ECM Advice from Two Top Digital Counties [Teleconference Recap]
With a shrinking workforce, government organizations are facing major challenges trying to do more with less. Forward-thinking government organizations are utilizing Enterprise Content Management (ECM) to meet public demands and manage vast amounts of information across many departments. Recently, Todd Sander, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Government, moderated an informative teleconference with two Top Digital County panelists:
- Michael Almvig, Information Services Manager, Skagit County, WA
- Michael Wells, Desktop Services Manager, Chesterfield County, VA
Both speakers discussed how they began using Laserfiche ECM, which business processes they have optimized and how they plan on using their ECM systems in the future. Here are three key highlights from the teleconference:
- Supporting Strategic Goals
When asked about the strategic goals Skagit County’s ECM system supports, Almvig shared how the county makes information readily accessible to constituents, which has promoted accountability, public participation and openness. Essentially, information is becoming a key government asset, making it easily accessible and usable online for improving government efficiency and transparency.
Almvig discussed Laserfiche’s ability to pull information from the repository and “push out documents [like contracts, resolutions and permits] onto the web.” By quickly and securely sharing these documents, Skagit County has dramatically improved citizen service and engagement. In fact, the County started “seeing lines in front of counters become almost non-existent,” as he recalls.
With Laserfiche, the county has adopted a culture where quick, paperless delivery methods replace the previous hassle of waiting in long lines. Offering this level of citizen convenience has earned Skagit County a Top Digital County award, and recognition as “one of the most transparent counties in the nation,” according to Almvig.
- Successful Process Automation
There is more than meets the eye when automating a successful process. Some of the major advantages of streamlining the business of government include: easier access to stored information, online search capabilities, and automated archiving and retention management. Ultimately, ease of use is critical when it comes to automating workflows because it allows government employees to improve collaboration internally – and for government agencies to collaborate externally to promote shared services.
When asked about ways to successfully automate a process, Michael Wells provided a variety of examples, which include:
- Understanding what operational goals you want to accomplish ahead of time
- Identifying the order in which the business process activities should take place
- Testing the automated process on end-users
“Whether you’re looking to automate approval processes or document naming and filing, it is important to make sure that your workflows make sense to the users involved in this process,” Wells said.
As Wells points out, successful automation can be realized when process designers have an airtight understanding of an efficient approach and can diagram it into a workflow that makes sense to users. By taking this perspective with Laserfiche, Chesterfield County was able to automate a complex AP process and create an organized workflow.
- Next Steps
Both speakers shared their unique plans for taking the next step with Laserfiche.
Almvig leans toward a citizen-centric approach, expressing his plans to build a community of practice and countywide information portal that can link various business cases together. Some examples include:
- Signing up for recreational basketball courses
- Scheduling a flu shot
- Submitting permits
Ultimately, Almvig envisions a future where constituents can access one government portal under one account and have multiple systems communicate with one another.
Wells shared his plans to expose more data to the public. As Laserfiche expands its reach throughout the County, Wells also hopes to create a smarter process that can be integrated with multiple systems.
Most importantly, for anyone looking to invest in, or further leverage, an ECM system, both Wells and Almvig agree that a strategic approach to ECM brings the most benefits. By systemically capturing electronic information, automating processes, and integrating systems across the organization, both citizens and staff will benefit from an ECM system.
To learn more about how these Top Digital Counties use Laserfiche, listen to the full teleconference recording here!
In addition, for more information about how you can invest in new ECM technology to deliver greater value for budgets, efficiency and public service, get your complimentary white paper, entitled Vital Asset for Today’s Government.