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Customizing Your INSZoom Case Management System to Improve Efficiency

posted by: Christen Gause date: Dec 02, 2015 Customizing Your Case Management System to Improve Efficiency, How To, Money and time saving tips comments: Comments Off on Customizing Your INSZoom Case Management System to Improve Efficiency
  Efficiency
Are you new to INSZoom or have you been using the system for a while but have not really taken the necessary steps to fully utilize the system? INSZoom is a powerful case management system that when fully utilized can help you to streamline processes, improve efficiency, remove the chance of errors and ensure accountability. This might seem like a tall order but it is possible if the right steps are taken. So, how does when get started with accomplishing so much? You break it into steps and work through each process also known as project management!

Here are the steps that need to be taken to customize INSZoom to meet your firm needs and see a return on your investment (ROI). This is a big project but it is worth the time and effort. THis is the first blog post in our series called Customizing Your Case Management System to Improve Efficiency.

  1. Create a project plan
    1. You might think that you should jump in head first without a project plan. You want to get started, you know what customizations you want to make and you don’t want to waste time on a proper project plan. DO NOT DO THIS! You need to decide what the goal is, what you want to accomplish, who is going to do the work and the time frame that you want to get it done in. If you jump in without planning I am guarantee you that you will end up with a lot of rework which a waste of time and money.
  2. Have a meeting with all stakeholders
    1. I have seen a lot of firms who find their best project manager to manage a project and they appoint them to figure out how the firm can better use INSZoom. This individual might not have any knowledge with immigration but is very “tech savvy” and they are told to look at INSZoom and figure out how “we can better utilize the system”. This is not helpful. If you don’t know the challenges of those doing the immigration work and how to add value to a process you are not helping. During the “kick off” meeting you need to lay out the roles and responsibilities for the project, develop a scope statement that clearly lays out the business need, the problem, the objectives, the benefits of completing the project, and key milestones.
  3. Understand the process that you are trying to improve or replicate
    1. If you are not a case manager, paralegal, attorney or someone who knows the immigration processes well you need to sit next to someone who does and watch them work. See what steps they are taking, see what they are doing and pay special attentions to the steps they are doing repetitively. It might take a few days of observing to see an entire process; immigration matters are not completed in a day.
  4. Decide what steps and/or processes you want to complete using INSZoom
    1. The goal would be to have all steps and processes being completed in INSZoom. Analyze the process from start to finish.
      • case initiation received from client,
      • add foreign national to INSZoom,
      • add dependents,
      • open cases,
      • grant access to the foreign national portal,
      • send welcome email to foreign along with the questionnaire and docs check list,
      • receive data back from foreign national via questionnaire and docs uploaded through the foreign national portal,
      • mark off case steps as completed,
      • populate immigration forms,
      • send forms to foreign national to be signed,
      • submit application to government authorities,
      • case approved – change case to approved or closed and track the expiration date.
  5. Customize the knowledge base
    1. After you determine what steps and processes you want in INSZoom you need to decide what sections of the knowledge base need to be customized.
      • Creation of custom data fields for fields not available in zoom but specific to your firm or your clients.
      • Create questionnaires to capture client data.
      • Create email templates using keywords to easily create routine emails
      • Create letter templates using keywords for support letters.
      • Create petitions for your immigration matters
      • Add case steps & reminders (workflows) to match your immigration process and capture key milestones.
      • Add steps events to the case steps & reminders to automate your process. (This one is my favorite as it enables you to process a case my clicking a button).
      • Link the immigration forms to the petition along with the support letters.
      • Customize the foreign national portal to meet your firm’s needs and those of your clients.
  6. Document your new processes and train your staff
    1. Now that you have customized INSZoom to meet your needs you need to document your processes. Most firms would do this in the form of a training manual. Create a step by step training manual that can be used to teach your current team members how you are going to utilize INSZoom going forward. I suggest a training for each team member and ensure they understand the process going forward. Everyone needs to process cases the same way so that the data captured is accurate and uniform. If your firm will be running reports and providing information to clients you must ensure uniformity and accountability in data collection. Training manuals are invaluable tools that a lot of firms don’t have but should. When a new person is hired a training manual can be used as a reference guide as they learn how to process immigration cases the way your firm requires. This is, after all, what makes you unique from your competitors!
Customizing INSZoom and capturing your firms’ processes will go a long way in taking your firm to the next level. Your firm will be uniform in how you communicate with clients which allows you to set expectations. Clients will learn what to expect with each step of the process. Your team and firm will appear very tech savvy and professional in its delivery of immigration services. The best part is that you will see a return on your investment! Your employees will no longer be doing repetitive tasks, making silly mistakes when copying and pasting email and letter templates, and doing manual data entry. You will be able to process more immigration cases with less overhead which means more profit in your wallet!

This blog is the first in a series of blogs on how to fully utilize INSZoom to improve efficiency. Be sure to watch this space for more blogs on how to:
  • Creation of custom data fields for fields not available in zoom but specific to your firm or your clients.
  • Create questionnaires to capture client data.
  • Create email templates using keywords to easily create routine emails
  • Create letter templates using keywords for support letters.
  • Create petitions for your immigration matters
  • Add case steps & reminders (workflows) to match your immigration process and capture key milestones.
  • Add steps events to the case steps & reminders to automate your process. (This one is my favorite as it enables you to process a case my clicking a button).
  • Link the immigration forms to the petition along with the support letters.
  • Customize the foreign national portal to meet your firm’s needs and those of your clients.
Till next time, Christen Gause

   
date:  Dec 02, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Customizing Your INSZoom Case Management System to Improve Efficiency
by:  Christen Gause category:  Customizing Your Case Management System to Improve Efficiency, How To, Money and time saving tips Read More

Save Time and Increase Productivity with Email Templates

posted by: Christen Gause date: Dec 02, 2015 Enterprise Immigration, How To, Immigration case management, Money and time saving tips comments: Comments Off on Save Time and Increase Productivity with Email Templates
Email-Image

Welcome back and thank you for joining us for the next installment on Customizing Your Case Management System to Improve Efficiency. The next several blogs will guide you through the benefits of customizing INSZoom to meet your firm specific needs. Each blog will focus on one specific area of INSZoom and will convey why it is important to utilize that area and what benefits you will reap from taking the necessary steps.  

Email templates are my most favorite thing to use in INSZoom. They are easy to create and there seems to be no end in how they can be used. We all communicate with our clients through emails but with immigration there are many emails that get sent out to clients at certain milestones in the immigration process. I bet that if I asked for a show of hands how many people have email templates created in Word that they copy and paste into Outlook everyone would raise their hand. Firms and employees alike want to improve their own efficiency. There is always a handful of emails that get sent out to clients and nobody wants to reinvent the wheel so they copy and paste from Word to Outlook.  

What would you say if I told you I can take things to the next level? Copying and pasting from Word to Outlook might make things easier but it is not fool proof. Those emails still need to be edited, details added, and there is always the dreaded “formitis” where the last client’s details did not get deleted and you just called your current client, Martha, and she is really a he, named Andrew.  

Not yet convinced that email templates can help you improve efficiency? Here are several more reasons why you should utilize email templates.  

  • Uniformity in communicating with clients. This is an easy way to ensure your entire firm is communicating with clients in a uniform and professional manner.
  • Knowledge sharing. Building email templates in INSZoom ensures that everyone in the office can use them. Gone are the days where someone has all the knowledge on their computer and others are struggling to draft well written emails. Create email templates for all to use and if the template is updated, everyone is using the most recent version.
  • Clear communication. If you have non-native English speakers who are excellent paralegals but struggle to communicate clearly then email templates is the answer to help them feel confident in communicating.
  • No more copying and pasting from Word Documents into an email. Formatting can get messed up and the emails still need to be edited to add the Foreign Nationals details.
  • Keywords, when used in email templates, automatically populate the Foreign Nationals details into the email. With the click of a button you can draft an intro email to your client. Talk about efficient, this is the only way to go!
  • Emails are captured in INSZoom so everyone in the office has access to view the client’s history. If someone is out sick, departs, or if you need to do a root cause analysis, all of the key milestone emails are located in one place with a time and date stamp.
  • Keep clients updated when key milestones are met. In today’s world everyone wants to be informed and kept updated. This is no longer a luxury but a requirement that clients expect. Create milestone email templates that can easily be sent to your clients. This small step goes a long way in taking your firm to the next level.
  • Documents can be attached to email templates. This is one more way to save time. If you send process overviews or documents to your clients when you send an intro email, attach it to the email template. When you generate the email template the attachment will be there and there is no need to take the time to upload it.
 
As you can see, the benefits of using email templates are many. If you are now thinking “I only have 3 or 4 emails that I copy and paste from Word to Outlook so I don’t know if this is a problem for me”. What?! Take a second and think outside the box for second. What emails could you turn into email templates?  

Let me help you get warmed up with some ideas:  

  • Intro email to foreign national when starting a new immigration process – if you have 10 different services you offer to clients you will have 10 different intro emails.
  • Follow up email to foreign national reminding them to send you requested items
  • Email to HR asking for supporting documents and you will need different emails for different immigration processes
  • Email to foreign national letting them know that you have received all documents and are processing or putting their application together
  • Email to foreign national advising that their application has been filed
  • Email to foreign national that case has been approved
  • Email to your internal accounts team or billing specialist that the file is ready to be billed
  • Email to foreign national on the next steps once they enter the destination country
  • Email to foreign national when passport is about to expire and needs renewal (possible repeat business)
  • Email to foreign national when visa is about to expire
  • Email to foreign national when work permit, residence permit and work authorization is about to expire
  • Email to HR seeking approval to renew the foreign nationals immigration documents

Now that I have you in thinking mode, what other email templates could you create that would help you improve efficiency and consistency at your firm?  

Here is a quick look at how an email template looks when you create one in the knowledge base.  

Pic 1  
This is an example how what an email template looks like once generated.  

pic 2  

Email templates are a great start to improving efficiency, improving consistency and conveying a professional message to your clients. In the next blog I will take the use of email templates to the next level and explain the importance of creating case steps/milestone (work flows) and attaching events to the case steps. An event is something that occurs when you mark off a case step as completed, like an email, which automatically gets generated when you mark off the case step.  

If you would like more information on creating email templates in the knowledge base please reach out to me, Christen Gause, for more information. I am happy to help and look forward to hearing from you.  

Christen Gause, MBA  
Manager, Business Development & Solutions | INSZoom.com, Inc. | christen.gause@inszoom.com  
Main: 925 244-0600 Ext 285

date:  Dec 02, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Save Time and Increase Productivity with Email Templates
by:  Christen Gause category:  Enterprise Immigration, How To, Immigration case management, Money and time saving tips Read More

Why Everyone Should Attend the Power User Conference

posted by: Natalia Burris date: Nov 20, 2015 Events, News comments: Comments Off on Why Everyone Should Attend the Power User Conference
PUC-2016_Banner-Image[2] INSZoom is busy planning for another great conference.  The Power User Conference will be held in San Ramon, CA on January 22, 2016.  As we head into the holidays and many of us try and stay focused while dreaming of Turkeys and Holiday Cheer I wanted to take a few minutes and remind everyone why attending industry conferences is such a good idea for both career and business.  The cost to attend is minimal to the benefits that are obtained when new things are learned and inspiring ideas are shared.
  1. To learn from and to be motivated by other power users.
      1. It is very easy to continue to sit at your desk every day doing the exact same thing in the exact same way. We all tend to become creatures of habit and when a new hire asks “why do we do it like that” the common response is “because we have always done it this way”.  Don’t get stuck in the same rut.  Attending power user conferences allows you to see how others are using the system and powerful best practices are exchanged.  If you work for a small firm is it possible that your firm is not able to afford a system administrator or power user.  You would be amazed at the ingenuity of these super stars and you should come learn from them!
     
  2. Find solutions to your problems.
      1. If you are struggling with how to solve a problem it is possible others did too at some point and they found a solution! We are all very busy these days and case work and clients come first.  Often, there is simply no time to sit and brain storm on how to solve a problem and limited system knowledge can be a hindrance.  The best solution I found to a problem came from another power user at an INSZoom Power User Conference.  I was in the audience listening to how another large firm found a solution to capturing data.  This was a big problem for us in Global Immigration as we required our employees to enter specific info into specific fields but our employees were inconsistent in entering the data.  The solution? Create an internal questionnaire that is pinned to a foreign national’s profile!  This was a huge light bulb moment and saved our company hundreds of man hours ($$) and a lot of pain.
     
  3. Form relationships that will lead to strategic alliances, joint ventures and referrals.
      1. Contrary to popular belief, very few people walk away from hours spent at a conference with a fistful of contacts. Many of our clients are in the same business and possibly competing for the same work but you never know when the person sitting next to you might become your next strategic alliance.  Maybe you have clients who are looking for support with a certain work permit type or assistance with a country where you don’t offer services.  If you want to retain your client you will need to find a way to make them happy by either finding a partner or being able to provide them with a referral.
     
  4. Stay current on technology trends in the immigration industry.
      1. Attending networking events allows you to glean information about current and future trends. What does the future hold for technology?  What are clients demanding and what changes are coming to stay aligned with these demands?  Staying on top of technology trends helps you to better plan for your future, resources and initiatives.
     
  5. To socialize.
      1. The world of immigration is a unique one where a lot of the work can be done from home offices. Attorneys, paralegals, case managers and power users can work from home.  This is especially true in corporate based immigration where the company might be located 5 states away and they never set foot in your office.  With technology, the internet, FedEx, UPS, and USPS you can process cases from home and never see your clients in person!  As more and more people balance work and life it is vital to our wellbeing that we get out and socialize.  We need to recharge our batteries.  We need to be inspired.  We need to socialize!
     

date:  Nov 20, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Why Everyone Should Attend the Power User Conference
by:  Natalia Burris category:  Events, News Read More

Intern Blog: My Time as a Software Engineer Intern

posted by: Natalia Burris date: Nov 20, 2015 News comments: Comments Off on Intern Blog: My Time as a Software Engineer Intern
blog
I joined INSZoom as a Software engineering intern for the summer of 2015. As a fresher having no experience in the software engineering industry, I really had a great experience working with a company that has the world’s largest immigration software. I am glad that I made it through facing all the real world challenges and learning from the experience.

SHIVAPRAKASH.Sathvik_Pic[1]
The company has good software engineers and developers, I had the opportunity to interact with them and learn from them. I also had the opportunity to work with an excellent project manager (Delivery Head) who used to understand our difficulties and challenges and provide the best possible solution.

Their application is huge and our co-workers were very cooperative in making us understand the requirements and helped us on how to approach the problem and guided us in giving intricate details to write neat code that is understandable, easy to modify and re-usable code. Apart from this, I had opportunity to work with many other seniors who guided me on how to approach the problem and solve them in the best way possible.

To conclude, working with INSZoom as an Intern Prepared me to face real world challenges and the way in which we looked at the problems and find a permanent solution to problems.

Best Regards,

Sathvik Shivaprakash

date:  Nov 20, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Intern Blog: My Time as a Software Engineer Intern
by:  Natalia Burris category:  News Read More

Items Corporations Should Consider When Evaluating a New Immigration Case Management System

posted by: Natalia Burris date: Nov 18, 2015 News comments: Comments Off on Items Corporations Should Consider When Evaluating a New Immigration Case Management System


More technology is available to global mobility teams than ever before. However, decision-makers need to conduct a thorough evaluation of their internal needs and the needs of their employees before selecting a new platform. Most corporations struggle to effectively manage change, but many benefits can be acquired through new technology, such as better employee relations, improved organization and increased efficiency.  All of which have a direct and positive impact on ROI if the right immigration case management system is chosen.  Here are some considerations before adopting a new immigration case management platform:

Ask for input from all levels of the organization It’s important to treat end users as stakeholders in the decision-making process. This helps employees to be more engaged in the transition to new technology. Asking for input helps organizations put together a more complete picture of the technology needed for everyone to be more efficient. Depending on the unique needs and size of the organization, a highly user-friendly platform that is customizable to meet the needs of employees may be the best choice.  It might also be imperative that employees have access to a portal where they can login and check the status of their petition, upload documents and complete questionnaires.

  Understand data security Data breaches are becoming a more significant problem across many industries, and corporations need to take steps to protect their data to avoid a breach of confidentiality with their employees’s data. When moving to a cloud-based platform, corporations need to ensure that they choose a provider who is well versed in data security, someone who knows the specific requirements that attorneys must follow to ensure data security, someone like INSZoom.com. Many corporations use public Internet, or exchange information via email which increases the risks of security breaches.  Not only do organizations need to choose a secure immigration case management system, their employees are demanding it.  Corporations and employees are demanding proof that their data will be secure along with a solution that allows for documents to be uploaded directly into the database removing any potential security risk of sending documents via email.  When evaluating an immigration case management system ask the potential vendors to provide you with proof that they have taken the necessary steps to ensure data security.  INSZoom is happy to provide any client and potential client with a copy of our ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certificate, Safe Harbor certificate, and our SOC 2 Report.  All of these items are industry standards and are items that any potential immigration case management provider should be able to provide you quickly and without hesitation.  

Identify key areas that need improvement Corporations have multiple goals and must meet the needs of many stakeholders when they adopt new technology, but it’s important to prioritize the top objectives. Are you trying to improve efficiency, streamline processes, enable document collaboration, improve reporting and tracking capabilities, store data in a secure location, have the ability to access the data anywhere, or provide access to your clients through client portals?  INSZoom’s immigration case management software achieves all of these items and more.  

Partner with a vendor Successful technology implementation often hinges on an organizations relationship with its technology vendor. A vendor will be a partner for the long haul, so it’s important to select the right one. Corporations need a platform that can integrate with their pre-existing internal systems so everything is working together in harmony. INSZoom’s immigration case management software allows organizations to streamline workflows and improve collaboration without missing any important case deadlines, plus it offers support through the life of the relationship.  We have dedicated product trainers and product support personnel who will work with you always providing you with the support you need. Your success is important to INSZoom and we will work together to ensure all of your needs are being met.  

Please reach out to us today at sales@inszoom.com to schedule your demo and see how INSZoom can partner with you to provide you with the best in class immigration case management system.

date:  Nov 18, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Items Corporations Should Consider When Evaluating a New Immigration Case Management System
by:  Natalia Burris category:  News Read More
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