Allegheny County Poll Worker Payment Automation

Document Capture and Business Automation Provides 75% Savings for County

The Challenge

Allegheny County, like many local governments, constantly investigated ways to reduce cost without reducing services. One area targeted for potential cost saving was the process of managing payments made to the county’s election poll workers. Regardless of the voter turnout at primary and general elections, Allegheny County’s challenge was to process payment for more than 11,000 poll workers within 72 hours. Once done through a manual process that began by hand sorting the incoming forms, the new document automation and data capture solution modernized the process, allowing the County to save time, energy, and taxpayer dollars.

In October 2006, Allegheny County began looking to improve the poll worker payment process, with one objective being to modernize the existing paper-based processes. Mark Patrick Flaherty, County Controller, issued a challenge to a variety of vendors. Since vendors had to be willing to prove their solution through a live test run, each vendor had to risk the design and live implementation without a signed purchase agreement. KeyMark, along with partner OnBase AnyDoc, was the only team to accept the County’s challenge.

The Solution

KeyMark’s proposal for document automation and data capture process included a high-speed scanner, OCR capture software, and ECM as a document repository. The goal was to eliminate the manual sorting and monotonous, time-consuming data entry. The first step in reaching that goal was to design a new form for poll workers to use. The next step was to replace the existing imaging system, which was done in less than two weeks. KeyMark’s ongoing support is a fraction of what the county used to pay, and the new system was integrated with JDE to access documents including:

-Vendor Invoices/Vouchers
-Payroll Records
-Vendor Contracts

The Results

The KeyMark county solution for document automation and data capture eliminated the time-consuming manual procedures and allowed for processing of poll worker and constable payment forms in a third of the time previously required. The increased efficiency of the system translates into an 85% reduction in labor costs, which only requires a third of the time to complete. The document automation system, implemented by KeyMark for the Allegheny County Controller’s office in Pennsylvania, was selected as an Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) Carl E. Nelson Best Practices Award Winner in the Large Company category.

The implementation resulted in significant impact to the County Controller’s office. The office is responsible for processing all county expenditures (an average of 600 vouchers received daily), and during elections, all 30 Accounting and Operations division employees are required to focus on the processing of poll worker payments. This process used to take upwards of three days. Thanks to the installation and implementation of the document automation and data capture solution, Allegheny County has realized a reduction of 800 labor hours from its election worker payment process. The OnBase AnyDoc solution transitioned the poll worker payment processing from hurried and labor intensive to smooth and efficient. “During the critical election period, the time required to process the poll worker and constable payment forms was reduced by more than 75% — a time savings of approximately 400 hours in each election, and there are two each year,” says Nickolas Pisciottano, Allegheny County Systems Administrator. He estimates that over the course of five years, at least 4,000 hours will be saved.

About Allegheny County Poll Workers

Located in the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, Allegheny County is
home to the City of Pittsburgh, 130 independent municipalities, and serves
a population of 1.2 million residents. Allegheny County is the second largest County in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with approximately $1 billion in annual expenditures.