Conservation Services Group

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Industry

  • Energy / Utilites

Challenge

  • Improve efficiency of processing thousands of home energy assessment documents on a daily basis
  • Improve turnaround time of work orders
  • Improve customer service for rapidly increasing customer base

Solution

  • Outsource mailroom operations
  • Outsource scanning and indexing of home energy assessment files
  • Upload searchable PDF files and kickoff an automated review workflow in CSG’s proprietary software

Impact

  • Process files and deliver proposals 30% faster
  • Field staff now has remote access to documents
  • Enhanced customer service with quicker response to queries
  • Reallocated office space with elimination of 12 file cabinets
  • Eliminated warehouse storage costs
  • Back-office staff more valuable due to less clerical duties

Executive Summary

Conservation Services Group (CSG) conducts Home Energy Assessments (HEA) for over 40,000 residents in Massachusetts and was experiencing significant growth. Though CSG uses proprietary software to model each home, each visit also generates up to 30 documents including diagrams, contracts, receipts, material disclosure forms and handwritten notes.

With over 35,000 documents being generated weekly, CSG turned to Digiscribe New England to find a better way to handle this increasing influx of paper. With Digiscribe New England’s document scanning services and document management expertise, CSG has achieved the following:

  • Faster “Time-to-Serve”: work performed as the result of a HEA can take place 2-3 business days faster (which also accelerates CSG’s cash flow)
  • Doing More with Less: handles volume increases of 10% 20% per year without increasing staff
  • Enhanced Customer Service: CSG customer service reps can answer questions on the same call instead of hours later
  • Off-site Storage Savings: 40,000 documents per month no longer need to be stored off-site

Challenge

As the most trusted leader in residential energy efficiency, CSG was experiencing significant growth and needed a better way to manage the influx of paper from their home energy audits and maintain the high level of customer service they were known for.

Packets with over 30 documents for each of the 40,000 annual HEAs were either mailed in or dropped off at headquarters in Westborough, MA. CSG’s internal staff would break down the packets into folders which were then reviewed, checked against a work schedule and routed manually through each of CSG’s workflow stations. Many times, physical file folders would get lost causing the workflow to come to a standstill until they were found. Once completed and approved, files would be assigned to a team who scanned the paper documents and then emailed them to contractors for review and implementation of work.

HEA kept in-process and completed files from the previous 6 months on-site, documents from the 6 months prior in a nearby warehouse and older files off-site in a document storage facility for at least 7 years after completion of work. Often, customers weren’t ready to move forward right away, so job specs conducted in February may lead to work being done in October. In that case, the folder was stored off-site so it first had to be located and returned from the storage facility, which could take days, and only then could CSG get back to the customer.

“This was not sustainable and became completely unmanageable as we grew,” says Brian Kissane, CSG’s regional operations director. “The existing process was demanding too much manpower and time, slowing down work and resulting in challenges in regards to customer service.”

Solution

CSG’s EVP of IS wanted to find a better way to manage their documents and workflow, so he turned to Digiscribe New England, who had a local presence and offered document scanning expertise and mailroom services – all within CSG’s budget.

With the Digiscribe New England’s solution in place, CSG Energy Specialists now mail their document packets daily to Digiscribe New England’s Norwood, MA scanning facility. The mail is opened and documents are prepped, scanned and indexed by site, project, customer and one of 25 different document types. The digitized documents are uploaded within 48 hours to an Amazon S3 site as searchable PDF files and kickoff an automated workflow in CSG’s proprietary software for review and processing by CSG’s staff. As an additional service, Digiscribe removes live checks from document packets stamping them for “deposit only” and send the checks via Federal Express to CSG’s lock box.

Contractors are now automatically alerted from within CSG’s software when documents are available for their review. They can also access CSG’s system to update or upload any forms needed to complete a project.

Impact

Faster Time-to-Serve

  • HEA files are received from field auditors faster as they are mailed daily to Digiscribe New England
  • Mail is opened and documents are prepped, scanned and uploaded to CSG’s workflow automation software faster, within 24-48 hours
  • Digitized documents are processed faster by CSG’s staff; in 3-5 business days instead of 5 to 7
  • Communication with contractors is automated and faster
  • Proposals to clients are delivered faster

Increased Efficiency

  • Increased demand met without increased staff
  • Workflow expedited as documents are no longer lost or misplaced
  • Contractors have access to audit and proposal documents directly on CSG’s enterprise management software
  • Document repository provides single location for storage of and access to auditor, contractor and customer documents
  • Less clerical work allows more value-added and analytical positions for staff and exposes top performers to other areas in business, helping to develop the team

Enhanced Customer Service

  • Proposal turnaround time significantly shortened, from 5 to 7 days to 3 to 5 days
  • Customer inquiries answered on the phone in seconds, not hours
  • Field workers have access to customer files from a mobile device
  • Email documents to customer immediately upon request

Space and Off-site Storage Savings

  • Eliminated 12 file cabinets in office
  • Eliminated warehouse storage of documents
  • Over time, will eliminate need for records storage facility

Testimonial

I would definitely recommend Digiscribe New England. I really appreciate the accessibility to Tom Zeliff [Digiscribe New England co-owner & VP Sales] and his team. I can’t think of a time where I didn’t get a response in a day, if not immediately. It’s great to work with them.


Brian Kissane, Regional Operations Manager
Conservation Services Group
Westborough, MA