What was your process for selecting RGB Projects?
We had been looking for potential vendors for a long time. Even though our business is straightforward at a high level, when you get down to the nitty-gritty, it’s actually quite complicated. For example, starting an LLC has eight major steps. There are maybe four different variations that can happen in terms of how an order may need to be serviced. There are many variables that needed to be automated. We needed an IT vendor to go to that level of detail.
We were a very small company. Our operations were very iterative, meaning we were growing while building the operations at the same time. As an analogy, my company was building the car while driving it. We knew that a traditional, big IT support-consulting firm might not be the best fit.
We conducted some in-depth interviews. RGB Projects seemed to be the right firm for the job. They were introduced to us by a manager who knew their founder.
Can you please tell me what parts of the project RGB Projects was involved with?
It was huge. We had a very complicated business process that was highly manual, and involved touching eight different employees at various points in time. Even internally, we didn’t have a good grasp of what that process looked like. Employees just figured it out on a case-by-case basis.
RGB Projects served a few roles. They partnered with the business unit at the time as a business analyst to map out what our business process was. Once RGB Projects figured that out, they built the workflow automation to support it, and then oversaw us piloting that on a small scale in one process within one department. The initial piloting was successful.
We continued to roll it out across all of our business units during a period of three years. In addition to automating the business processes through FileNet, they helped us build the underlying system architecture to enable us to do work on an increasingly larger scale.
What technologies were used?
I recall some Kofax, particularly with the printing elements of our business and IBM FileNet.
Why was IBM FileNet selected?
We needed a system that could operate on a very large scale for high volumes. Our finance department decided against other competitors because IBM was better for enterprise work.
My team built a virtual manufacturing environment. We mapped out workflows and applied manufacturing principles to how the work is done, separating it, and having teams and quality-control steps to get everyone more involved. We do 70,000 transactions monthly that need to go through this system. When we looked at the different offerings, FileNet appeared to be the most industrial strength and scalable of the potential solutions.
Can you give us a sense of the size of the initiative with RGB Projects either in dollar terms or personnel hours?
There’s been some ups and downs in the amount of work RGB Projects has done at any given time. Even though it wasn’t necessarily a cheap engagement, I’d say the pricing was quite reasonable. We received great value particularly given that we were asking them to work in an iterative fashion versus simply handing them a list of requirements. They often had four to six employees working full time for us. They still support the system, and are working with us on some new IT projects. They will continue to work with us for a while.
When was the initial system completed?
We started prototyping and piloting it in 2006. Most of the work was completed in 2007, but we are adding new things every year.