Moving toward a paperless office
Eugene, Ore., is rolling out an enterprise content management (ECM) system that is allowing departments to more easily share documents with each other and the public. The new system is improving access to information and standardizing records management across departments.
Since 2004, several of Eugene’s departments have used document management software from Long Beach, Calif.-based Laserfiche to store electronic versions of city documents. However, each department’s document management system was set up separately from the others, requiring employees to print paper records to share between departments or employ special programming to regularly share electronic records. Demand also began to outpace the city’s software licenses.
Last summer, Applications Manager Loring Hummel secured funding to upgrade to an ECM that would consolidate document management in the city, expand the number of licenses and facilitate easier access to records between departments. Early this year, the Information Services (IS) staff began implementing the Rio system from Laserfiche and has so far introduced the system to the public works, police, central services, and planning and development departments. The city purchased three new servers for the consolidated system and is purchasing about 30 document scanners of various sizes to replace old equipment and expand the use of the system.
To ensure easy document sharing and retrieval, the IS staff worked with each department to change some processes to scan and store documents. The city reviewed all of the standard documents and created templates with standard fields. Now, users can scan documents, apply them to a template, and the software extracts elements and puts them in predefined fields — such as the contract number, account number, invoice number or employee last name — giving all city departments a common language for records. “Enterprise Content Management is where organizations need to go, but you have to challenge the processes people have been relying on,” Hummel says.
Having set standard document management practices, the IS staff is introducing the system to more city departments soon. In the next phase of the project, users will begin automating document management tasks, such as alerting appropriate staff to review contracts, sending records to the archives, and deleting them permanently. “Now, we have a common tool set, so everyone can implement a process that uses records management,” Hummel says. “We’re collaborating at a greater level across departments.”
Project: Enterprise content management system
Jurisdiction: Eugene, Ore.
Agency: Information Services Department
Vendor: Long Beach, Calif.-based Laserfiche
Date completed: July 2010