Toronto Transit Commission rockets into e-forms

The Toronto Transit Commission may be taking a long time to complete the city’s Sheppard subway line, but it’s about to speed up its office paperwork considerably.

The Toronto public transportation service is preparing

to roll out software from Accelio Corp. that will move its paper-based forms to an electronic process. The solution will combine Accelio’s Capture program with its Integrate software.

Danny Baldwin, vice-president of Canadian operations, said the project would be focused on automating the purchase requisition process. Specifically, work will begin in the procurement and material management area.

“”The flow itself is primarily manual, with printed forms being circulated,”” he said. “”The initial piece of what we’re doing is a multi-step process for the purchase requisition piece. We’re facilitating not only the capture of the information that goes into the purchase requisition but the routing of it as well.””

Document management and the move to electronic forms often involves considerable changes in office workflow, but Baldwin said the learning curve would be manageable.

“”We try to make these things relatively intuitive in terms of the work list and how an employee deals with that,”” he said. “”To be fair, there will be a ramp-up period, but (it’s) relatively short. It’s dependent on the involvement of the individual employees in that process.””

Toronto Transit Commission spokeswoman Marilyn Bolton did not provide details on the Accelio project. She would confirm only that the purchase was made and that the value of it is roughly $170,000.

Baldwin said the initial rollout would be limited to those employees who are directly involved in the raising of purchase requisitions and the approval of them. “”Obviously, you can see that taking on the entire procurement function, that would expand rather rapidly,”” he said.

This is not the first time Accelio has worked with a transportation customer. Its client list also includes the Kansas Department of Transportation, which used Capture and Integrate along with Present to develop an application for processing more than 3,000 project authorizations that are created an updated annually. In that case, Kansas achieved a return on investment within 18 months, according to Accelio.

“”Our intent is to take a look at other processes up to their corporate services group,”” Baldwin said. “”Between the success of this program and the rollout through the entire procurement and material management program, we’d obviously hope to work with them through other services as well.””

The deal is the first customer win Accelio has announced since it began fighting off a hostile takeover bid from Open Text Corp.

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