Aon and the Efficiency Manager
Everyone wants a purpose in life and fulfilling work. Mundane tasks such as paper sorting is less than 1% (I’m just guessing) of the population idea of fulfilling and that’s where Rick Loiben comes in. He is the Operations Manager at Aon also unofficially dubbed the Efficiency Manager because he gets his thrills from automating manual processes. Starting his career at Aon as a business analyst and working towards his working title today, Rick has had many achievements at his role and making people’s lives easier is definitely one of them. In this article, he speaks about his passion for PlanetPress and why he can’t get enough of it.
Can you tell me a little about what you do and Aon?
Aon is the largest insurance broker in the world. We are the middle man between organizations and insurance companies. For example if a company needs insurance to enter a building for installations, we help with insuring the on-time delivery of the best rates. So when it’s time to go into that building, they will be fully insured. I am the Operations Manager within our document production unit and I am the one they come to when a client’s request for document delivery seems impossible.
What was the first implementation you did with PlanetPress?
One of our customers had an extremely complex document delivery requirement. For each of their 4,000 locations, we had to mail a coverpage, a list of doctors to contact in case of a workplace injury, and a Workers’ Compensation Posting Notice explaining what to do in case of a workplace injury. However, there were 3 different cover pages to choose from (based on Parent Company)… 50 + 1 (DC) State forms to choose from… and 4,000 unique lists of doctors. The worst of it was the fact that while the 4,000 lists were saved as individual PDF files, they were not named in a common way, and we would have had to open each one up and rename them. We knew we needed help, but didn’t know who to turn to. One of our Ricoh reps told us that we could use PlanetPress to solve the problem and my appreciation for the product shot up from there. Seeing how easy it was to handle from a pretty low IT IQ perspective, we received training for it to see how else it could help Aon and I must say that the training was amazing. We were able to ask questions pertaining to us and it helped a lot to see the possibilities. Benoit (our trainer) was great! After the training, I was able to see all the places where PlanetPress could help.
What is one of your favorite implementations?
One of my favorite implementation was one where I wanted to meet a selfish need. We have an overseas team that helps us complete document requests. While they can complete electronic distribution, they are unable to put any of those documents in the mail for hardcopy delivery. After distributing it electronically, they would attach the .pdf to the request and route the request to our team in the US so they could print, fold, stuff, and then mail that document.
This was causing a lot of errors and some backlog in my printer rooms so I thought, how can PlanetPress help? I was able to create a process where our overseas team drops the file they created into a hot folder that then starts a process to sort the document by page count and send the file to printers where they were handled automatically. That means no more congestion in my print rooms and 5-10 more employees that do not have to do stuff envelopes. And at Aon, we don’t do layoffs, we just shift people around. Now those employees are producing documents… and not just distributing them providing a much better work life.
We have many processes like this that takes high error prone tasks that take up to 3 days and turn it to automated tasks that take 15 minutes. It’s been unbelievable. We have been saving so much time by just automatically pre-sorting our documents.
What is your favorite thing about PlanetPress?
Ah just one? Well, if I have to just choose one thing, it would be how easy it is to build anything I want right out of the box. But I also love that a simple project that I am able to create easily can affect 10-15 people and make their lives easier.
Do you have any other plans to use PlanetPress?
I know I will be continuing to use PlanetPress for a while. Special requests are always coming in. Whenever there is something weird or out of the ordinary, people come to me and ask if I can help them. Most of the time I can but as I have been infamously named the efficiency manager, my goal was always to create more processes that will give people lives more fulfillment. Currently, I have 50-100 processes running with PlanetPress. It’s not all necessarily big jobs but they do make a difference.
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