INFORM PORTAL: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ABOUT THE INFORM PORTAL

INform is an online workflow platform aided by a core business rules engine (BRE). Its purpose is simple: to make WEDC’s business processes faster, of higher quality and more customer-supportive through online guided tasks, automation of repeatable business activities, and control of interactions between systems and people.

Beyond the basic benefits of being able to conduct business online, WEDC’s portal provides three main benefits. First, it allows organizations to set up and manage their own self-organizing teams to carry out tasks online and monitor project requirements. Secondly, it ties together WEDC’s teams and systems, ensuring better service and reducing the amount of effort needed to complete work. Finally, because the portal gathers information from users in a dynamic fashion, it can respond intelligently to client needs and avoid the headaches of paper-based systems.
Supporting paper processes across dozens of programs results in hundreds of formats and thousands of variations in business processes. This creates challenges in supporting our customers. The portal allows WEDC to control this variability inside of a quality-managed environment, but do so at scale in a way that traditional paper-based processes cannot. To make this transition and create a consistent experience for the client, we are requiring clients to use the portal.
The portal’s main features today include the ability to set up and manage teams for your organization and its projects; the ability to receive notifications and task assignments sent to you by email when due dates for your project come up; the ability to submit Performance Reports and Schedules of Expenditures online through the portal; the ability to see, manage and communicate about current and future reports; and the ability to ask questions and get help through the portal itself.

ACCESSING THE PORTAL

All access to the portal is made by invitation for organizations with WEDC contracts. Currently, access is limited to organizations with impending due dates for Performance Reports or Schedules of Expenditures.  If your report is due within the next 45 days, we will send you an invitation via email to create your account. After you create your account, you will receive an email with a link to submit your report.

Emails may come from any of the following email addresses:

  • Inform@wedc.org
  • Informsupport@wedc.org
  • reporting@wedc.org
  • finance@wedc.org
  • noreply@wedc.org
Yes, at this time you should use the link in your email.
The email invitation you receive will provide an email address you can contact to request technical assistance. It will also include a link to videos you can watch to walk you through the steps to create your account.

USING THE PORTAL

Every portal submission follows the same pattern: Tasks become due and are assigned to people in defined roles on your team. The person to whom a task is assigned prepares a submission, including completing online portal forms and uploading supporting documentation to the portal. Next, an authorized individual at your organization may be asked to provide a formal review and make the official submission. WEDC staff then review the submission for acceptance, and in some cases specialists subsequently review the submission in depth for a final approval. Once approval takes place, the portal processes the submission in all of WEDC’s systems.

Your organization has control of your team, but WEDC will generally require a set of foundational roles for your project, including one or more of each of the following:

  • Principal director
    • WEDC is required to have some submissions attested to by a principal officer or director of your organization. These individuals have authority to act for the organization in a legal capacity as well as make decisions about organizational goals, finances and performance. Principal directors are responsible for the work of any project managers/contacts and may be tasked with certifying or otherwise confirming the representations made by others in their organization.
  • Project manager/contact
    • Your project manager/contact is your organization’s go-to person for questions or issues. Individuals in this role are responsible for overall management of the project, including liaising with WEDC; coordinating and leading financiers or consulting partners; supervising members of the project team; and overseeing project implementation, financial and administrative oversight, reporting, and monitoring and evaluation of the project.
  • Legal contact
    • Your team’s legal contact (or contacts) is the member (or members) responsible for receipt of and response to all formal legal notices sent by WEDC to your organization.
  • Performance reporting contact
    • Your team’s performance reporting contact (or contacts) is the member (or members) responsible for the preparation and submission of quarterly, semiannual or annual project reports on organizational performance against contractual requirements.
  • Financial contact
    • Your team’s financial contact (or contacts) is the member (or members) responsible for the submission of financial information or reporting required by WEDC contracts, such as requests for payment or Schedules of Expenditures, and acting as the first point of contact for financial matters under the project.
  • Tax credit contact (where applicable)
    • Your team’s tax credit contact (or contacts) is the member (or members) responsible for the preparation and submission of data or documentation required for tax credit awards and liaising with WEDC for the coordination of tax credit verifications. This role is only applicable when your contract is for tax credits.
  • Non-disclosure agreement (NDA) contact (where applicable)
    • Your team’s NDA contact (or contacts) is the member (or members) responsible for liaising with WEDC when WEDC receives a request under the Wisconsin Open Records Law regarding your organization or its projects or awards. This role is optional, and is only applicable when your organization has a signed NDA with WEDC.
Tasks will most commonly be assigned to a person from your team who is familiar with or specializes in the content associated with the task. If enough time elapses and an assignment in the portal remains incomplete, the portal will send late notices, then begin escalating tasks to individuals on your team until the task has reached the principal director.
Tasks will be emailed to any individual listed in a role associated with the task assignment. Once a user has received a task, they can also view that task on their home dashboard in the portal and see its progress as well as the progress of other tasks on focused dashboards, such as those specifically for performance management or financial management.

From the dashboard, users who have the correct permissions will see available actions when they right click the task.

This depends on the task. For the most part, tasks can be reassigned to others on your team with an equivalent set of permissions or to others with higher-level authority. These permissions are automatic when you right-click on a task and attempt to assign it to others.

If tasks are not completed within required timeframes, they will at first escalate to others on your team with permissions to complete them. However, all tasks will eventually expire, resulting in a review of your contract which could result in corrective action up to and including termination of the contract.

WEDC staff also receive timebound assignments for review of all customer submissions, and must complete these, or else escalations will occur. When a review is completed, WEDC staff will use the portal to accept or reject the submission. Rejected submissions generally come back to the submitter on the client side, who can rework the submission for corrections themselves or reassign the work back to the preparer of the submission.
The preparer and submitter of each workflow will receive notifications via email when the submission has been approved.

SUBMITTING REPORTS USING THE PORTAL

The portal will be used to submit your Schedule of Expenditures for any award that requires this report, regardless of program/assistance type. The portal is also where you can go to submit your Performance Report for the following programs:

  • Brownfields Grant
  • Business Opportunity Loan Fund
  • Business Expansion and Retention Investment
  • Business Development Tax Credit
  • Capacity Building Grant
  • Community Development Investment Grant
  • Economic Development Tax Credits
  • Enterprise Zone
  • Historic Preservation Tax Credits
  • Idle Sites Redevelopment Program
  • Jobs Tax Credit
  • Qualified New Business Venture Program
  • Site Assessment Grants
  • Technology Development Fund
  • Technology Development Loan
  • Technology Venture Fund Loan
You can only submit your Performance Report through the INform Portal for the programs listed above. If your program is not on that list, you should continue to submit your Performance Report using the previously established process.
There are help options you can use in the portal. You should see these options on the upper right side of your screen. Please read through those options and submit a help request for the applicable option.

TECHNICAL QUESTIONS

No, at this time the portal is not supported for mobile devices. It is recommended you use a desktop or laptop device to create your account and submit your report(s).

Most up-to-date browsers are supported. Officially supported browsers include Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge. We recommend you use Google Chrome.

We recommend you maximize your browser window size, and if necessary, increase your monitor resolution or zoom your browser (CTRL -). Around 80% zoom levels tend to work well.

QUESTIONS AND CONTACT INFO

Once you have a portal account, most forms in the portal have help menus that will direct you to a specialist in the topic.  For more general inquiries, please see the information below.
For questions related to the portal’s features, issues creating an account or logging into the portal, or other technical support needs, please contact our technology team at informsupport@wedc.org.

For questions related to performance reporting, please contact our operations and program performance team at reporting@wedc.org.

For questions related to Schedules of Expenditures, please contact our budget and finance team at finance@wedc.org.

For other general questions or specific questions about your project, award or contract, contact your WEDC account manager.  If you’re not sure who this is, use our general inquiries page here.