AutoMate Helps Medical Discount Plan Provider Share Salesforce Data without Pain
Prime Liberty Benefits
Randy Sicat, Chief Operating Officer
Until 2008, at least one employee at medical savings program provider Prime Liberty Benefits started the day by needing an aspirin. Every morning before opening time, an IT staffer had to spend one to two hours manually manipulating new or changed membership data from the day before to fit the disparate formatting requirements of Prime Liberty's wholesale partners. Then the company took the AutoMate Professional cure, using Network Automation's no-code business process automation platform to custom-format, encrypt and transmit data updates without user intervention. In just a few hours of dragging and dropping plain-English automation instructions, the company reduced its IT staff workload by up to 10 hours a week, eliminated manual reformatting errors, and got rid of a nagging IT headache.
Toronto-based Prime Liberty Benefits runs a medical savings program offering discounts of 10% to 60% on doctors, hospitals, dentists, chiropractors, prescriptions and a range of other healthcare services for a fixed monthly membership fee. Designed for uninsured individuals who do not qualify for government healthcare coverage, the program utilizes the services of wholesale benefit providers who require daily updates on changes in membership and plan enrollment to determine a given individual's eligibility for discounts.
The challenge lies in that update process. Prime Liberty stores all information about its members and their plans in Salesforce.com, including updates and changes as members enter, exit and alter their coverage in the savings program. Salesforce.com, however, cannot directly communicate those modifications to the wholesale benefit providers. Prime Liberty uses a third-party adapter to extract and output the data into a text file, but there's still more work to do - in part because different providers want their data in different formats.
"Some vendors want comma-separated values, others want tab-separated values, some want the full file, and some want only the files that changed the previous day," said Randy Sicat, COO of Prime Liberty Benefits. "For every vendor, we had to manually open the file, do a search and replace to make adjustments like removing commas or quotation marks, make sure all of the data was aligned correctly in Excel, resave and zip the file, encrypt it, and email or FTP it to the vendor. It was tedious and repetitive, and errors were sometimes introduced during the process."
Searching for an Rx for the company's reporting woes, Sicat learned about AutoMate from a friend and immediately responded to the platform's automation-without-coding capabilities. "I have a programming background but I knew that I wasn't going to take the time or invest in the tools to write complex code. It didn't make sense. AutoMate cost less than $1,500, had hundreds of pre-built actions, and could be used to automate an unlimited number of business processes. We would have been throwing time and money away to do anything else."
It took Sicat one day to learn the program and compile the automation routine for the company's first partner, dragging pre-programmed actions like 'Move File' and 'Find and Replace' into the software's task-building window in the required sequence. He completed the work for all other vendors the next day. In that short timeframe, Sicat had completely automated the process of reformatting the data to suit each business partner's requirements, and securely transmitting the data in a timely and error-free fashion to each partner.
With AutoMate on call, Prime Liberty's daily membership updates run entirely unattended. As soon as the previous day's updates have been compiled from Salesforce.com, AutoMate takes over and performs all of the functions previously done manually - from opening the file for each vendor to doing a search and replace and then saving, encrypting, zipping and transmitting the file - using the platform's event-based triggers to move from one step to the next.
In addition, Prime Liberty is gearing up to use AutoMate to reformat and in some cases combine billing files showing all credit card transactions for the day. The files are generated from two separate business applications and need to be manipulated to prepare them for submission to the company's two merchant processors. Automating the process will save at least 15 minutes of staff time daily on top of the one to two hours reclaimed by automating data cleanup of membership eligibility files.
Even then, Sicat said, he will have "barely scratched the surface" of what he expects to do with AutoMate. Over time, he anticipates expanding his use of the software to handle other repetitive tasks such as uploading batch files to Prime Liberty's merchant processors and emailing weekly compensation reports to the company's resellers. It's just more proof that, for IT pain relief, AutoMate is good medicine.