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Sweetwater Union High School District

Diversity in Laserfiche for a Diverse Organization

Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) was founded in 1920 and is home to more than 45,000 students ranging from 7th to 12th grade and over 21,000 adult students. The district is comprised of 32 campuses placed throughout the cities of Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City and San Diego. This territorial region encompasses a broad range of ethnic and demographic backgrounds making Sweetwater UHSD a model for diversity. Sweetwater’s student population is primarily made-up of Filipino, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian ethnicities. More than 50% of their population speaks a home-language other than English.

As varied as the population, so is the use of Laserfiche within the District. SUHSD first pioneered with Laserfiche version 4 in the mid 1990’s in just the Payroll department. Today on the latest version 8, the District has diversified the implementation of their Laserfiche system to calibrate a myriad of their daily operational tasks and document management within their Accounting, Fiscal Services, Payroll, Human Resources, Purchasing, Adult Ed, Clerk of Board, Legal, and Planning Departments.

SUHSD representative, Lisa Pippen, exclaims, “Laserfiche has been a Godsend”. Since 2005, the District has been using Laserfiche within the Planning and Construction Department. Lisa is a representative from the District’s Planning Department and is a primary user of the Laserfiche system. Specifically, the Planning Dept is responsible for the maintenance and archiving of bids, proposals, public records requests, district board items, invoices, and leases for joint-use with various cities. The Planning Dept also utilizes a substantial portion of Laserfiche and houses the bulk of their documentation on legal concerns, construction documentation, repairs, etc. and catalogues them into the system for easy retrieval. They have even assigned a specific technician dedicated to the scanning and cataloguing of documentation in Laserfiche. Approximately 500 boxes out of 900 have been scanned!

Large construction bonds to modernize schools have generated lots of paper, legal concerns and construction defects that need to be catalogued and easily retrievable. Construction managers are dedicated to scan everything. Prop O alone equals over 600 million in construction. The Planning Department works closely with their construction management company, and is scanning all Prop O construction documentation. The attorney firm for the District appreciates the ease and seamlessness for onsite retrieval of documentation when needed for litigation.

A real life example of how valuable the ability to instantly search the documents includes a maintenance person being able to look up in Laserfiche the warranty on a broken stadium bleacher and found out that it was still under warranty, and could proceed with fixing the issue under warranty thus saving the district money. Another example was when they needed to see where the electrical wire was on a map and could bring it up in Laserfiche in seconds.

Over the many years, the District has grown exponentially accounting for this ever-increasing need for an efficient document management system. Comprised of 34 middle and high schools, 12 adult schools, and a staff of nearly 5,000 employees, Sweetwater UHSD is an extensive organization with an ever-growing amount of paper. Laserfiche has been adaptive to this realization and to so many different departments because of its efficiency, storage savings, and expediency.

ECS Imaging, Inc. plays an essential role in shaping the departments use of their Laserfiche system and has expressed confidence that “we can always rely on ECS Imaging to provide answers to our questions. The technical staff is extremely knowledgeable, and professional. They have a real knack for finding innovative solutions to issues in our day-to-day business process. We’ve saved countless hours of research, and it provides instant access to specific information for our students, parents, teachers, and the community. It is an invaluable tool, and we can’t imagine doing business without it! And in 5-10 years down the road, we will realize even more savings, when the warehouse of boxes can start the destruction process, thus saving storage costs.”

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