Customer Stories

Iron Workers Locals No. 15 and 424 Fringe Benefit Funds

 

Iron Workers’ Locals No. 15 and 424 Fringe Benefit Funds of Meriden, Connecticut came to Standard Data Corporation with a unique set of challenges. During the period of approximately seven months, start to finish, the complex benefits and administration processing requirements of this busy Fund were addressed by SDC. While our implementation was driven by the Fund’s request for a rapid deployment, all of the Fund’s specific requirements were designed into the custom benefits administration processing system we delivered at the end of a remarkable six-month development-to-delivery cycle.

These development challenges included:

  • Conversion of a proprietary, obsolete legacy PC based system.  The database needed a special interface built encompassing multiple phases to convert data into a production format.
  • Medical eligibility rules were in the process of being re-stated in the Fund’s SPD.  The requirement for personal interaction with fund staff was met and an up to date full function eligibility module created.
  • Pension eligibility rules were in the process of being re-stated in the Fund’s SPD.  SDC performed a comprehensive survey and analysis in order to understand the current rules and design the Pension model around those rules.  The Fund’s business routines were taken into consideration, and workflow was also built into the system.
  • The Fund’s local phone service was creating communication problems that interfered with necessary data interchange and communication with third parties.  SDC identified problems and worked to resolve problems with communication carriers.
  • SDC built in a system allowing for automatic posting of outgoing reciprocal reports with no additional input from fund staff.
  • When the Fund switched from Annuity carriers, SDC supported the Fund and developed the electronic feeds necessary for smooth transactions.
  • The addition of a complex new fund just before our “go-live” date.

The above represents a small sampling of the excellent development and support SDC has delivered to one of our newest ASP clients.

Carpenters Benefit Funds

Challenge: The New York District Council of Carpenters Benefit Funds sought a third party organization to provide an administrative system for funds administration, as well as a provider of benefit related administrative services.

Solution: After a diligent search, Standard Data Corporation was selected as the vendor most qualified to meet the complex requirements of these large Benefit Funds.

Active members eligible for benefits are located within the New York City metropolitan area, and number approximately 14,000 plus dependents. The Funds have thousands of associated members who are located in and around the New York/New England region. Currently, there are approximately 12,000 retired members receiving benefits from the Funds.

In mid 2000, the Trustees of the Funds decided to move the bulk of the administrative processes, and all member services, in-house. A third party administration firm was at that time responsible for limited outsourced administrative services of the Benefit Funds. Therefore, in addition to selecting a vendor to provide an administrative system, high-volume check and statement processing, and employer reporting data input, the Funds were faced with enhancing their internal staff and infrastructure. A Standard Data Corporation survey helped to determine that outsourcing (ASP/Service Bureau model) the administration, benefits processing, and IT management, would relieve the Funds of much of the expense and day to day management of the Funds' internal administration and processing routines.

The Carpenters Benefit Funds are committed to providing members with comprehensive benefit offerings that will be effectively administered. Through Standard Data Corporation's web collaboration efforts, members now have access to member services representatives via telephone and the Internet as a source of data inquiry and transaction initiation. Standard Data Corporation has assisted the Funds with the implementation of several self-service vehicles to assist members in data inquiry including: an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, a Web-based interactive capability, and a fully integrated Electronic Document Imaging System.

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Electronic Shop Steward Reporting Fund Certification of Actual Hours Worked

A large Taft-Hartley Benefit Fund sought a method to aid in the reconciliation of employer payments remitted for the hours worked by the Funds’ participants. Many employers were under-reporting employee hours, necessitating costly and lengthy audits to be undertaken by the Fund. During the audit process, it was discovered that not only were there significant underpayments, but use of non-union workers as well.

The Fund approached Standard Data Corporation for a solution to this complicated problem. Since 2001, SDC has functioned as the principle provider of technology and ASP services for this particular Fund, hosting a custom-built benefits processing application, and providing back-office services as well.  SDC also provides electronic imaging applications and services to the Fund, and the Union offices

The SDC project kick-off began with an initial study phase. SDC studied electronic remittance history and gathered all paper reporting as well. The reports and the electronic history files, included remittance reports documenting employer’s detailing of employee hours worked (submitted either via paper reports or a web-based entry process).  In addition, and on behalf of the Fund, SDC worked with the Union to study shop steward field reports documenting hours worked for each member. These are paper reports filled in by hand, and are sometimes barely legible due to adverse conditions that exist in the field.   

In order to move the implementation of a new and effective system forward, SDC working with the Union, re-designed shop steward report forms to permit data capture via electronic scan routines. SDC undertook the deployment of optical recognition technologies to further aid the process. The new system would allow for difficult to read field entries to be handled by digital intelligent character recognition. This new reporting mechanism represented an effective digital entry point to be coordinated with the Fund’s benefits processing system. Shop steward training sessions were held, as the new initiative was soon nearing completion.

Once the shop steward reporting data is collected, through the utilization of a custom application, a computer comparison is performed noting any discrepancies between the hours reported by the employer during their remittance process, and the hours (verified work hours) reported on the shop steward report. Any discrepancies are presented in a specialized report for analysis by the Fund’s administrators.  After review of the discrepancies, letters may then be generated to the culpable employers asking the employer to either justify the discrepancy or remit the (now documented and verified) contribution shortage.

This process aided the Fund in recovering millions of under-reported dollars in a matter of months.

SDC's Specialized Capture Process:

Shop Steward submits completed shop steward weekly reports (SSR) documenting members daily work hours and sign off.

SSRs are sent to Union office for review.

SSRs are scanned to image.

SSR images processed through Intelligent Character Recognition software (ICR) for data extraction.

Questionable information is verified and corrected by administration staff, if appropriate.

Member number and worksite identification information is compared and validated to Union records.

Data is compared to Employer Remittance data at the Fund Level:

  • Union member ID
  • Employer ID
  • Work Period
  • Hours Reported

Discrepancies are reported and reviewed

Where appropriate, letter and discrepancy report are printer and sent Employers for resolution and payment of under-reported hours (copy of SSR image will be sent upon request)

The advantages of this process for the employers are:

  • The ability to keep records accurately reconciled, and in a timely manner.
  • Reduce or eliminate delinquencies including delinquent interest assessments.
  • Resolve possible incorrect reporting due to inaccurate Member ID's.

The advantages to the Fund:

  • Recovery of potentially high dollar volume of under reported contributions.
  • Continuous monthly electronic audit of inaccurately reported hours.
  • Reduction of frequency and cost regarding external audits.
  • Reduced paperwork
  • Discovery of potential corruption/fraud
  • Monitor usage of non-union workers.


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AT&T

Challenge: AT&T's Marketing Communications Direct Mail division began a search for a data processing company that could reduce costs and turn around time through state-of-the-art technology.

Solution: AT&T chose to partner with Standard Data Corporation because SDC had developed a new method of high speed document scanning of responses at its Image Processing Center in Ewing, NJ. Scanning was used in conjunction with optical character recognition (OCR) technology which allowed for recognition of checked boxes and eliminated the need to key machine-printed characters. By using SDC, AT&T'S marketing communications direct mail division was able to achieve its targets for both cost and cycle time. As a result, SDC was awarded the marketing communications direct mail division's supplier of the year award. SDC continued to receive commendations from AT&T throughout our now long standing relationship. SDC is proud of this accomplishment since AT&T's standards for excellence are well-documented. AT&T is recognized as a quality conscious company as evidenced by its receipt of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. "AT&T values the partnership with Standard Data Corporation and looks forward to innovative solutions to meet the growing needs of our business," says Kate Seaman, district manager for marketing communications-direct mail response/fulfillment operations.

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PACE University

SDC/PACE Partnership: SDC completed the process of installing a complex custom configuration of the SDC Electronic Content Management Solution. Our ongoing maintenance and support of the University's enterprise wide system has allowed its image enabled departments to function more efficiently. The expansive imaging application is fully implemented and is supporting the day-to-day content management business requirements for Pace University’s most demanding departments including Financial, Legal, Purchasing, Contracts, Human Resources, and Accounts Payable departments.

SDC collaborated with Pace University throughout the application delivery and initial support process, while monitoring application performance and service levels. The SDC Electronic Content Management (ECM) system is fully integrated with the University's legacy enterprise-wide administrative system.

SDC brings its reputation and experience to this complex implementation to ensure that Pace, as one of the largest University systems in the country, will effectively gain strategic value to its operation. Pace is operating the SDC system at two of its three campuses. A VPN between Pace and SDC is in place to ensure a comfortable service level.

PACE Challenges and Improvements:

  • Conversion of nearly one million legacy images and annotations. A particularly challenging undertaking as annotations burned onto existing images were of a proprietary software configuration. Eventually all existing images were converted and migrated complete with more robust annotation capability.
  • Emailed notification of tasks completed or reminders for completion
  • Complex workflow develop for ad-hoc and predefined routines
  • Detailed status of document via document history
  • Detailed Custom Searches
  • Interface with outside database to obtain, validate and populate key index fields


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Educational Testing Services

Challenge: Educational Testing Service sought a data-processing company with the established ability to handle large volumes of confidential material to take over its processing center. That same company would also need to continue processing Educational Testing Service exam results and to provide the technology that would allow the company to change over from paper-testing to computer-based testing.

Solution: Standard Data Corporation's 53 years of experience in the field of high volume data processing made it a natural choice for Educational Testing Service. SDC was able to change Educational Testing Service over to computer-based testing by migrating all ETS applications from older legacy imaging equipment to a state-of-the-art Windows based system using high speed scanners and newer, faster storage devices for retrieval. Currently, SDC is Educational Testing Service's in-house imaging solutions provider for all departmental work flow solutions including test registrations, photo file records, plus handwritten essay and test scoring processes, and has been the recipient of ETS bonusing for its achievement of significant levels of quality production.

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Public Service Electric and Gas

Challenge: PSE&G was seeking an image processing company that could provide them with a records management solution by changing paper gas cards over to electronic images that could be accessed simultaneously. The thousands of index-sized gas cards were often extremely old and subsequently torn, faded and fragile. In addition, the information on the cards was irreplaceable and therefore highly valuable.

Solution: "After investigating several companies that provide such solutions, PSE&G chose Standard Data Corporation for their experience and knowledge in data conversion and their attention to quality assurance," says the manager of distribution information systems (DIS) for PSE&G when the decision to work with SDC was made. The company’s proven ability to handle sensitive materials enabled them to insure PSE&G that none of the cards would get lost, that PSE&G could access them in an emergency at any time and that they would be returned in the same order in which they were delivered. To avoid damaging the often frail cards, SDC utilized specialized scanners that would handle the cards gently, scan both sides at once and also enhance the faint images. To process the cards more quickly and efficiently, SDC keyed in the data directly from the scanned images using their own in-house developed software. Initially SDC created a database that included a series of indexes for retrieval based on municipality, district and street address. SDC has added to these basic retrieval indexes to create a database that now includes a total of 42 fields. The solution that SDC provided PSE&G has allowed them to not only reduce costs, but to dramatically improve its service and safety. Adds the manager of DIS, "Standard Data’s technology, management, and willingness to help us achieve our goals was exceptional. All in all, Standard Data did an exceptional job in helping us achieve our business objectives."

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www.exlpharmacy.com

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