Cookies or cake? A Q&A with Ellie Barry, enterprise content manager at Dawn Foods

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with a favorite customer. We sent Ellie Barry, enterprise content manager at Dawn Foods, a few questions. As always, she provided excellent answers.

If you’re an OnBase sys admin – or you love a sweet treat – you definitely want to check this out.

Enjoy!


Background

Question: What is your position?

Answer: When Dawn Foods chose Hyland as our content services vendor, I got to create my own job description. So I went with Enterprise Content Manager. I’m also an OnBase Certified Advanced Workflow Administrator (OCAWA).

Before we consolidated everything in OnBase, I was working with two other content management solutions that we used in accounts payable, accounts receivable, and transport management. So my job is all about content management.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?

A: It depends on the day of the week. Mondays and Fridays seem to be mostly support.

When I have free time, I review process improvements and requests for existing solutions to grow OnBase. Right now, we’re installing EP3 Foundation in our DEV environment. I just started working through the review and test plan and am so excited to get this into production to make use of all the improvements it holds.

The other side of the coin is working on developing more skills for OnBase with our IT team.

Q: What path led you to where you are now? What kind of education and experiences did you need? 

Well this takes me way, way back … I started work on an Accounting degree in 1978 at the University of Akron. But during my sophomore year, I took a programming class as an elective and fell in love with coding.

I have always enjoyed solving puzzles and this fit me to a T. When I did further research on other computer classes, I found that there were two paths, Computer Science and Data Processing. Data processing was an Associate’s degree, so I added these classes to graduate with both a BA in Accounting and an Associate’s degree in Data Processing.

My favorite class was assembly – we got to decipher data dumps in Hex Code. Anyone remember PL1? RPG? I still think I could write COBOL code!

I say that jokingly, but I do I hear there is a shortage in this area where legacy mainframes need resources to keep the systems up and running.

Q: Any inspiration you can share with young women who are interested in STEM?

A: Whenever I talk to someone in high school or college, I tell them to take a variety of classes – you never know where you will find something that sparks an interest. You will be working for a long time and need to find something you enjoy and are passionate about. I have always found IT to be an exciting adventure.

I started off my career as an RPG programmer for a specialty light pole manufacturer in Ohio. Then I moved to Michigan and landed a job as a consultant. I worked with many customers in various businesses which built up my resume. Wearing high heels and suits was “in” back then, luckily business casual has become a thing.

I did software demos for financial solutions, business process design, and programming. I learned all the basics and continued as a consultant at another company until 2000. But Y2K disaster programming was exhausting and I wanted to do something different.

I decided a job with Cabela’s would be a good move. They were an AS400/RPG shop and had an IT department of about 100 people. My office was in the new Dundee, MI store that was opening.

That was such a great job and environment, but they decided to move the IT staff to Lincoln, Nebraska. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in a position to move my entire family at that time.

That is when Dawn Foods hired me. My other passion is baking and I couldn’t have asked for a better company to work for. I have been with Dawn for 19 years (Aug 27th was my anniversary).

Dawn brought me in as a programmer; I advanced to Senior Programmer, then Business Liaison. When the Credit Collections department wanted to store customer applications and other documents, I was included on the software review and vendor selection.

THAT is when I realized that going GREEN was IN. Then AP decided we needed a “greener” solution for AP invoice workflow approval, so Dawn purchased a second, more modern content management solution. Then along came SAP.

Dawn really needed a more robust solution that would work with SAP and other applications. That’s why, in 2011, Hyland and OnBase came to Dawn Foods.

sourdough donutQ: Since you work at a leading global supplier for the baking industry, do you prefer cookies, cakes, or donuts? 

A: I am totally into white cake with buttercream frosting, but any birthday cake will do! When I travel with my husband (who also works for Dawn), we scope out the local bakeries to see if they use Dawn Products – 99 percent of the time they do.

Once in a while at headquarters, they put out bakery goodies for everyone to try. It is an amazing array of sweet goods. I always tell the newbies to carry a knife so they can try samples of everything. Trust me, sampling is better for your waistline.

Success

Q: How do you use Hyland solutions (or OnBase/the Hyland platform) to help your organization continue to be successful?

A: Our AP invoice automation solution is our biggest win – Mail Importer, AnyDoc, Workflow, WorkView, Automated Approval Processing – along with SAP, BIC, and Archivelink integrations. This is truly the first beginning-to-end vendor invoice process we’ve implemented to date.

Here’s how it works.

Vendors email the invoices, Mail Importer sweeps them into OnBase, which separates the invoice attachment, and then it archives the email as a cross-reference document. Mail Importer then passes the invoice to AnyDoc, which performs OCR to pull the PO number and PO line detail. The invoice then goes through a QA and coding process by AP. From there, the invoice passes back to OnBase and flows into the AP workflow.

The data from AnyDoc is used to create a WorkView object that contains the posting data for SAP. Invoices go to a three-way match or approval process for expense invoices, and then flow to SAP automated posting. Once posted, invoices sit in a queue until the SAP payment document is updated, then they exit the system. SAP users can view the invoices and all related documents right from the PO.

Accounts Receivable is a large consumer of OnBase. We set up the original process for all locations to scan daily deposits. We created scan queues and barcode cover sheets for each company, location, and deposit type. AR would record and apply cash in SAP and the legacy system from this process.

From there, the solution expanded to include scanning of 12 different document types to replace the need for paper – we then moved this process to use Unity Forms to replace the paper forms with Workflow. The biggest win for AR was receiving the documents electronically with correct information.

Did I mention the automated customer proof of deliveries (PODs) they manage as well? Locations are literally scanning thousands of signed customer invoices PODs daily.

This process uses Advanced Capture in OnBase. The documents are Dawn documents and we created a template to identify the doc types and pull the invoice number value. The solution automatically looks up the invoice number and SAP invoice file to add all the appropriate values and is then archived. If there are customer disputes, this is the first place the team goes for review.

Our Export department project went into service on January 1, 2020 to upload and folder documents by overseas order types. Audits are now easier to determine if there are missing order documents that could result in large fines.

We also use OnBase to share out documents to Dawn’s new online customer digital ordering platform. Customers can view product and nutrition information for any Dawn manufactured product.

We launched the platform in July 2020, and it has had a very positive impact on our customers as it eases the process of placing orders during the current health crisis.

Q: What are the biggest challenges of your job and how do you rise above them?

A: The biggest challenge is resourcing. Currently, I am the only developer and support for all our applications. There are SO many new projects on the list and there are improvements we can add to each of our existing solutions. I juggle my days between designing solutions, configuration, testing, support, and training.

Needless to say, days fly by.

One of my favorite OnBase success stories was the bill of material (BOM) change control process. Since I am a limited resource, I suggested training the BOM IT team member in OnBase – Unity Forms, workflow approval process, and reporting dashboards.

Dawn has Premium Subscription to Hyland’s online training center and they gave a list of classes for my team member to take. He was quickly able to learn how to create the Unity Form and workflow approval management configuration. I helped with the workflow, data for auto-fills, and email notification configurations. This process sends out email notifications at every stop in the approval process and there are MANY!

Q: Can you give us a high-level view of how Hyland Global Services helped you?

A: Whenever we need a new solution or an update, I always reach out to my Account Manager and arrange a review. For example, we contracted Global Services for Dawn’s original implementation and integration with SAP.

I was just learning OnBase at the time, and this experience escalated my knowledge and ability to support and manage the solutions. Global Services has been involved many times over the years, and knowing I have this resource available to review and quote a solution is a very valuable resource for Dawn.

Q: Are you utilizing the Hyland Cloud? 

A: Not yet, but the goal is to move Foundation to production on prem and get our feet wet. I will focus on the process improvements for the existing applications the upgrade has to offer. I am going to be one happy and busy worker!

Q: Chocolate, vanilla, or sprinkles?

A: Sprinkles. Also known as “jimmies,” for those not in the business.

I also enjoy an old-fashioned donut with chocolate frosting, and sprinkles, although sometimes it is too hard to pick and a dozen donuts are required. 

The future

Q: What is the next big solution you’re going to implement?

A: Four things:

  1. Master Data – Vendor Master change control is on the roadmap for the business
  2. Regulatory – migration of additional material vendor documents
  3. Contract Management – this is on my personal development list
  4. All will be post-Foundation upgrade

Q: Any advice you would like to share with aspiring women in tech? brownie pancakes with caramel-flavored fudge icing

A: Once again, four things:

  1. Figure out how to make your voice heard and don’t be shy
  2. Plan a career path and push it to all the right managers – if the company doesn’t fit, move on
  3. Learn to love reading software manuals
  4. Attend meetings for other IT and business areas – cross-train in as many departments as you can

Q: Last question: Were you the culinary genius who came up with the idea of brownie pancakes with caramel-flavored fudge icing?

I wish. And the answer is a trade secret. But as you know, Dawn foods can provide all the necessary ingredients 😊.

I’ll leave you with a sweet suggestion. Have you tried a sourdough donut? There is nothing like it in the market!

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