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The U.S. Army is a fighting force of more than 1.1 million soldiers and
several hundred thousand civilian support personnel and contractors. Each
person serving the Army is evaluated annually for fitness and performance, a
process that was consuming tens of thousands of work hours and millions of
pounds of paper at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

After more than three years of gradual implementation of automation, the
Army is now saving more than $1 billion per year and cut the processing time of
fitness reports from six months to days. It achieves it through a custom system
built by Enterprise Information Management, an IBM
partner based in Dayton, Ohio.

EIM landed the deal not with any particular technology or product, but
rather with the approach it took when it first approached the Army. EIM sales
methodology puts evaluation and assessment of business processes and goals at
center stage in all of its engagements. Technology, explains EIM’s Director of Sales
Matt Garst, is just the components that enable the ultimate solution.

“Some vendors will come along and sell customers the latest and greatest
things since the wheel. It will be all shiny and fit in the architecture
nicely. But if it doesn’t get paper processed faster, it’s useless,” he says.
“IT has been forcing line-of-business managers’ decision making for years, and
now it’s beginning to shift.”

The process is akin to consultative selling, in which solution providers
evaluate customer needs and apply the appropriate technology. The difference in
the EIM approach is that the evaluation is focused on the business process and
business need, rather than looking purely at technology capabilities and legacy

“You have to get in more with the line-of-business guys. The actual IT
aspects don’t happen until the second or third meeting,” Garst says. “These
[line-of-business] guys know how to do business yesterday. They’re looking at
companies like EIM to get them to where they want to.”