Universal City, Texas Finds Relief from the Heat and Improves Efficiency
Universal City, Texas
Digitech Systems Reseller
CASO Document Management
Accessing documents was difficult
Documents can be located instantly, and are safe from disaster while saving taxpayer money each year
Finding city records was a chore for Universal City, Texas. Everything was on paper and required physical searches to find documents. “We were running out of space: Wes and I had pushed for years to get everything digitized, so we didn’t have to get in the car, drive down to the storage unit and go through these HUGE, HUGE, HUGE boxes of plans,” said Kim Turner, Assistant City Manager and Wes Keller, GIS Analyst. “The warehouses where the documents were stored were not air conditioned, and Texas summers are hot. It was dangerous if you spent too much time there,” said Turner.
- Documents are located instantly, by any user
- All documents are 100% protected from natural disaster, theft or loss
- Faster processes save over $44,000 annually
Universal City was established in 1960 and is located in Bexar County, Texas. It borders San Antonio to the northeast and is adjacent to Randolph Air Force Base. The population was 19,721 at the 2014 census, and it is part of the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area. The City prides itself in providing its citizens with outstanding services, always emphasizing quality of life.
Having to dig through 55 years’ worth of documents, was tiresome and time-consuming. In some cases, it could take as long as one week to find a document. “The boxes had labels, but it was hit or miss. Some of the labels were taped on, but the tape was deteriorating. Even some of the rubber bands had melted into the paper,” said Turner. In addition, construction documents were stored rolled up. Rolled files are difficult to work with, because they want to stay rolled up. Some of these rolls had “miscellaneous” labels so they had to guess what was in them. “When you needed access to the paper drawing you had to go unroll them and hope you had picked the right one,” said Keller.
In addition to physically searching through documents, another challenge the City faced was locating the requested information. The people with the institutional knowledge to find certain information were nearing retirement, and there was no way to make sure the knowledge didn’t leave when they did.
Keller and Turner were also concerned about keeping their documents safe from disaster. The San Antonio area is known as flash flood alley and is prone to flooding at any time.
The City knew that searching through paper documents was not only frustrating, hot, and time-consuming, but also an inefficient use of taxpayer’s money. It became clear they needed a better solution.
Universal City worked with CASO, a Digitech Systems reseller, to come up with a solution. They wanted an easy-to-use and easy-to-learn system that would allow them to digitize their documents and eliminate physical paper file storage. They chose PaperVision Enterprise, an ECM system, because it was easy for them to manage in-house. CASO helped them get set up, and they are about 70% done converting the construction documents and plan on expanding to other departments next.
“Before PaperVision Enterprise, it could take as long as a week to find a document. Now we can find a document and email it to a client in just a few minutes. The time savings has been incredible.”
– Kim Turner, Assistant City Manager
Today, all paperwork is digital as it enters the door. PaperVision Enterprise stores 23,436 documents and they have 17 users that login weekly.
The City is utilizing interns from the local college to populate the index terms used to find the documents via keyword search for the property plattes that are already in PaperVision Enterprise. “We are planning for the people with the institutional knowledge to retire, and are making sure the documents have the proper information associated with them. When people are looking for information on a property, now or in 20 years, they will actually be able to find it,” said Turner.
They have also greatly decreased their need to search through the archives room for drawings. In addition, they have made all the City Council documents, Industrial Development Council documents, and the Board of Adjustments documents digital. “Employee morale has increased greatly. We rarely need to search our archives by hand anymore, which all the staff considered dreadful,” said Keller. By digitizing all of their records, they are now meeting the State of Texas standard for electronic storage of archived documents, which mandates they must keep all documents related to commercial structures forever.
Customer service has changed as well. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires the City to give citizens access to any government information they request. “When we get a FOIA request, we can pull it up by the address and send it right away via email. It’s been very helpful. People are always so surprised that I send them the information they wanted in less than a day. It has really improved our customer service,” said Turner.
The biggest savings the City realizes is the time savings. By not spending a week looking for documents anymore, they have saved what is equivalent to one full-time employee, which saves over $44,000 annually.1 “We don’t waste man-hours searching for documents in our archives anymore or waste time begging someone else to do it. PaperVision Enterprise has saved us so much time and money. I don’t know what we would do without it,” said Keller.
About CASO Document Management
CASO has been an innovator in developing practical, cost-effective imaging services and document management systems since 1994. With a management team totaling more than 100 years of experience, they have a proven track record with even the largest commercial and government requirements. CASO is a recognized Circle of Excellence reseller with Digitech Systems. CASO offers a full-range of imaging services or a comprehensive custom solution tailored to each company, industry or specific project. They support hundreds of regional and national clients in government, finance, education, healthcare, manufacturing and other sectors. To learn more about CASO, call 888.388.CASO or go to www.caso.com.