Caisse Nationale d'Allocations Familiales (CNAF)
CNAF (Caisse Nationale d'Allocations Familiales) is a large, government agency that distributes family allowance funds to more than 10 million beneficiaries each yer throughout France.
Based in Le Mans, France, CNAF (Caisse Nationale d’Allocations Familiales) is a large, public sector agency with more than 100 locations, that serves as France’s Social Security Department. By distributing family allowance funds to more than 10 million beneficiaries each year, CNAF is able to help families in need throughout France. In order to calculate the benefits CNAF can allocate to each family, it considers a number of factors including child welfare, housing and education.
The fund allocation and distribution process is handled by CNAF’s Department of Workflows and Document Management, led by Jean-Michel Omont, Archive System Manager, who’s been at the organization since 1990. Until 2006, CNAF had always dealt with its massive amounts of family benefit data manually. The information had never been consolidated - it was only available in various text formats and in lists, and extracting any insights from it was extremely labor-intensive. As reports became accessible from computers in text formats, the system improved some, but users were still unable to access the reports in Excel directly. In 2008, CNAF wanted to better understand their local IT needs and how they could expedite their data processing since they were handling thousands of files every day. At the time, a dozen of their local Caisse Allocations Familiales (CAF) offices had already adopted the Altair® Monarch® Desktop solution from Altair, and had provided positive feedback about the solution.
A year later, after assessing the situation, Jean-Michel Omont chose a single Monarch license from Altair for the entire CNAF organization instead of multiple desktop solutions. In addition, the Monarch Server became available on request to automate manual processes done with Monarch Desktop. Today, all 102 local agencies have adopted the solution based on the results seen by the pioneering CAF offices. “The system is easy to use, allowing us to quickly select a file and automatically convert it into structured data for analysis. Information is provided in a secure manner and data extraction is fully automated,” said Corinne Victoria, Project Manager.
Each night, Monarch runs more than 195 automated processes on up to 8,000 files and governs them in a secure, centralized Document Management System in Excel format. That’s about four gigabytes of data per night. Relevant files are then automatically processed and distributed to users via Monarch Server in a local DMS, and about 450 accountants connect to those files via a URL. Using a search form, they can extract all the information relevant to their professional needs, making them much more efficient than before.
“Monarch captures data from various text sources and structures it so we can quickly unlock direct results from Excel-like documents,” said Jean-Michel Omont. “Before using Altair, if we needed to look for a specific nature of claim, it had to be done searching through a PDF file. Today, it’s highlighted directly within an Excel file which can also provide an automated calculation or list information alphabetically for daily or monthly audits.”
Today, Altair is an integral part of CNAF’s information system, providing the organization with fast and exhaustive reporting. Its accountants and auditors’ time has been freed up for more value-added analysis, and getting information in an Excel format instead of text has improved efficiency and helped coordinating efforts between the various CAF offices.
“Tasks such as extracting data from text or PDF files is now as simple as pushing a button, so potential human error is avoided, and users can easily filter out data they don’t find useful. Monarch has not only made things easier for us, it has saved us thousands of hours of modeling and data extraction time and we’ve gotten a huge return on our investments,” added Jean-Michel Omont. “We’ve also gained greater data security, as access is only granted by IT with permission.”