A large Texas State Agency which regulates pawn shop practices, retail store credits, motor vehicle loans, property tax lenders, precious metals transactions, cash advances – approximately 13 business categories in all, and 16,000 establishments across the state, was using paper-driven processes and a collection of ad hoc and legacy technology that required duplicative data entry and frequently resulted in extended delays in the processing of applicants. The Agency Commissioner wanted to explore how technology could be leveraged to make it easier for citizens and businesses to do business with the agency, achieve internal operational excellence, create synergies across other state agencies, and incorporate innovative processes.

Y&L performed a full-scale IT Assessment, which included the development of an IT roadmap for creating a state-of-the-art eGovernment agency.  The IT roadmap involved building an automated web-based workflow solution that digitized all forms and workflow routing processes, was driven by a robust workflow engine, and was in alignment with the myriad of rules stated by the Texas Administrative Code and other agency regulations.

In keeping with the trends of the industry, the system was built to run on a secure cloud platform and also support a vast array of browsers and mobile devices. The system needed to comply with PCI (Payment Card Industry) Standards, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), and included cutting edge security features, such as 128-bit encryption, 2-factor authentication, and HTTPS protocol.

To achieve this, all of the business processes of the agency were mapped, and various stakeholder interviews were conducted.  Schematics of future state business processes, as well as technical solutions and technologies, were developed and delivered along with a detailed IT roadmap of the effort, costs, and rollout timelines.

The key deliverables of the Assessment and Roadmap Phase were:

  • “As-is” Business Process Defined
  • Automated Processes Desired
  • High Level Functional and Non-Functional Requirements
  • Technology Stack Recommendation and High-Level Architecture
  • Technology Rollout Plan, Effort, and Costs

Based upon Y&L’s thorough understanding of the client’s current environment and desired future state, we were awarded the opportunity to create a new online environment for the agency.

The new online application, ALECS (Automated Licensing Examination and Compliant System) was released after a month-long User Acceptance Testing phase, which was performed by agency employees along with 24 focus group members representing eight companies across Austin, Houston, and Dallas.

The application was well received across the state by business owners and individuals alike, and was a resounding success. Within five months of release, 65% of all processed payments by the agency were performed as a “self-service” by their customers.

Over the first six months, the online application processed 12,000+ applications. What used to take six months of processing applications manually can now be processed online within two weeks.

In addition, within the first five months, the agency had recuperated approximately 70% of their online application investment in employee time savings.