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Township of Springwater

First-of-its-kind digital records management system saves time and improves relations with township residents.

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The Challenge

 

The Challenge

 
A healthy municipality depends on keeping accurate, detailed records. And, while the Township of Springwater was keeping plenty of records, they had a serious problem storing and accessing them. Everything was very compartmentalized and siloed. Each department had their own network drive and filing system, and no other department had easy access to it.

Active records were physically stored in a room above the municipal offices, taking up five filing shelves and growing at an alarming rate. Staff was wasting time searching for files on- and off-site, and costs were rising. The reliance on physical records and lack of department integration also made it difficult for township staff to work collaboratively.

Physical records would occasionally go missing or become delayed when staff members were away on vacation, sometimes sitting on a desk for weeks at a time. And, because sifting through paper files was a time-consuming task, any requests for records in storage took a long time to fulfill. While the township continued to meet legislative deadlines in responding to Freedom of Information Requests or resident inquiries, it wanted to increase turnaround time to improve its reputation for openness and transparency.
 

"Ricoh has been a great partner and I would recommend them to any municipality looking to digitize their records. We asked a lot of them, and they delivered the product above and beyond our expectations."

Karen Way
Deputy Clerk for the Township of Springwater

 
 

Solution

 

Solution

 

Ricoh was with the township every step of the way and we were never afraid to take on a challenge to deliver the right digital records solution.

 
In an effort to digitize their records, the Township of Springwater turned to Ricoh. They chose us because we had experience with the software the township was looking to implement, we had the staff support that they wanted, and we took the time to understand their needs.

Leveraging Laserfiche technology, we digitized their entire records management system. Over the course of the implementation, we scanned and uploaded every historical and current document that the township had, and created a single unified record management system that all departments could access.
 

About Township of Springwater

Situated between the City of Barrie and the Town of Wasaga Beach, and just 100 kilometers north of Toronto, the Township of Springwater provides its residents with access to a wide range of cultural and urban events in Ontario. Its enviable location combined with its picturesque countryside and affordable lifestyle earned Springwater a top 100 ranking on the MoneySense best places to live in Canada list. The staff at the Township of Springwater works hard to maintain its positive reputation and the exceptional quality of life of its nearly 20,000 residents.

 
 

Result

Since implementing Ricoh's Laserfiche document management solution, the Township of Springwater has seen a number of improvements for their staff as well as the residents they serve. With all historical records now digitized, the physical space required to store active documents has been cut nearly in half, and two of the five storage shelves have been removed. Since all departments can now access a single, digital document, reports are no longer susceptible to duplication errors. This saves the staff time from having to check and recheck reports before they go to council, and has eliminated bottlenecks when staff are away for a significant period of time.

The digital records management system has also created new workflows that save time. Forms processing for Freedom of Information Requests, for instance, is now available online and search results are available instantly. This has improved relations with residents and boosted the township's reputation for transparency, as staff can quickly and easily deliver any document requested, right on the spot.

As the first large-scale digital document management solution of its kind, the Township of Springwater has received significant industry recognition for their work. They were asked to present the solution at the Empower Conference in 2012, and they were awarded the Run Smarter award from Laserfiche in 2013. Looking to the future, the township sees several possible new avenues to manage their documents even more efficiently using Ricoh's solution, including implementing an accounts payable process so invoices can be digitally circulated as well as issuing licenses and permits through a forms process.