Episode 010: 19 Ways Government Agencies Can Leverage Technology in 2019 – Part 2

In part two of a two-part episode, Kevin Ledgister, marketing manager for ImageSoft (a reseller of Hyland’s OnBase solution), shares some quick tips for using OnBase to supercharge your agency’s efficiency.

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Kate Storey: Welcome to the Paperless Productivity Podcast, where we give you the tips, tricks, and know-how to solve your biggest workflow challenges and bring greater productivity into your workplace every day.

Last time we talked about ten great ways that government agencies can leverage a technology solution like OnBase to help meet their needs in 2019. So today, we’re gonna continue on with that list, and if you haven’t already listened to that first half of the list, make sure you go back to our last episode and get all caught up. So, Kevin, you ready to dive back into this?

Kevin Ledgister: Yes, I’m ready. Let’s dive right in.
Kate: Alright.
Kevin: Number 11. I’ll just do this one quickly, it’s just that [00:00:45] (OnBase) provide a way for the public to search for documents and also for you to internally to handle redaction’s. So a lot of times you may have a document with some sensitive information on there, but because of transparency laws, it needs to be shared publicly but it can be redacted, so you can redact the documents by highlighting sensitive areas in a document and redact them out and then share the redacted copy out to the public so that they can search it, view it, access it, download it, but they can’t see the information behind the redaction.

And then within OnBase itself, you can actually keep an un-redacted copy that only internal employees can actually take a look at and that way maintain that confidentiality and sensitivity that’s required for certain kinds of information. So that’s one of the great things that you can do as well too is make your documents searchable by the public and also protect sensitive information that’s actually in there.

Number 12. This is one that a lot of people don’t think about, but think of all the people, whether you’re a real estate organization, whether you’re tracking employee certifications, whether you’ve got different training that you need to just track in terms of completion of training, OnBase provides you a way that you can not only track all those certifications and continuing education credits and those types of things and licenses that need to be maintained, but you can track the expiration of those as well.

You can track and make sure that enough things are being submitted with enough credits to make sure that employees are staying current, and you can also use this to track different vendor partners, different people that are out there as well. So we did one solution, for instance, where we’re tracking real estate licenses for all the real estate agents in a particular city, and we were able to track all of those, have them in, make sure that they’re staying up to date with their training, who the licenses are being parked with. So as new things are coming in, we had a great spot where they could track that and just maintain that. That’s one of the small tricky things that nobody really thinks about, but it turned out to be a huge solution and huge time saver and it’s one that you could take a look at in terms of OnBase.

Number 13 kind of goes along with that. So not only do we use the case management features in OnBase to design something to track real estate licenses, but we’re also using the same features and functionalities that’s in OnBase to be able to track criminal codes, so think about every time a new criminal code or a new civil code or whatever, charging code that needs to be tracked by judges and attorneys and lawyers and legislative, you can use the OnBase system to actually track those.

So when a revision gets made or a new piece. For instance you may have a criminal code that talks about breaking and entering and maybe you want to add a new category to that because some new type of crime has cropped up that you knew to address, if you want to have a subtext of that code, maybe you’re going to update an existing code or you wanna track, here’s a new version, but here’s a previous version, OnBase does that beautifully. You can track who accesses it and you can also make that available to the public as well, so if they wanna search criminal codes they can do that as well.

So a lot of great things you can do, just being able to track, not only criminal codes, but also anything else that you wanna do, that would fit into that category. In terms of what data do I need to track in a system that I don’t wanna build an active data base that’s out there, I don’t wanna track it in excel, I don’t wanna just handle some sort of electronic PDF that I can’t tell from version to version OnBase makes it an ideal solution for things like that.

Kate: Yeah and that’s where I think the [inaudible 00:04:34] goes beyond just logistical elements and some of the daily tasks and workflow elements, this is where you start to see how agencies have to work with public safety as well and how a technology solution can really help in that aspect as well. It goes beyond just eliminating paper and making things more efficient, you start to address public safety as well, I think a lot of times with these agencies.
Kevin: Yes, you’re exactly correct. A lot of times what we do too is that sometimes the legislative body will actually create something in electronic form that we can develop some sort of automated way to take that data and import and update the records in OnBase, those are things that we look at as well.

We certainly do that when it comes to prosecution for instance where the state might issue, here’s the updated codes from our legislature here or they might put one out every few months with the new codes. We happen to go to actually take that in and update the prosecutors systems that are using OnBase. So they have the most up to date criminal codes that they can use and they don’t have to go in and look into a book or do some sort of search, because that’s one of the things that criminals sometimes get off on technicalities because somebody’s misapplied the wrong criminal code to it, or didn’t have the most updated criminal code and somebody gets off the hook because of it. So those are things that we wanna avoid and it does become a public safety issue.

Kate: Wow.
Kevin: So next is number 14, one of the cool things about OnBase is it allows you to transition your work processes to a digital flow so a lot of government agencies are not, obviously they’re reaching trade show. Where a lot of agencies said hey we are imaging our documents were storing them in document managing system, but we’re still doing a lot of things manually and to keep asking the question, what’s next? What can we do to make this more efficient? Some of them are still skating backwards into the system and printing them out on paper and running the paper on the organization and then scanning it back into process of those stamps and things that attach to it.

It sounds ridiculous, but if you don’t have the tools to do it, that’s your only option. So one of the strong points about OnBase is that it contains a highly conservable workflow engine that allows you to automate all those processes and take a lot of those steps digital whether it’s stamping a document, whether it’s robbing it from one desk to another desk and just taking up some of that float time that a file is just sitting on somebody’s desk just waiting to be handed over to another person’s desk. It doesn’t happen until somebody gets to it, all those things that makes a process much more inefficient OnBase takes a lot of it out of the process.

So now with the click of a button a lot of things, the 3, 4, 5 things you need to do manually, now you can actually click a button and have those being done automatically. And this is critically important so I’ll give you a simple example, think about your manager in a particular department, you put in a requisition to buy some new chairs, some new furniture, supplies or whatever that is. Invoice comes in to the finance or the administration office, they need you to approve that. So one of the great things about OnBase is that that invoice can come in, it can be quickly reviewed by somebody in accounting and they can click a button and it says need to be reviewed, OnBase takes a look and says oh this is purchase order 456, looks up into your accounting system, this is requested by Jane Smith, over in this department, so it routes it over to Jane Smith, sends her an email, hey can you approve this and right with an [00:08:18] (up look), Jane can look at the invoice say yes we’ve got all the supplies, click a button to approve, automatically comes back to the accounted supervisor for proper processing and payment and that can happen within seconds, with two clicks of a button as opposed to the current process which a lot of people do.

Where there either inner office mail the invoice over, they’ll make a photocopy [inaudible 00:08:39] get lost, or they’ll scan it and attach it to an email, send it off to Jane and then when Jane gets the email, sends it back and then maybe Jane sees the email [inaudible 00:08:48] did I send this back or not? And that confusion exists, and sometimes it’ll send an approval twice, so there’s all kinds of things that are happening along with that and OnBase can take all that confusion and all that extra time that’s wasted and shorten it up.

So think about this if you’re in a multi-department agency, city, or county or state, where the agencies are spread all around, different agencies, you can bring a lot of those processes under control and make them seem less. So you’re not looping paper anymore, you’re not using email which is almost like a modern form day of sneakernet. It’s now something that can become so much more efficient and now you have a full audit trail of your entire process of when that invoice went out or when that form went out, or whatever it is that your doing, it now becomes streamlined and automated.

So number 15, and this is kind of the wrapping up of the section of it, think about how many Microsoft access databases you have, think of how many excel spreadsheets that you’re using for auditing purposes and checklists, and those different things. But you wish there was a better way to do it where multiple people can actually access it and it can just track who made the different entries. Well OnBase case management tool is designed exactly for that to replace those Microsoft active databases, to replace those excel checklists that you’re using and create a unified view of what’s happening for something you need to audit or something you need to track like a IP ticketing system for instance instead of using an active database. You can use OnBase and have multiple people access it at the same time, where they’re having to think through some logistical nightmare that sometimes comes along for access or having a shared excel spreadsheet.

A great thing about this is is that it’s a tool, case management tool, but we’ve been talking about logic and [inaudible 00:10:42] and things you can track, a lot of case management solutions can be drag and drop designs, quite configurable as opposed to some other applications where it requires a lot of custom coding to develop. And it requires a programmer to do, a lot of these small applications can be done all within a gooey interface within OnBase. So that’s number 15.

Alright number 16, bring your Freedom of Information Act, your FOIA act and your Public Access Request for Documents Under Control. This is one of the big challenge for a lot of agencies, especially in this day and age, where with [inaudible 00:11:24] going on, people are just asking for more and more and more information. And some agencies have full time people, staff was just taking those requests and putting them in the queue and setting them up so that they can be handled and some agencies are a year behind being able to satisfy and respond to those requests, just because they’re so time consuming, they take so much time and the information’s located in so many different areas.

With a system like OnBase not only can you receive these requests electronically, through a form, through an email or fax and have them automatically go into OnBase to create that next queue item for somebody to take a look at. But if your documents are in OnBase it can make gathering those documents a whole lot easier, which brings up more room for somebody to take a look at some of the content that isn’t stored in OnBase, that’s outside. And we’ll talk about that in a minute, in terms of how you can solve that, but anything that’s within OnBase, within those various departments, sort of [inaudible 00:12:28], economic taxes that [inaudible 00:12:30] information act requests, redact anything that you need too. And you now have a way that you can also electronically deliver that in a secure way, where you can also track to see if somebody is actually downloaded that document or received those documents as well.

So OnBase offers a lot of ways you can bring your Freedom of Information Act and Public Act of Records Request under control, and for a lot of government agencies, they’re racking up thousands of dollars in binds, which actually goes against your budget, but because it’s so hard to even put your arms around, they just see that as a necessary expense, and it really doesn’t need to be. It really could be something that you can bring under control and start this process and those requests or you’re getting them back in time, you’re avoiding those fees and if you rack the hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees and costs and staffing costs just to manage this. You really need to take a look at OnBase if you don’t have it yet because this is something that can save you a tremendous amount of time.

Kate: Okay, great.
Kevin: Alright number 17, to go along with that, so we’ve talked about things which are in OnBase, but what about all the other stuff that is outside of OnBase. So one of the great things is that there’s a tool that actually can take a look at different things that is outside of OnBase, so things that are in your email repository, things that are sitting on file shares, things that are sitting on a SharePoint drive, things that might be sitting on somebody’s computer somewhere that isn’t necessarily in any kind of structured place that makes it easy to find that data and so there are enterprise search tools which are available that can help with that Public Records Request or [inaudible 00:14:20] to a lawsuit, that you need to find data and to be responsive to the other party’s attorneys and those are things that you need to take a look at in terms of what evidence is there.

And so there are also enterprise search tools outside of OnBase that can help you with that and in every place where this has been demoed, if you look at somebody’s social period for instance, you would be surprised how many times that stuff turns up in unprotected areas or things just getting out in loose emails or sitting out in a document somewhere, that’s not under File Share, and its a great way for you to not only secure your data, but find out what’s out there that should be secured, but also a great way for you to find information that you’re looking for that isn’t in within your structured system and being able to put those together to respond to a public records request.

Alright, number 18, we’re almost there! We talked about this briefly before, but OnBase really has a tool to manage HR processes much more efficiently so we can even innovate it with your HR information system or it can become your system of record, that can help you with recruiting and going through process of evaluating your resumes to onboarding and being able to manage those different projects and taxes you have to do, so for example at ImageSoft when somebody has been made to offer the higher accepted, our HR can go in, basically click a button and it creates a project notifying all the departments of all the things that need to be done and tracks when each one has actually been completed, so she doesn’t have to send out a million different emails to everybody to figure what’s been done and what’s not been done.

It’s all tracked within the system and it makes it easy and accountable and it’s at least you can tell what needs to be done before that person starts as well as once they’ve started, making sure all the steps are completed or just making sure that transfers are being handled correctly, we have the government agency, and we see this a lot in different departments like in the police or different unions where somebody goes to transfer from one to another and you have to account for hours and you have to account for seniority and all those different types of things, it helps with that process and also its separation as well too.

So just bringing that whole process under control is really really big, a great way that you can help just to maintain your most important asset, of any government agency is it’s people and being able to help with that process really can just make it much more of a positive environment for you and for the staff within the agencies.

And then number 19, the last one, think about all the engineers and the facilities and the road crews, things that documents keep track or there’s manuals or there’s cab drawings, whether it’s plans different things. And most of these in government agencies now somewhere within there the larger entity has some sort of GIS or geographical information system where they’re looking at different maps, some sort of mapping system they’re using. And being able to, for instance if you’re on a road crew and you go out and you see a pot hole and you maybe need to dig a little bit deeper to actually fix it, and you want to check hey what’s actually underneath this road, and they pull it up on their tablet, they can pull the road map and actually click on it and go down through various layers, and they can see a pipe and maybe pull the plan for that or maybe they can look up previous work orders that are associated with a particular building. Just being able to have documents in OnBase, all your manuals and drawings and work orders stored inside OnBase.

Being able to attach to your mapping system is such a huge benefit to you, think of first responders when they go out, those are also big deals and things that they can do as well. Just having quick access to those drawings and quick access to those maps and quick access to whatever it is that they need to take a look at, work orders too down the path so they can track that. It’s a huge going for cities and counties and state agencies, to help them be more efficient in terms of maintaining the roads and public utilities. So that’s number 19!

Kate: Excellent, so this is so much great information today Kevin, and again this is all going to be in the show notes, so you can be able to track all of this and get some of those details there if you want them. But if our listeners want to get more information on how ImageSoft and OnBase can help listeners meet their specific needs, what can they do next?
Kevin: Well they can first of all go to our website, so they can go to imagesoftinc.com that’s imagesoftinc.com/government and there’s all kind of information there and different projects and things that we’ve done so they can read the customers stories and get great information that’s there. Or you can simply call us at 855-533-3366, that’s 855-533-3366. And they will talk to a client communications specialist and we’ll be able to offer them any kind of information. Not everything that we have is on our website, we have a huge volume of stuff that we have, it would just be too much to try to find it on our website, so if you do call us or if you go on our website and use our contact form or you go into our interactive web chat, we have people that are there that can give you some information, case studies, articles, things you might find helpful as you begin to research and think about what are we doing next or what do we do from here?

Kate: Never heard a response, yeah.
Kevin: Yeah, there’s no response. That could for anything, not just HR but it could be any particular process that you need to go through where you’re dealing with people from the outside, it’s just a way to have seamless communication. That’s just one way in terms using that con figural workflow to simplify those small tasks that we just don’t have systems for out there that you can just pop off the shelf. OnBase provides you with tool and a way that you can do that fairly easily.
Kate: Excellent, well thank you again Kevin for sharing this information. I think this is just jampacked with ideas for government agencies and I hope this is a jumpstart of the thought process for our government listeners out there.

Thank you everyone for joining us today and if you haven’t already be sure to subscribe to Paperless Productivity, where we tackle some of the biggest paper based pain points facing organizations today, we’ll see you next time.

Thanks again for joining us today, for this episode of Paperless Productivity. This podcast is sponsored by ImageSoft, the paperless process people, which you can learn more about at imagesoftinc.com that’s imagesoftinc.com

Join us next time, where you’ll learn how to harness the power of technology, supercharge efficiency, and accomplish your organizations goals.

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