FileNexus® Helps the Hillman Company Increase Efficiency and Cut Costs

Another FileNexus for Multiview Success Story

The Hillman Company
The Hillman Company (“Hillman”), founded in 1946 by billionaire philanthropist Henry Hillman, is a privately owned venture capital and investment firm headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With billions in assets and 160 entities to manage, it is crucial for them to securely archive and manage documentation for all their departments.

FileNexus Fast Facts
The Hillman Company
FileNexus Benefits:
  • $400,000 in annual operational savings (conservative estimate) in an organization of 40+ people
  • FileNexus redefines the dynamics of the workforce – streamlining workflow and cutting costs
  • FileNexus is used company-wide
  • FileNexus helps ensure COMPLIANCE for all the departments
  • Instant access to all records and an end to traditional paper, microfilm, storage and management costs
  • Auditors save time and manpower
    7 auditors would spend 5 weeks at multiple locations reduced to 2 auditors for a couple of days.
In 1998, they knew they needed to better manage their information so they attempted to develop a homegrown system called eFile. But as it grew in complexity, it grew out of control. There was no standardization, no consistency for how things were archived and no audit trail. Their homegrown solution became an even bigger problem.

“Everyone had their own way of doing things, of managing and identifying their files. We realized that we needed another solution, and that other solution was FileNexus.”John Hall, Vice President, Accounting and Information Services, The Hillman Company

In 2011, the accounting department began by mapping 300,000 documents from their old system and having them converted into FileNexus™. The project quickly caught on and they went from just a few people using it to the whole accounting department relying on it. Their next step was to figure out how it would be utilized company-wide.
“FileNexus is becoming the foundation for all the things we do in the organization.” – John Hall, Vice President, Accounting and Information Services, The Hillman Company
Hillman runs much more efficiently than similar type companies, especially when you consider that they don’t just have one but 160 different entities to manage. Investments may be made by multiple entities, which would mean that documentation would come into the company multiple times. Hillman has eliminated that because electronically they don’t need all those copies, all they need is one copy to reside in FileNexus. Controls are now in place to protect and route documents, with an audit trail to track them every step of the way.
Today, FileNexus serves all departments and the different areas of The Hillman Company. Although the archiving and indexing needs may vary from accounting, to legal, treasury and other departments, FileNexus allows everything to be stored, filed and managed based on department and even individual preference. For example, FileNexus user screens can be customized by the user to show exactly what they want and need – regardless of their job. A key feature of FileNexus is that it can adapt to the way that you do work and how you organize and manage things – making the transition seamless.
Hillman has realized a huge efficiency boost having documents at their fingertips. No need to fax, make copies to share, or to email documents back and forth. All the company’s documents are captured, archived and managed electronically in FileNexus, including but not limited to legal agreements, contracts, information on dividends, investments, and tax, treasury, invoices, risk management, partnership agreements, and all their signed and final documents.

Annual savings from FileNexus

As an investment organization, numbers mean a great deal to The Hillman Company. They went to considerable lengths to document the actual savings impact of FileNexus to their organization of 40+ people. Let’s look at the numbers.
  • $200,000 – People
    Reduction of two staff ‘equivalent’ – which represents 4% of The Hillman Company staff – annual savings of $200,000 includes salary, benefits, and other related employee costs.
  • $20,000 – Supplies
    Reduction in supplies – less ‘paper’ because multiple copies no longer necessary; less paper, fewer printer cartridges, less copier maintenance, etc. Annual savings of $20,000.
  • $30,000 – High density file space
    Elimination of three high density file areas: 1,200 sq. ft. ($22-$24/ sq. ft. = rounded to $30,000).
  • $50,000 – High density files
    Cost of three file areas (if you had to buy or replace high density files). One time savings of $50,000.
  • $30,000 – Compliance
    Audit/tax and other compliance – travel expenses drastically reduced. Annual savings of $30,000.
  • $20,000 – Offsite storage
    Reduction in offsite storage – Annual savings of $20,000.
  • $100,000 – Filing and office space
    The Wilmington office reduced its space by 40%, of which 10% was filing space. Combined savings of $100,000.
  • An annual savings of $400,000!
Jan Receski, Manager, Accounting Systems found that one of the immediate benefits of FileNexus for her department was its seamless integration with their Multiview® financial software. It was essential that her staff be able to work in their accounting system and, without ever leaving their host screen, be able to see a required source document with the click of a mouse. With FileNexus they can. Accounting users can start the commitment workflow from Multiview or FileNexus, their choice. The workflow approvers receive a message, for example ‘Will you approve this 10 million dollar commitment?’ That document, which supports the transaction and the commitment, resides in FileNexus.
“FileNexus empowers the users, including people on the road or in different offices. The information they need is right at their fingertips.” – Jan Receski, Manager, Accounting Systems, The Hillman Company

The Game Changers: Content Search and Customized Search Screens
The Version 6.8 release of the FileNexus™ Web Client included some enhancements that The Hillman Company describes as game changers for them—Content Search and the ability to customize search screens. Content Search is a quick and easy way to search across all index fields and readable content of documents from a single location. Users can pull up results faster without having to guess where to start.

FileNexus Web Client users can also customize their search screens, based on their own unique needs. If they normally search by just 2 or 3 indexes, they can deselect and reorder index fields just the way they want. So investment professionals get what they want – so does accounting. What’s more, their customized settings will persist when they log out and log back in.

Audit trails: FileNexus gives immediate access and cuts costs
Previously when a paper document was tied to an accounting transaction, and the company needed to do an audit for financial statements or tax purposes, auditors would have to travel to wherever those documents happened to be. Hillman has offices in Delaware and previously also kept records in offices in Florida and California. By importing the records into FileNexus, Hillman auditors have been able to cut down on travel time, expense and manpower.

“Before FileNexus, the auditors would send 7 people for 5 weeks down to our Wilmington office to do audits. It was a huge expense. Now they send 2 people for 2 to 3 days.” – John Hall, Vice President, Accounting and Information Services, The Hillman Company

Compliance concerns? Hillman has that covered too:
FileNexus has allowed The Hillman Company to streamline their compliance processes. With their old eFile system they would keep extra copies just in case. They couldn’t trust that their documents were successfully archived or be easily located when needed. Now the entire company depends on FileNexus to have all their information stored securely in one electronic repository. And the FileNexus Document Management System can expand as needed without suffering performance issues.

Any and all documents, both paper and electronic, can be securely archived in FileNexus. Departments at Hillman could be asked to produce documentation at any time, and those records have to be there. They are the support and backup for what they do. FileNexus has put controls, disciplines and standardizations in place for document management and provided them with a complete audit trail. It has met all their compliance requirements for accounting, tax, legal, risk management, and everything they need for foundation.

“If it is there in FileNexus, you can depend on it. Everybody expects and depends on it to support everything we need from a compliance standpoint. That is huge.”
 – John Hall, Vice President, Accounting and Information Services, The Hillman Company

When a document comes into the company, the business event tied to it can be predetermined—FileNexus can drive that document in its workflow. That includes, but is not limited to, where it goes, how it gets there, how it is used, and everything tied to that business event. No one has to guess at what to do and no one has to get involved.
Once a document is captured by FileNexus and its document type is defined, that sets the automated business event flowing through the organization. Business rules are determined by the FileNexus client for their own unique needs. If a business event or process changes, no problem, just update the workflow definition and rules in FileNexus. The change is instantaneous. Hillman is working to further automate their workflow by predetermining more business events for documents as they come into the company.

“FileNexus is our priority courier. You have instant access. It is accessible online from anywhere, even when you are en route. Really it is just night and day from what we had.” – John Hall, Vice President, Accounting and Information Services, The Hillman Company

Upcoming and future projects
Hillman has a number of storage rooms and underground facilities full of old documents. They are in the process of scanning their older historical documents that are still active, many of them legal documents, into FileNexus.
Hillman will also look at expanding the workflow capabilities of FileNexus and pushing that out to departments outside of accounting.
Hillman will be setting up retention policies – not keeping documents longer than they are legally obligated to.

“All of our improvements, from 1993 to now, were driven by our technology. And FileNexus and Multiview were the foundations for our critical systems. It has improved our processes, increased our efficiency. That is the point. It is that powerful. Those two systems have allowed us to get to where we are today.” – John Hall, Vice President, Accounting and Information Services, The Hillman Company

For more information on how The Hillman Company utilizes FileNexus with their systems, please contact Jan Receski at 412-338-3577.

About FileNexus
The FileNexus Document Management System gives organizations, both large and small, the ability to capture virtually any type of document from any source (i.e., paper records such as faxes, correspondence, signed documents, agreements, manuals; electronic files such as host generated reports, client statement streams, emails, IVR recordings, etc.), index and compress them for secure archival and future recall—providing a single cohesive repository for all document management, workflow, archival and business continuity needs.

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