Situated just south of the Michigan border, Lucas County, OH is home to more than 450,000 residents and employs 3,200 people. In January 2020, the county went live with its Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation – a foresight that proved absolutely critical to business continuity and financial operations when shelter in place orders were issued March 23, 2020.
County employees quickly discovered that working remotely with the new Cloud functionality was faster than being in the office.
Business as usual…but even better
“Being able to log into Oracle without a VPN made things just as fast as being in the office,” said Tony Stechshulte, Director of Accounting and Internal Cloud for Lucas County. Everything is now paperless because of automated workflows and approvals. It’s been wonderful.”
Processing payments and issuing checks is a big part of the team’s work. Prior to Oracle ERP Cloud, this involved many manual hand-offs between employees, and then manual issuance of the payments. Now, it can all be done online. The new procure-to-pay system supports processing of 8,000 to 10,000 paper invoices (including supporting documentation) a month for 35 to 45 different agencies. All of this information is now managed and housed in one repository in the Cloud. For suppliers, a self-service portal automatically guides them to complete required forms and attach supporting documentation online.
Employee and supplier self-service has resulted in tremendous time savings, as employees are no longer bogged down by manual requests.
“The supplier portal has been a godsend,” said Alison Carpenter, Assistant Disbursement Director. “We would not have been able to carry out business as usual in these circumstances if we hadn’t move to the Cloud.”
Having a single source for critical financial data allows the County to create and access reports anytime, anywhere. This has been a huge benefit for the County staff as well as for its elected officials. Prior to the move to Oracle ERP Cloud, a custom system generated reports that always lagged by a day. Oracle’s flexibility now allows county employees to easily tailor reports so that departments can get relevant reports without need to custom code a new report. Importantly, elected officials can easily get a report from any device, such as a mobile phones. This allows them to have real-time information to make informed decisions at time of need. (Actual quote: “Elected officials can now login from their phone, run a report, see where their balances stand at a moment’s notice so they can make decisions quickly.”)
Lucas County builds for the future
Looking ahead, Lucas County is commencing ongoing development to implement Oracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM). For its Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM implementation, Lucas County and its partner Sierra-Cedar, have continued delivering new functionality in a remote working environment. HR Payroll has been implemented completely, and the work to deploy Recruiting, Talent Management, Benefits, Time and Labor, Payroll and Personnel Budgeting is ongoing. The team’s motto is to work “harder and smarter.”
This kind of accessibility and ease of use gives Tony Stechshulte and his team the confidence they can operate business as usual, including completion of their Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM, regardless of how long the pandemic stretches out.
“On Oracle, we’ve been functioning remotely since the start of COVID crisis,” said Stechshulte. “We will stay remote for as long as needed. It’s saved us. I don’t know what we would have done without it.”
Learn more about how three levels of government responded to COVID-19.
Daniel Keene is the general manager for Oracle’s state and local government applications business, which delivers innovative back-office and front-office solutions to government agencies across the country. He leads a national team of cloud application experts charged with transforming government through the adoption of Oracle ERP Cloud, HCM Cloud, CX Cloud and other SaaS products.
Daniel has over 30 years of experience in the state and local government solutions market, and has held executive positions with Deloitte Consulting, CGI, and American Management Systems. He plays an active role in numerous state and local government associations including the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers, the National Association of State Budget Officers, and the Government Finance Officers Association.
His diversified leadership background encompasses all aspects of state and local government solution practices including sales, cloud managed services, project delivery, global product development and marketing, and account management.
He holds a B.S. in business and computer science from Illinois State University. Daniel resides in northern Virginia with his wife Nazzic and their five children.