Army cutting recruits' paper

E-RecordsManager will enable the electronic transmission, storage and management of recruiting information

The 5015.2 standard

To automate a paper-intensive process while making it easier for potential recruits to find their niche, the Army Recruiting Command announced Oct. 23 that it has selected a document management solution that meets Defense Department standards for recordkeeping systems.

The recruiting command selected Documentum Inc. and Impact Systems Inc.'s combined e-RecordsManager to keep track of its nationwide recruiting efforts. Impact Systems built its e-RecordsManager onto Documentum's enterprise content management platform, and the companies sell the system jointly.

With e-RecordsManager, the agency will consolidate all of its offline and online recordkeeping to help more than 600 guidance counselors manage records generated by recruiters nationwide, said Gary Bishop, chief of Web applications at the Army Recruiting Command.

The command headquarters, located at Fort Knox, Ky., provides the command, control and staff support to the recruiting force, which is made up of more than 7,200 people working out of more than 1,600 recruiting stations across the United States and overseas.

The recruiting and enlistment process has traditionally required hundreds of paper forms and data elements, including copies of birth certificates and driver's licenses. For each recruit, a physical packet of this information was hand-delivered to one of 65 Military Entrance Processing Stations.

The e-RecordsManager will enable the electronic transmission, storage, management and disposition of the recruiting information.

"The recruiter puts together a paper packet, and the guidance counselor works with that and creates more paper, and then the paper is stored," Bishop said. "This should get us into a paperless environment."

Bishop is overseeing the selection of the software and some of the hardware and said the project is wrapping up the "requirements-gathering phase" and should begin development by Nov. 15.

The system will track information for recruits from their first interview through enlistment. The application is also integrated with Microsoft Corp.'s Outlook and Lotus Development Corp.'s Notes Mail, which means that e-mail can be captured as records and managed through the program's life cycle.

E-RecordsManager is the first product built on the Documentum 4i eBusiness Platform that is certified for DOD's 5015.2 set of records management standards, said Monte Wilson, vice president of government operations at Documentum.

"The biggest thing is that it makes the actual recruiting process easier," Wilson said. "Right now, it's a very paper-intensive environment to find the best fit for a recruit. Someone could have a specific interest, but the recruiter doesn't have the information and a guidance counselor makes the recommendations.

"The goal is to introduce a whole new wave of efficiency in the recruiting process and -- with the nation's needs right now -- to get that up and running as quick as we can," he said.

In addition to electronic records, e-RecordsManager also manages physical records, keeping track of their storage life and location.

Electronic Data Systems Corp. is the prime vendor on the project. The Documentum and Impact Systems software part of the project cost about $470,000, Wilson said.

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