Welcome back! All of my blogs so far have focused on steps that you can take to increase efficiency within your firm. Every business owner wants to have a business that runs efficiently and effectively because that is how money is made. Processes that have repetitive and redundant steps are annoying and tend to get skipped when employees are busy. For my next installment on Customizing Your Case Management System to Improve Efficiency we are going to address reports!
Without good reports it is very difficult for a firm, or any business for that matter, to evaluate how they are doing, to hold employees accountable and to fulfill client requirements. Every client wants to be able to see that you are doing what you are paid to do and can prove it by providing effective reports. Corporate clients with a large global & mobile population are going to be very demanding when it comes to having access to reports so they can manage and ensure their immigration matters are on target. Can you blame them? They must manage their employees, the immigration vendor, the moving company, and internal expectations among other items. The home goods can’t be delivered in the destination country until the employee has the proper work authorization. Global mobility moves cost corporations millions of dollars a year so there is very little room for error. Reports help everyone stay on track!
The first step in being able to obtain and run good reports is making sure everyone is using INSZoom the exact same way and putting data in all of the required fields to meet your business needs and the needs of your clients. To do that you must take the time to evaluate the system, figure out exactly how you want to use it, take the time to customize INSZoom to match your internal processes, document your processes (training manuals), and train your staff. Why is it important to take all these steps? Because in order to obtain good reports that are useful to you and your clients you need to ensure you are capturing the data. Reports are not helpful if data is missing from fields and someone has to spend hours looking for the missing information.
I occasionally hear that businesses use Excel spreadsheets to keep track of their cases and the work that they do. When asked why, they say it is easier to add the info to the spreadsheet because they don’t get the information they need on INSZoom reports. Gasp! There is no reason for this! This is extra work and usually the result of not knowing how to create Adhoc reports within INSZoom. If information is entered into the data fields you require by your staff there is no reason to duplicate efforts and also use an Excel spreadsheet. Let go of the crutch that is Excel spreadsheets, you do not need to duplicate efforts and keep a spreadsheet. You need to push your staff to use INSZoom completely, enter the data, keep it updated at all times and create reports that meet your needs.
Adhoc reports are an excellent tool and depending on which edition of INSZoom you use, can be created with minimal effort. They are easy to use and quick to create once you understand the basics of inputs and outputs.
What is an input? When creating a report input fields are the bits of information that you want the system to go pull. For example: you want a case manager case load report. So your inputs would be: Case Manager Name (so you can choose the case manager), Case Active (so you pull only active cases), Case Status (so you can pull open cases). These inputs tell the system to go pull all the open and active cases for a specific case manager.
What are outputs? Outputs are the data fields that you want to see once the system grabs your info (inputs). So, going back to the above case manager case load report, the system has pulled all open and active cases for a case manager and you want to view what info. Outputs are what make up the actual report. For a case manager case load report you would possibly want to see Corporation/ Foreign National First Name/ Foreign National Last Name/ Destination Country/ Petition Name/ Case Status/ Last Case Step Completed. This report would allow a case manager to view all of their open/active cases.
It seems fairly simple and straight forward and it is! It might take a few tries to ensure you are capturing the information that you need but Adhoc reports can be updated very easily. My one tip for any beginner is to be careful with the inputs. If you have too many or are too specific you will greatly limit the information the system goes to grab and you might get no results for your outputs. For example: if you use petition name as an input then you are telling the system to only pull a report for petitions with that exact name.
Here is an example of how to create an Expiration Adhoc report.
- In the popup window give your template a name and choose who will have access to run this report. *Be mindful of using client specific names if granting access to clients to run reports through the Corporation Portal. (click image to enlarge)
- Now choose the input and output columns. The Input columns tell the system what data to go pull. The output columns tell the system how you want to view the information. (click image to enlarge)
- Click on Link/Unlink Columns and in the popup window chose the info you want the system to go look for. For an expiration report you want to be able to choose by Corporation (or case manager) and then you want Active Cases and Approved Cases. The items below will provide you with those options. Click on Save when done. (click image to enlarge)
- Now you want to click on Link/Unlink Columns for the output fields. Below is an example of items that you would want to see. Click Save when you are done.*Please note the difference in calling your Foreign Nationals either Clients or Beneficiaries or Foreign Nationals. This is customizable in the system so don’t let the terminology confuse you. **You can rearrange the items by moving them up or down. (click image to enlarge)
- You will now see the input and output columns. Click on View Report to run the report. (click image to enlarge)
As you can see from the above example, it really is very easy to create Adhoc reports. The real work comes from ensuring your staff is using the system in a consistent manner and entering the data. Once you have done this you can create reports to meet your needs and those of your clients.
If you would like more information on creating Adhoc Reports 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
Main: 925 244-0600 Ext 285