must be a better way.” The current process included multiple emails, phone calls, packets of scanned paper documents, all spread across MTS team members and human resources managers at each facility.
In addition to collecting new hire data, MTS spent a week or more every quarter analyzing data from the new hires, along with their work history records, to determine if the nursing facility employing them qualified for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. Compiling this data into a single spreadsheet for each facility, checking the logic in Excel, and reviewing the resulting calculations was a time-consuming and fragmented operation.
Through their investment in the custom-configured Creatio workflow automation software, MTS sought to:
Streamline and optimize the data collection process, automate calculations, and eliminate hidden redundancies
Reduce the time and energy spent on manual tasks, like collecting new hire data and calculating tax credits
Become a leader in the WOTC space and gain a competitive business advantage
Improve compliance and the overall customer support process to better assist their clients in receiving a greater portion of the eligible tax credits
“What we found appealing in our initial project discussions was the amount of calculation automations and data integrations with Creatio that could happen to save us time with manual data entry and analysis.”
Tax Manager at MTS
Our Approach to Solving MTS’ Challenges:
Leverage the Creatio low-code automation platform to optimize operational efficiencies
Discovery: Initially, MTS approached Highland for custom software development. Through the discovery process and learning more about their needs, Highland suggested that MTS leverage our business management solutions division to develop a custom-configured Creatio CRM platform. We worked with the MTS team to map out a flowchart that included the basics of their current process, what happens at facilities, and what the employees do to help determine what the process should look like going forward. This helped us define a new business process management model that would better maximize and automate their current manual process.
Building & Testing: Highland created an automated process improvement framework for end to end data collection and calculation. To eliminate manual new hire paper forms, we developed a digital form that employees could complete on-site at each facility.
This data then flows directly into Creatio through a custom integration. After the form is submitted, new hire data is processed through a repeatable sequence of steps and business logic. Based on these business rules and certain criteria, eligibility for WOTC benefits is determined and calculated in the Creatio platform.
In addition, Highland also created workflows that were visible to MTS Tax Specialists, so that they can check and follow-up on employee eligibility. Automated notifications trigger upon status changes, so MTS Tax Specialists can be instantly informed by the Creatio platform.
Working together with MTS, we broke their processes down into the smallest possible components, testing each small part, then adding them together to make sure they all worked in sequence from start to finish. Each component was demonstrated and tested weekly. By utilizing our CRM consulting expertise and custom-configuring Creatio, which is a low-code SaaS (Software as a Service) platform, the project was able to be completed in far less time than building a completely custom digital solution. The drag and drop features of Creatio’s low-code workflow automation tool allow for individual development pieces to happen in days vs months.
Training: Highland developed in-depth documentation on how to use the new Creatio tools and workflows. We also held training sessions for onboarding the MTS Tax Specialists to ensure they were proficient in utilizing the tools and workflows that had been built.
Bugs & Fixes: Post-launch we are able to see if there are any errors in the data processing, in real time. Creatio is automatically tracking and checking the data submitted which allows us to fix any issues that come up as soon as they occur. Another benefit of Creatio’s low-code workflow management software solution is that bugs are easy to fix as they don’t require users to look through lines of code for an error.
“Our team was able to reduce time spent on previous processes and now have the ability to utilize the filters and features so they can pull data quickly and easily.”
Tax Manager at MTS
Business Analysis & Strategy
Design & Configuration
“Our HR partners get really excited about the use of a digital solution to eliminate paper, manual processes, and increase automation.”
Tax Manager at MTS
MTS needed a software solution to address their time-consuming, complex, and manual data processes. Through their work with Highland, MTS was able to accomplish their business goals, increase productivity, automate their processes, and provide a better customer experience for the nursing home facilities that they work with.
Overall, MTS customers have experienced a decrease in employee time (and operational costs) allocated to manual data procedures. They also have higher employee compliance, task management and completion rate in collecting data since they can now leverage a digital form at the facility. That data is then submitted into Creatio, initiating an automated data collection and analysis process removing the barrier of spreadsheets, manual data entry, repetitive tasks, and susceptibility to human error. Ultimately, through their partnership with Highland, MTS was able to maximize WOTC credits for their clients.
Shortly after launch, MTS showcased their new process and technology solution at a vendor event and leveraged it to gain new prospects and customers, proving they are on track to become a technology leader in the WOTC space.