Automating Paper-Based Processes with Laserfiche
The Regional Housing Authority of Sutter & Nevada Counties (RHA) has a proud history of service in offering affordable, decent & safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities Opening its office in 1946, the RHA is one of 3,400 Housing Authorities nationwide and serves through the American Housing Act in support of public housing.
RHA managers Mrs. Pattra Runge and Ms. Jeni Chavez first attended an ECS imaging conference focusing on “automation in paper based processes using Laserfiche”. ECS staff showed how other organizations used Laserfiche to clear their desktops, remove bottlenecks, and protect information – this was just part of what RHA faced!
RHA’s four primary concerns and focus of automation
- Enhancing public service at the RHA front counter
The front lobby on any given day can be deep with people – people with questions and bringing in paperwork required in public housing. Support staff assists as they can however it was noted the paperwork processes creating delays.
- Automating workflow between staff, managers and the public
As paperwork is the “driver” of each process, it is essential to “move” the documents through its stages through automation while providing managerial oversight and access.
- Audit & compliance preparedness
Audits are frequent and being prepared through automation is essential in time savings and funding.
- PAPER TAKE OVER!
There were so many boxes of paper in storage AND in the office; RHA had little room left to add new staff!
#1 – Taking on the lobby
The ECS design team implemented a solution increasing speed of electronic capture with minimal handling from RHA staff. Using COLOR CODED bar code separator sheets (COLOR is for ease of staff selection; the BAR CODE for the automated processing) allows the RHA staff to simply obtain forms from the public, place a color coded sheet on the stack and scan – the LASERFICHE application designed took it from there!
This was the beginning of workflow automation for section 8 housing and the RHA’s annual certification processes.
(Colored separator sheet during processing)
#2 – Automating business processes
The initial paper scanning process initiated the workflow processes. Passed on data elements (metadata) captured at scan time, the resulting paper-to-digital document was routed to the various desktops of the RHA’s clerks and specialists. Additionally ECS design team added management oversight and auto reporting on items exceeding a specific time frame for processing.
The enhancement & automation of existing business through Laserfiche Workflow is one of the most important outcomes of implementation.
(Sample RHA workflow)
#3 – Audit and compliance
Documents and much of the metadata is captured in a protected file structure for the document lifecycle allowing RHA to respond rapidly & thoroughly to requests. Additional elements of TRUSTED SYSTEMS can be added to ensure full auditability and usage tracking.
#4 – REDUCTION of PAPER and paper based processes
As more and more of the RHA base information become digital less and less paper is needed and therefore subject to destruction schedules as set by the RHA.
A word from Mrs. Runge –
“Laserfiche has given us more space. With over 2000 files, we were running out of room storing them. It also has streamlined our processes and has enabled us to process paperwork more efficiently and more quickly!”
“The staff at ECS Imaging has been extremely helpful in understanding our needs and wants. Overall, I could not be happier!”
About the implementation
- Staff using – 23
- Implementation timeframe – under 1 month
Laserfiche Products in place
- Import Agent
- Barcode Recognition