Hjemmeværnet, or the Home Guard, is the fourth service of the Danish military. Service is voluntary and unpaid. However, members' loss of income from time taken off work, transport expenses, and other basic expenses are compensated. The Home Guard currently counts around 50,000 volunteers.
In 2018, we completed a major upgrade of the Danish Home Guard’s platform, bringing it to the latest version of SharePoint. However, the online system for travel and expenses administration was still behind the times.
A mix of analog and digital, the travel expenses system was in desperate need of an upgrade. With around 50,000 Home Guard military volunteers, travel expenses tended to mount up quickly. The former system was not equipped to handle the number of incoming expenses efficiently. Nor was it advanced enough to ensure the timely reimbursement of the volunteers. Something had to change. And we were ready to assist!
The focus of this upgrade was to make the travel expenses management software easy to use for the volunteers and the administrative staff. We wanted to keep the system user-focused. We checked the needs and habits of the users and found they needed a straightforward system that they could access anywhere, at any time. And from which they could receive speedy reimbursement.
We employed an entirely automated, Azure-based solution. This way, the system would remember the volunteers’ personal information. Meaning, that after the first use, a volunteer would only have to enter certain expense report details for a specific trip and click “Send.”
Because we utilized automatic quality assurance with carefully selected measurement points, we further optimized the user experience throughout the system’s development. We left nothing to chance, from expense report creation to the approval process to payout.
We incorporated the business rules into a high degree of automated processes. Because of that, the system ensures the correct checks are made, and the right reimbursement amounts are paid out. A large chunk of administrative work is now automated.
We focused on ease of use throughout this project, which paid off. As of 2018, 15,000 active volunteers can settle large travel expenses as well as small amounts. The success of the system was apparent when we looked at the number of small refunds. As of the beginning of April 2019, around 80,000 trips had already been reimbursed.
We’re proud that we could help Hjemmeværnet with digitizing its processes. The organization can now focus on its socially critical core tasks and let the Microsoft platform take care of the automated tasks. Ultimately, that’s what digitalization is all about.