NASCO chooses Halogen to embark on a strategic talent management journey

"By ensuring associate goals are linked to organizational imperatives, we’re in a much better place to achieve our vision as an organization."

Formed in 1987 through a partnership between several major Blue Cross® and Blue Shield ® Plans, IT healthcare solutions provider NASCO has evolved into a single-system solution that is capable of serving a Blue’s entire book of business.

Today, seven Blue Cross-Blue Shield Plans — almost 50% of the Blue Cross-Blue Shield network — trust NASCO with processing more than 250 million healthcare claims annually.

NASCO is committed to lowering Plan costs through growth, operational effectiveness and technology initiatives. It is this commitment that led NASCO to choose Halogen Software to improve workforce planning and to support its three-year strategic talent management roadmap. 

Using the Halogen Performance™, Halogen Learning™ and Halogen Succession™ solutions NASCO aims to gain efficiency, improve workforce planning and create a highly optimized workforce by 2015.

To achieve these results, NASCO will focus on a key strategic imperative — becoming a high-performance learning organization (HPLO).  For NASCO, this means becoming an organization that can create, acquire and transfer knowledge, and with this knowledge, change its behaviors to improve organizational and customer performance.

Shared values mark the start of a beautiful partnership

One of the reasons, NASCO was drawn to Halogen Software early on in the process were both companies’ shared values.

“What impressed me most during the vendor-selection process is that Halogen TalentSpace™ suite is built by people who understand HR. Even more important was the connection between our values and Halogen’s values,” says Barbara Bell-Dees, Vice President, Human Resources and People Services.

“Halogen’s focus on their people and their customers actually mirrors our own,” says Bell-Dees.  “Recognizing that these values are inherent in the Halogen culture, we knew they would be a great partner for us. And that’s exactly what we were looking for — a partner, not a vendor.”

A talent management journey begins

With the decision to choose Halogen finalized, the implementation phase began. For NASCO, it was critical for implementation to take place in phases to avoid disruption to customers and the rest of the business. “Our Halogen implementation consultants worked closely with us to ensure the process was smooth,” says Bell-Dees. “It was like working with people in our own company. They understood the value and why we needed implementation to be successful. They listened, they explained and they worked with us to meet our needs. All in all, the experience was awesome.”  

On track to becoming a HPLO

For NASCO, the ability to respond to changing business needs with the right talent and the right resources is fundamental to the company’s success. Bell-Dees and her team must have visibility into associates’ skills and knowledge, which projects they’re working on and who might be a good fit to work in other parts of the organization.

Unfortunately, easy access to this data was not possible before Halogen. The company relied on disparate systems for its talent management processes (i.e., performance management, learning and development, and succession planning). It became clear that linking these processes through one integrated system was a must if NASCO was to move toward being a HPLO.

As a fully integrated system, the Halogen TalentSpace suite links all of NASCO’s talent management processes — seamlessly and effectively. 

“With Halogen, we have a single source of truth. We have talent, skill and succession planning information all available to us in one centralized tool,” explains Bell-Dees. “As a result, it will be easier to move people around within our organization to respond to changing business needs, which is great value-add for NASCO.  From my perspective as VP of HR, being able to look into a single system and easily find the information I need and report it back to the organization, drives more informed decision-making and better business results.”

Through Halogen, Bell-Dees will have a clear view of who knows what, what they’re working on, their career aspirations, and more. Using this data, management can identify an associate’s learning needs and push out an individual elearning path — one that ensures the business gets what it needs to succeed and associates get what they want from a career development perspective.

True customer service: The feeling of being heard

As with any company operating in the service industry, it is imperative for NASCO to respond to its customers quickly. It’s this same responsiveness that NASCO expects from its partners — something that Halogen is delivering. “My team always has an extraordinary experience when they call the Halogen customer support center. Halogen is very responsive, and we really appreciate that.”

The NASCO team also interacts with the Halogen product team on a regular basis, often looking for different ways to use the system. “We’ll have conversations with Halogen product management explaining our business challenges and opportunities.  As a result, we’ve been able to influence Halogen in terms of bringing some functionality to our roadmap sooner. We absolutely feel like we’re being heard by Halogen.”

Achieving the vision of an optimized workforce

As NASCO journeys into the future and transforms itself into a high-performance learning organization, integrated talent management will play a critical role in the transformation. And, as a trusted partner, Halogen will be there every step of the way to ensure the journey is smooth, positive and successful.

Barbara shares her thoughts on how Halogen delivers a world-class customer experience - at every touch-point.