Digital Archive Group Takes Laserfiche City-Wide
The City of Lakewood is located about 30 miles south of Boulder in the state of Colorado, and has a population of about 145,000 people, it is the fifth most populous city in the state.
Lakewood, Colorado came on board as an ECS customer through an RFP process in 2018 when the City began seeking a qualified Laserfiche value added reseller to provide annual maintenance, support and additional services to assist City staff in creating and maintaining existing Laserfiche Rio interfaces, connections, workflows, automated processes, and general document and records management solutions.
Laserfiche was originally implemented at the City in 2002 to catalog and manage various types of records. The Public Works department had established the Digital Archives Group (DAG) as a means to develop more efficient ways to manage 30 years of accumulated maps and plans. DAG grew into an ad hoc governance committee with the objective of setting recordkeeping and retention policies for each department and standardizing document indexing for interdepartmental use. It was DAG that had initiated the purchase of Laserfiche due to the software having a strong presence in local government.
Since then, Laserfiche usage has become well-established at the City and is used across all 11 of the City’s departments. The system is also integrated with various other City software applications and platforms including: JD Edwards, ArcGIS, SharePoint, Permits Pro (internally built application), and MART (another internally built application).
The Finance department uses the JD Edwards integration to bring up contracts and invoices stored in Laserfiche. They were the first department at the City to manage active records.
Human Resources utilizes several Forms that can be completed online and submitted directly to Laserfiche for processing. One of the Forms HR has initiated is a ‘Mishap Form’ that allows employees to report occurrences based on the principle, “if you see something, say something”. The City currently has 11 electronic Forms in place and plans to develop more in the future.
The HR department employs true Transparent Records Management which is attained through the development of workflows to automate the filing of documents into appropriate Records Series folders. These folders are designed with an intuitive folder structure allowing easy access to records by other authorized system users. When HR adds documents to the system, they are assigned a retention date with Workflow moving them into a folder designated by date. When the retention date is reached, the entire folder is deleted. By not retaining paper copies, the department has been able to free up filing cabinets which are now used for office supplies and holiday supplies.
The Planning and Public Works department integrated Laserfiche with their permitting application. Using the permit number, users can click on the ‘documents’ button they developed to retrieve and view the documents stored in Laserfiche without ever leaving the permits application. The documents can then be emailed to other users if needed. They also have an integration with the City’s GeoSmart GIS application, employees can perform geo-searches across various systems for code enforcement cases or service requests from residents.
In addition to the 11 Forms the City uses, they have also developed two Quick Fields sessions used to automate the intake of documents, and several workflows to process them.
Lakewood has established a list of best practices used throughout the City including:
- Upgrading Laserfiche once a year.
- Maintaining consistent taxonomy and protocols for all departments.
- Assigning a representative from each department to the Digital Archives Group which meets regularly to direct the focus and strategies for digital transformation.
- Auto OCR documents with workflow after they have been processed with Quick Fields.
- Paper documents and forms only get touched once.
- Utilizing retention schedules to manage records with Transparent Records Management.
The proliferation of Laserfiche throughout the City has lead to the development of Internal Self-Help Guidelines that assist users in learning the system. This includes One Note, a digital notebook that contains self-help books and FAQs for Laserfiche. These help books teach users how to view reports on forms and how to recognize bottlenecks. They have also created screencasts and how-to videos.
Future Laserfiche goals the City is planning include:
- Allowing the public to access documents online
- Provide the Liquor Inspector an online form to fill out while conducting inspections
- Set up Active Directory sync when an employee leaves to free up license
- Convert Retrieval user to Weblink
- Use Geo mapping with Mobile
- Use Digital Signatures
- Microfilm and Microfiche conversion
- Refresh scanner inventory
- Create more Forms and Quick Fields sessions
- Have everything digital
Laserfiche contributed to this article.