State of Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Boosts Workforce Flexibility with Enterprise Resource Planning
 
 

State of Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Boosts Workforce Flexibility with Enterprise Resource Planning

The State of Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration prepares Tennessee’s US$30 billion state budget, balances the government’s financial books, administers payroll and benefits for 47,000 state employees, and oversees the procurement of billions of dollars worth of supplies and service contracts.

Struggling to cope with a fragmented, siloed architecture—including more than 50 disparate systems across the state that supported various agencies’ financial, procurement, HR, and payroll functions—the State of Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration deployed Oracle’s PeopleSoft Human Capital Management applications, including payroll and benefits administration, and a full range of financial management and service automation software. The department worked with Oracle Insight to gain understanding of its key pain points, strategic vision, and desired goals for its new enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform.

“Many of the applications in our old system were homegrown with no flexibility, and some of the products had been discontinued and were no longer supported,” said Jan Sylvis, chief of accounts, State of Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration.

Making matters worse, many of the people who had maintained the old systems were starting to retire. “We were in a tough spot,” Sylvis said. “We needed to invest in new technologies and systems that would carry us forward for the next 10 to 20 years.”

The State of Tennessee Department of Financial and Administration and Oracle Insight worked together to develop a set of actionable recommendations to help build a unified and comprehensive ERP system. The PeopleSoft solution enabled a more flexible and effective mobile workforce.

 
Smooth Sailing

A word from State of Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration

  • “Human capital management supports our growth and thus is an extremely important aspect of our business strategy. With Oracle’s PeopleSoft applications, we can give our employees more flexibility and access through self service, helping us to improve overall employee satisfaction while saving approximately US$500,000 each year in paper and mailing costs, just by replacing paper pay stubs with online access to pay data.” – Jan Sylvis, Chief of Accounts, State of Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration

When floodwaters raced through Nashville in May 2010, the rising tide threatened to put a significant portion of the state government on hold. But thanks to its financial and human resources (HR) system—based on PeopleSoft Financials and PeopleSoft Human Capital Management—state employees hardly missed a beat. Forced to abandon their downtown offices for days to weeks, workers quickly mobilized at backup locations and at home offices, plugging into a new Web-based workflow system to keep key financial and payroll functions running on schedule.

“During the flood it was so important that we continued to have access to our back-office finance capabilities and enable people to work in alternative locations or even from home,” Sylvis said.

 
Faster Purchases and Payments

 
 

 
 

Challenges

  • Consolidate 50 disparate systems across the state that support various agencies’ financial, procurement, HR, and payroll functions into a single, unified platform
  • Increase visibility and transparency for statewide data and performance
  • Invest in a comprehensive ERP platform that will help support state government initiatives for the next 10 to 20 years

Solutions

  • Improved workflow capabilities, enabling managers to review financial requests, along with supporting documents—such as invoices and receipts—in a single step
  • Provided easy access to relevant financial materials to help facilitate audits
  • Enabled the department to quickly mobilize at backup locations and at home offices during a flood in May 2010, plugging into the new Web-based workflow system to keep key financial and payroll functions running on schedule
  • Deployed new, service-automation applications to help the state gain better control over its grant programs, a portfolio of funding projects that contributes billions of dollars to the state’s economy
  • Used the platform’s grants module to optimize cash flow by better tracking program expenses and accelerating reimbursements from the federal government
  • Gave employees the option of enrolling in healthcare plans and other benefit programs through an online portal, streamlining the process and making it more convenient
  • Expanded self-service capabilities, which improved employee satisfaction and saved the state approximately US$500,000 each year in paper and mailing costs, simply by moving from paper to electronic pay stubs
  • Laid groundwork to work with universities and local governments across the state to introduce the same self-service solution for these organizations’ own employees

Why Oracle

Given its extended planning horizon, the department did not want to rush its investment decision.

“We take a lot of pride in running our department conservatively with a maximum of accountability and transparency,” Sylvis said. Before choosing Oracle, the department went through a competitive bidding process and talked to other states to gather a list of best practices. These discussions led to the department’s decision to form a dedicated team of state employees responsible for the day-to-day operation of the new Oracle platform.