We’re proud to announce the eight organizations who will be receiving Run Smarter Awards at the 2009 Laserfiche Institute Conference.
Please join us as we congratulate this year’s winners: the City of Lynwood, CA; Thurston County, WA; the City of Okotoks, AB; BC Biomedical; Berger Financial Group; Texas A&M University; Jamestown, NY, Public Schools; and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
We’d like to thank everyone who submitted nominations for this year’s award—and we’d like to invite you to join us at the Conference January 12-14 in Los Angeles to congratulate this year’s winners.
City Government: City of Lynwood, CA
Lynwood was a city in transition: the community, attorneys and staff wanted things quicker, yet storage space was maxed out. Legal expenses rose, customer service dipped, productivity slowed and documents were misplaced as storage overflowed.
Laserfiche increased internal productivity, while shortening request times by the public for resolutions and agendas. The finance office knows if old bills have been paid by looking up scanned checks, while staff no longer have to make trips to the clerk’s office for copies of resolutions, agendas or agreements.
Staff has decreased actual paper printing: instead of mailing documents to vendors, they just e-mail them, saving on postage. Litigation is now smoother—and less costly—because overtime hours aren’t being spent digging through files during discovery, and the city isn’t paying fines for taking too long to find submit them. Instead of delivering bulging binders for court cases, now they get all the documentation they need on a single CD.
But perhaps the biggest accomplishment of adopting Laserfiche was Lynwood’s ability to win over its not-so-tech-savvy public.
City IT staff used Laserfiche to create a custom interface for the public to access documents called MYDOCSPOT which uses a virtual mascot, Spot, to fetch agendas, resolutions and other documents as a dog might fetch a stick. He’s not the only one wagging his tail; morale’s up amongst city employees and last but not least, the city is intuitively working towards a greener, paperless environment.
County Government: Thurston County, WA
The sheriff’s office used to have to transport 14 heavy-duty filing cabinets up and down the elevator to jail to access the civil orders and warrants issued by district and superior court judges to make sure a warrant was still active—a process both cumbersome and dangerous. The elevator broke down frequently and workers would get injured hauling the cabinets.
Prosecuting attorneys and assigned counsel trying cases couldn’t share client folders, while the payroll department would need days, sometimes weeks, to verify length of employment for retirees.
Now civil orders and warrants are scanned into Laserfiche for remote access, so there’s no more hauling file cabinets up and down the elevator and a lot fewer worker’s compensation claims. Attorneys on both sides can pull up their client cases remotely, even in court. And the payroll department can verify retirees’ work history faster, while storage costs are way down and employee morale is way up.
“At first I wasn’t sure if everyone in the county was prepared to use this tool—and boy was I wrong! Now everyone wants it and they want it yesterday,” says IT Consultant Bonnie Hilyard.
International Government: City of Okotoks, AB, Canada
Okotoks was a mid-sized but quickly-growing municipality preparing to consolidate staff from three buildings into one new administration building with considerably less storage space. In preparation for this move, and in consideration of a corporate goal to reduce paper, Safety Codes—the town’s building inspection services—embarked on a scanning project at the beginning of 2007.
The challenge of scanning new building and development permit applications that could contain anywhere from two to 297 pages each into Laserfiche became even more challenging once prime building season came around in April. Right away it was obvious that finding permits was a lot easier, and with approximately 3,026 images scanned, Safety Codes saw they were saving on paper supplies with reduced environmental impact.
But the real impact was on time spent looking for documents, as Laserfiche made the documents readily accessible to Safety Code Officers in the field and provided real-time information, enabling the staff to make more accurate decisions.
Now the benefits are rippling out to builders, contractors and residents. Safety Codes staff are now able to e-mail approved documentation back to an applicant as well as receive the initial applications over the Web. The level of automation saves builders time and money because they don’t have to visit the town’s office to drop off or collect documentation, plus they receive an immediate response. Likewise, homeowners can now have instant copies of their permitting and inspection process documentation.
As Laserfiche is a new product to Western Canada, this success has drawn attention from other departments within the Town and also from other Canadian municipalities. Perhaps most enduringly, it’s empowered staff to meet the town’s sustainability and environmental guidelines, as well as streamline its work processes.
Healthcare: BC Biomedical – Surrey, BC, Canada
BC Biomedical Laboratories Ltd. is the largest physician-owned and operated lab in British Columbia, with more than 1.8 million patients visiting one of its 43 patient service centers. For 50 years, its medical diagnostic services have been an integral part of the province’s healthcare system.
But its system left room for improvement. Patient requisitions for test results needed to be photocopied and sent out, while phone calls to the Patient Services Center for requisitions were a constant if necessary interruption.
Now with Laserfiche, all requests are scanned in to a central database and requisitions can be made available online. Paper storage costs have been eliminated, the 28 hours of staff time it took each day to either file, re-file, fax or mail documents has been eliminated, and the phone isn’t ringing off the hook anymore with requisitions requests.
Financial Services: Berger Financial Group, Inc. – Medicine Lake (Plymouth), MN
As Berger Financial Group, Inc., (BFG) evolved over 30 years from a CPA firm into a full-scale financial services firm, so did the complexity of its files.
Since implementing Laserfiche in 2003, BFG has transformed its daily work processes, fueling the firm’s rapid growth. Instead of digging through file cabinets, its 14-member staff retrieves client information, spreadsheets, e-mails, even phone messages from their computers, while the front desk clerk scans printed mail as it’s received.
Quick Fields automatically processes 8,000 pages of incoming monthly electronic statements into individual well-organized client folders, saving staff hours of sorting. “It’s not just a benefit for us,” says Principal Mark Berger. “Our clients don’t have to fill their basements with old statements, reports and tax documents, because we store all those for them.”
Audits are easier; instant access means staff no longer have to search through file cabinets or off-site storage.
“Increased overall office efficiency and auto-sorting of statements are something all firms can benefit from. Not to mention that Laserfiche has enabled us to grow our practice at a much greater rate than our staff,” says Berger. “We’ve been able to provide a greater number of services for our clients that just wouldn’t have been possible before.”
Higher Education: Texas A&M University AgriLife Department and Health Sciences Center
Moving documents scattered throughout a state as big as Texas was cumbersome. And costly, especially if disbursements relied on other documents that had to be sent overnight, or if payments were held up because of a need for additional paperwork. Redundancies in the state-wide filing system abounded and countless workers’ hours were spent matching and filing documents.
Laserfiche allowed for Work-in-Progress folders to be set up in a central repository for the 300 or so units of Texas A&M AgriLife spread out over 86 locations. Disbursements could obtain invoices and other paperwork for quicker processing and payment. How much quicker? What used to take eight days now took just one. The system-wide automation has reduced and in some cases eliminated work hours spent matching documents into single case folders, and all but eliminated the need to print paper records. With the new file sharing comes the peace of mind of enhanced security with assigned users and assigned user groups. If someone leaves a user group, they leave their access rights as well.
When the Texas A&M Health Sciences Center was planning to build its 200-acre new central campus, it wasn’t planning on using space that could house students and labs to house file cabinets. Add to that a system that spanned the state and often required costly overnight delivery of paperwork to its central office, then a need to duplicate and store copies of that paperwork, and Laserfiche was just the cure Project Manager Kristin Nace was looking for.
“We’ve already seen a cost savings by reducing our overnight delivery charges for sending documents, which also translates into a smoother more efficient business process,” she explains. “But our largest unexpected benefit came in realizing how popular Laserfiche has become within our organization.”
Explains Nace, “I’m regularly getting requests from our departments to set up additional folders, processes, or even repositories. I knew people would love the product, I just didn’t expect they would love it this much. In the planning stages I remember wondering what I was going to do if our departments didn’t buy-in to Laserfiche. How was I going to get them to use it? I’m so pleased to say they bought in after the first training class. As a matter of fact, I’ve not had to convince anyone to use it, if anything I cannot keep up with all of their requests to bring more documents into the system. We are excited it has taken off as quickly and easily as it has.”
K-12 Education: Jamestown, NY, Public Schools
The Jamestown City School District’s Human Resources Department began looking at document imaging in 2003 as a way to solve what had become an increasingly varied set of paper management problems for their personnel records, employment applications, Freedom of Information requests, and reports regarding civil rights, unemployment and worker’s compensation.
Employees on different floors had trouble accessing files; multiple users sometimes needed to access a single file, and then would make copies of confidential files, which then were re-filed with the originals creating potentially confidentially problems and extra paperwork taking up extra space.
Once Laserfiche was chosen, personnel records were organized into separate folders with different sub-headings depending on who needed access to them and how confidential they needed to stay, which added a level of security without adding need for more file cabinets. In fact, the city’s HR Director is now so confident in Laserfiche’s abilities, hard copy records are being permanently moved off-site and a new HR and payroll package has been implemented, saving both time and money but also ensuring continuity, effectively disaster-proofing the district’s vital data and its ability to work no matter what.
Then Jamestown really started to discover what Laserfiche could do. The district saved money by not having to hire a third party to scan to scale architectural drawings, schematics and building maintenance manuals. Board of Education meetings became paperless, doing away with the need to produce and distribute hundreds of pages of documents for each board member. Contract negotiations with the seven unions the district deals with are smoother now that Laserfiche can trace the evolution of contract provisions from every contract they’ve worked from in the past 25 years. And Laserfiche’s powerful redaction tool allows Freedom of Information requests to be fulfilled without compromising confidential information directly or indirectly in compliance with the New York State Committee on Open Government.
Commercial: The Star Tribune – Minneapolis, MN
The newspaper needed to replace their legacy document imaging system—one with no support or upgrade path—with one that could migrate massive databases from shared servers.
During the migration process more than 25,000 missing files were found. Now, database fields in Oracle and SQL associate a PeopleSoft record with a Laserfiche document. By integrating PeopleSoft, RightFax, Oracle and Laserfiche, the Star Tribune was able to automate workflow.
For example, an expense report entered in PeopleSoft has a bar code, which RightFax sends to a network folder where Laserfiche Quick Agent recognizes the bar code, files the receipt in Laserfiche and then notifies PeopleSoft that the expense can be reimbursed.
What started as an Accounts Payable solution is now being used by Circulation, HR, Asset Management and Interactive Media, with Laserfiche Records Management Edition on deck to manage contracts for the entire company.