Culture in Action - OSV Employee Profile: Pam Walker
To deliver world-class customer service, you have to understand what your customer needs. It's only when you truly know your customer's needs—their pain points—that you can design solutions that make lives easier.
Director of Finance and Accounting Outsourcing Pam Walker understands this well. With a background in shared services in a variety of industries, she’s faced many of the same challenges that OneSource Virtual’s customers face.
"I'm very passionate about the customer experience because of my customer experience on the other side," Pam says. "I had to work so hard to find all the suppliers I would need, and not all those relationships were positive. A lot of them were very hard."
Her career in accounting began with a supervisory role in 7-Eleven's accounting department. "That's where I learned about shared services and about how to bring everything in from the field," she says. From there she moved on to the law industry, then the oil and gas industry. And in each case, she faced the same challenges.
"I couldn't go to one place to do everything that I needed to do to outsource," she says, "I had to go to lots of different companies."
Despite this ongoing challenge, one revolutionary tool began making her work easier: optical character recognition (OCR). With OCR, she could work more efficiently, letting the computer scan invoices for important dates, invoices numbers and addresses, etc., instead of using complicated templates to find them herself. Becoming familiar with OCR would allow her to build out her skillset and make her a prime candidate for the new position that was brewing at OSV.
After coming across a job posting for the director of Finance and Accounting Outsourcing, and after meeting with Michael Roseman, senior vice president of the new department, Pam knew she had found a special opportunity. With Roseman's charisma and passion, combined with her own expertise, she saw a way to help customers who had faced the same challenges as her.
For this reason, Pam identifies strongly with OSV value #5: "You are empowered to fix what is broken."
"I love the fact that OSV wants to develop the whole product line with our customer in mind, and understands what's painful to them," she says. "We have to earn our reputation by taking good care of them, but it's the highest priority. I want their life to be easy."
Since assuming her role as director of FAO, she's already had an impact on the General Ledger department. OSV outsourced their accounts payable to FAO, becoming their first customer. “We updated up their supplier master, helped them get all the 1099 information that they needed and partnered with them to produce 1099s this year," she says.
This is in addition to everything she and her team are doing with FAO to liberate customers from time-consuming administrative tasks—tasks that can be completed quicker and more efficiently with OSV’s use of OCR and robotic process automation (RPA). RPA takes the information collected by OCR and helps with the numerical heavy lifting—verifying math, subtotals, taxes, freight and more—and automates payments to vendors, freeing customers to focus on other things. Going forward, the team will use OCR and document translation together to lift important data from invoices in other languages, allowing OSV to help more customers around the world.
A Dallas native, Pam lives with her husband on three acres of land in Rockwall, TX, where they grow much of their own food and care for their horses and chickens. Pam also runs a women's mentoring ministry with her church. The ministry covers five campuses and includes 191 participants. "We're encouraging women," she says, describing a ministry that's very much in keeping with the fix-what-is-broken ethos. "I just feel like a woman's life is tough. We have a lot of things we have to manage. You put one kink in there and it sends you into a tailspin," she says. "Sometimes you just need some encouragement to make it through."