Second in size only to Little Rock, Fayetteville, Arkansas, is home to more than 90,000 residents and is proud to offer the resources and advantages of a large city while maintaining a quality of life that remains true to its unique heritage. As it has grown, the City of Fayetteville staff recognized the need to update their document management processes to match the needs of their community. In 2016, they looked at gaps in existing software applications and implemented Laserfiche, primarily forms and workflow, to fill in functionality gaps. Now, almost every department in the City utilizes the content services platform.
With the help of MCCi consultants, engineers, and implementation experts, the City of Fayetteville replaced most enterprise applications, including ERP, development services, work order/asset management, document imaging, fleet/shop, public safety, and recreation. In some instances, Laserfiche is a gap filler to solve business problems, whether internal business processes or public facing. However, more often today, it is fully integrated with critical business apps such as Tyler New World ERP and Central Square EAM (Lucity). In addition, they have plans to implement it with public safety applications in the future.
The IT department has a strong business systems team that works with other departments to implement technology to improve daily operations. For example, they’ve used Laserfiche to implement a form, enabling tracking of the City’s use of non-metered water. They also developed a single form for police officers to submit daily deports, saving an estimated 1,000 hours of work a year.
Before Laserfiche, the City could not process online utility applications or deposits, which is significant in a college town. In addition, due to the presence of the University of Arkansas, 50% of Fayetteville residential real estate is rentals, resulting in a large volume of residents moving in, moving out, and paying deposits. Now, a staff member estimated saving close to 900,000 pieces of paper a year. Additionally, it decreased foot traffic in the department by 80%.
Covid Incentive Payments
In recent years, the Fayetteville City Council passed an ordinance on utilizing CARES funding, incentivizing residents who live or work in Fayetteville to obtain a COVID vaccine. City IT staff needed a system with multiple levels of approval to process incentive payments that also allowed for a detailed archive in the event of an audit. To accomplish this, IT staff led a team with staff members from accounting, internal audits, and utility billing.
They utilized Laserfiche as a gap filler to achieve this task in three major ways:
As a result, the City streamlined its approval process, processed 2,581 applications, and issued 1,709 incentive payments.
ARPA Nonprofit Applications
When the City Council requested a process for local nonprofits to submit applications to request ARPA funding, Laserfiche’s capabilities were put to the test once again. City IT staff worked with internal auditors and the Mayor’s Office to develop a Laserfiche form “portal” for nonprofits to submit funding requests. It allowed staff to review and comment on each application in a structured manner.
If the application was approved, Laserfiche would provide a single source to track all information on an approved funding request, which is critical to support ARPA funding documentation requirements. In the end, they received a total of 42 applications.
Due to the demand for rental properties, many residents in Fayetteville need an easy way to identify their landlord’s name and contact information. Last year, the Fayetteville City Council passed Ordinance 120.02, which requires landlords owning more than two residential rental properties within the City to choose a designated representative to serve as a point of contact for resident renters and their neighbors. They must also provide that representative’s contact information to an online Landlord’s Representative Registry.
The City needed an effective way to organize information and direct residents to the right contact, so they again turned to Laserfiche. The MCCi team helped them develop a form to collect landlord information and a custom web view to search that database. To date, 900+ landlords have registered, making it much easier for residents to access this key information.
Finally, the Fayetteville City Council passed an ordinance requiring short-term rentals to apply, obtain a business license, and pay HMR taxes. City staff leveraged Laserfiche Forms and Workflow to develop an online, public form for short-term rentals, allowing them to request short-term rental business licenses. The City utilized the form for about 12 months until their development services software added the functionality, and they had time to test/configure short-term rentals. As a result of using Laserfiche, they were able to receive and process over 300 applications.
Looking to the Future
The City of Fayetteville was awarded MCCi’s 2021 Process Improvement Excellence Award for its pandemic response to staff and their community, using online request forms for incentive programs and requests for new utility services. They continue to explore new ways to implement Laserfiche to achieve greater efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and service to the public. Looking to the future, their next goal is to integrate Laserfiche with Microsoft Teams.