A group of Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) employees from different offices and locations worked together to speed up a process to get benefits into the hands of Veterans faster than ever by revamping computer systems.
When a Veteran does not receive his or her regular benefit, they usually contact the VBA National Call Center. That benefit inquiry goes into a system – the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS) – to investigate the issue. From there, the inquiry used to go through several different computer systems that may or may not work well together. The entire process had to be tracked by the VBA Finance Center to ensure the Veteran received the proper response and/or action.
A group of employees from Financial Management Business Solutions and the VBA Finance Center, as well as directorates in the Office of Financial Management (OFM) in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, thought that VBA could do better. Working through the Salesforce computer application, the team – working remotely – devised from scratch an entirely new system that coordinates all the various computer platforms to work together seamlessly.
The new system, called Post Payments Workshop, achieved everything the group hoped. It enabled systems to work together, allowed any team member to locate the status of any claim – and most importantly – shortened the time for claims to get resolved.
These computer process improvements were devised and implemented over eight months without using additional resources or incurring expenses.
Now the group will try to tackle another issue by creating a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solution to handle repetitive tasks. RPA will free up more time for National Call Center representatives to work directly with Veterans.
Justin Allison works for VBA’s Office of Financial Management Business Solutions.