City of Palm Desert, CA

TAME the Paper Tiger

The City of Palm Desert is located in the Coachella Valley about 14 miles east of Palm Springs. With a population of nearly 49,000 residents, Palm Desert is not only a major center of growth in the Coachella Valley, but is also a popular retreat for “snowbirds” who come from colder climates each winter.

The City created a tag line of, “TAME the paper tiger!” TAME stands for Transparency, Accountability, Modernization, and Efficiency. This represents the City’s “Digital First Campaign” to increase automation, digitize content, and utilize Workflows to better streamline existing processes.

The City was using an electronic content management system that simply did not provide the capabilities they needed as a public agency to efficiently provide services to its citizens. The existing system did not provide a simple way to search for documents, or to effectively control versions of documents, and there was little to no workflow capabilities. They needed something more than a digital file cabinet.

The City chose Laserfiche as their document management system out of recommendations from employees that had experience with Laserfiche at other organizations and from fellow IT personnel across California. They liked the fact that Laserfiche has a Workflow engine and that there is a suite of modules to handle multiple facets of their business.

Upon choosing Laserfiche to replace their existing system, the City formed an Executive Team for decision making and an email distribution list consisting of Scanners and “Heavy Users” for easy communication. They scheduled monthly meetings with end-users to keep them up to date as well as End-User, Administrator, and Forms training provided by ECS. The City’s IT staff continues to lead Laserfiche lab session trainings with End-Users.

Once the Laserfiche Public Portal is launched, it will provide the City with better management capabilities of public records. It will allow for more streamlined processes for getting data in and out of the system. The City expects to process fewer records requests once the public can access records online. With the use of Forms and Workflow, the City has also been able to remove duplication of job duties. This has saved the City countless man hours.

The City is currently using Laserfiche Rio with 125 Users, Public Portal, ScanConnect, Import Agent, Quick Fields Core, Quick Fields Agent, Forms Professional, and Forms Portal. ECS provided professional services to convert 2 TB of data to their new Laserfiche system and scanning services for Fire Department related documents.

With the conversion nearly complete, The City has adopted several future projects with Laserfiche including: granting more public access, automate previously manual processes, digitizing more documents, and provide higher level trainings to employees so they are better able to manage content.

Nick Martin, IT for the City of Palm Desert, has this advice for anyone starting out with Laserfiche, “Communicate with all of your users!  Make them a part of the process.  If people feel that they have a voice, generally they will be more accepting of the changes.  Keep everyone in the loop as to where you are in the process.

He added, “The sales team is diligent and respectful of our time.  Support is very knowledgeable and quick to respond.  The project managers do a fantastic job communicating.  The upper management is friendly, approachable, and always make themselves available when necessary.”

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