To better serve constituents, Richland County’s information technology department had developed its own departmental software solutions for document capture and imaging. Each solution took approximately four to six months to create and deploy, as each department had its own unique needs and requirements.
Requirements: Easy to Configure and Customize
Realizing that a more efficient approach was needed, Richland County began searching for a document management system that could be easily configured and maintained by its information technology team. After evaluating different products, Richland County chose Hyland Software’s OnBase Enterprise Content Management suite with core capabilities in document imaging, electronic document management, workflow and records management. To assist with installation, configuration and getting the OnBase infrastructure in place, Richland County turned to KeyMark Inc., an award-winning document management solution provider known for its expertise in complex solutions and its exemplary customer support.
“The Richland County information technology department already had a good deal of experience with document management technologies,” said Chris Johnson, account manager at KeyMark. “They asked for our assistance in setting up the initial OnBase system infrastructure, and with the subsequent design and development of each departmental solution. However, they’ve truly taken ownership of the system themselves, and have done most of the configuration on their own. We find that OnBase is well suited for both clients who want customization they can accomplish themselves as well as organizations who seek an advanced degree of customization.”
Results: Countywide Efficiencies
Richland County rolled out the initial implementation within the legal department to enable scan, index, store and document retrieval capabilities. With imaging, the department’s paper documents are captured and stored in an electronic format, allowing them to be electronically utilized and shared quickly. And once the documents are scanned, they are indexed and archived and are easily accessible for retrieval, viewing and distribution.
After implementation within the legal department, Richland County added OnBase to their probate court office for estate documents and marriage licenses. Employees can now go to the OnBase system to easily locate documents, instead of searching through filing cabinets for paper documents. And a new online application allows constituents to access documents through terminals set up in the probate court offices, reducing the time personnel spend with individuals needing access to documentation. Using OnBase has also eliminated issues within the probate court office with missing or misplaced documentation.
Richland County decided to implement its new document management solution one department at a time.
“Each of our departments is unique,” said Steve Collins, business systems division manager at Richland County. “From processing business licenses to managing inmates to accessing property values, we have a lot of different responsibilities. And although many of our basic document management needs are the same – having a repository for digital documents – the way each of our departments functions is very different.”
The county plans to eventually implement document management solutions in all of its departments. Sharing the system across Richland County departments will eliminate redundant efforts to storage and manage the same documents in multiple departments.
And if anyone needs access to historical information, paperbound court cases, land deeds or other county records, they will be stored in the county’s common digital repository.
Another hope is that efficiencies will increase even further when the county begins to implement document management workflow functions, which will instantly route documents through business processes as each user or defined work is completed.
“Intense amounts of paperwork and inefficient processes were two primary drivers of our need for change,” said Collins. “But in the end, it all comes down to serving our constituents. We have to have efficient systems in place because our constituents are taking time off work or out of their busy schedules to do business with us. We’re now able to offer faster and more efficient service and services such as public online document access.”
A Winning Combination
“It was such a smart decision for us to implement the system,” said Collins. “With multiple filing cabinets and offsite storage locations, we were one catastrophe away from losing valuable historical documents. Now we have peace of mind that these documents are being securely preserved.
In my opinion, OnBase and KeyMark is a winning combination. If you’re looking for a system you can configure and maintain yourself, go with OnBase. If you’re looking for a vendor who will help with complex installations and provide great support, go with KeyMark. Between the two, they’re a very powerful team.”
How Richland County Departments are using Document Management:
- Administration: County Administrators can now access their records without searching through file cabinets
- Probate Court: Allows for document access directly from their internal system
- CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates): Allows important court and client documents to be accessible to multiple users at once
- Planning: Building and subdivision plans and documentation can be scanned and readily assessable to multiple departments located in different buildings
- Auditor: Allows for documents to be scanned at multiple external locations and stored centrally
- Business Services Center: Retain business licensing documents for easy retrieval.
- Voter Registration: Capturing large volumes of documents and utilizing web-based application to index documents. Documents are linked to records in AS/400.
- Legal: Quick access to case documentation by linking the OnBase document
to their case management system.
- Coroner: Documents can be stored in OnBase for retention purposes
About Richland County
Richland County, South Carolina, is a 756 square-mile area located in the central part of the state. Columbia, the state capital and largest city in South Carolina, is in the county seat of Richland County, although a portion of the city extends into neighboring Lexington County. Richland County government offices serve a population of about 348,000 people (according to estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2006).