2019 Government Innovation Awards

Purging paper and rethinking business processes

After years of maintaining storage space to house boxes full of paper, the Norfolk, Va., Department of IT has digitized its business processes with Laserfiche’s enterprise content management software.

Enterprise Content Management Initiative to Modernize Business Processes

City of Norfolk, Va.

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The business process automation tools have enabled the department to create 50 new workflows at half of the city’s 24 departments so far. Benefits include better analytics and security as well as the ability to use electronic signatures and barcodes with zone optical character recognition that can automatically populate fields.

In one case, the city streamlined the onboarding of new employees by integrating the human resources department’s Oracle PeopleSoft applications into Laserfiche. Now, when individuals join the city’s workforce, they automatically receive an email message with a link to get started on approvals for computer equipment and building access.

The former system, which was 15 years old when it was replaced, consisted of one physical server that stored the applications and database. Now the department has six servers and a separate database server.

“We can have more repositories so that each user could have their own repository,” said Joellen Drago, the city’s IT applications development supervisor. “We were limited before. Now we’re pretty much unlimited.”

The city treasurer’s office automated 14 business processes, saving 51 labor hours per week, and the city auditor saved $2,000 in annual maintenance costs by replacing a case management system with a secured central repository. The fire marshal digitized almost 21,500 documents on underground fuel tanks dating to the 1930s to speed responses to Freedom of Information Act requests from property owners and contractors.

Not only have many of the city’s 5,300 employees been freed to work on more interesting tasks, but paper and storage costs have fallen by about 13%, for an annual cost savings of $8,300.

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