We are privileged to hear from Records Manager, Kelly O’Brian, with the North Texas Municipal Water District to learn how Laserfiche is improving both the safety of their employees and the security and compliance of their documents and processes.
About the North Texas Municipal Water District
The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) is a wholesaler of water to a large portion of North Texas and provides vital water, wastewater, and waste management services to more than a million people who call North Texas their home.
This year Laserfiche saved us from purchasing 104 cabinets at the price of $400/per cabinet (an estimated cost of $41,600).
Describe how Laserfiche transformed the way your organization works.
Laserfiche helped our organization become more efficient. Forms and Workflow now streamline our everyday business processes and it makes compliance easier to document.
Please share specific business process management improvements that your organization experienced.
An example of an everyday process is Tax Exemption Certificates. Processing the certificates used to be a complete paper process that routinely took days. Using Laserfiche Forms, the process now takes just a few minutes (I clocked one at 3 minutes!), and an employee can initiate the certificate. Allowing our employees to purchase what they need right when they need it, rather than having paperwork delay repairs.
AP Invoice Processing has become more efficient by automatically matching BOLs and packing slips to invoices awaiting pay approval. Also, Workflow automatically sends out emails requesting “OK to Pay” from department administration technicians. And for many invoice types, business processes have been created to apply our AP Template to fill in the fields using pattern matching.
Laserfiche Forms and Workflows help us document that we met requirements for compliancy. For instance, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Confined Space Rule requires us to track and determine what kinds of spaces our workers are in, what hazards could be there, how those hazards should be made safe, what training workers should receive, and how to rescue them if anything goes wrong.
It’s very important that we’re monitoring the conditions our employees face when entering into a confined space not only so that we stay in compliance with these regulatory measures but to protect them from the life-threatening hazards they may face within those spaces.
Here’s an example of their Confined Space Permits Process:
When an employee enters a confined space, they initiate a Permit (an Electronic Form). The permit has specific sections that appear only when applicable.
Once the Form is submitted, supervisors are emailed to let them know we have an employee(s) working in a confined space. The permit is attached to the email so that all know the location, type of confined space, and what kind of work is being done, as well as who is doing it. The opening of a permit requires air quality testing at specified intervals, which is also captured using Forms.
When the employee(s) have completed their task (repair work, inspection, etc.), they fill out a Closing Permit Form. That form notifies managers via email that employees are out of the confined space, and then combines the Open Permit, Air Quality and Close Permit Forms into one document in Laserfiche.
These Forms (and several others used by the Safety Department) have their own landing page. The employees who use the process adapted relatively quickly to the change using Forms versus the old paper process.
We demonstrated this automated process out in the field to a local Fire Station, and they were very impressed and inquired why everyone wasn’t using this process!
What specific savings organization-wide do you link directly to using Laserfiche? How do you quantify your organization’s return on investment?
For the past three years, we captured an average of 1.3 million pages into Laserfiche, which eliminated the purchase of several filing cabinets.
This year it saved us from purchasing 104 cabinets at the price of $400/per cabinet (an estimated cost of $41,600).
In general, the automation of many forms, routing and capture made a massive impact for us.
What applications did you integrate with Laserfiche? What does the integration do?
Our WasteWORKS software program exports the scale house tickets from our landfill facility nightly to our Shared drives where Laserfiche’s Import Agent moves the files into Laserfiche, which kicks off a Workflow to correctly name and store them.
Also, many of our workflows pull data from the databases of other systems, specifically Maximo, an asset management program, which helps automatically complete some fields with standardized data.
Describe how Laserfiche’s features and functionality play a significant role within your organization.
One of the more significant impacts of implementing Laserfiche is the ability for employees to have access to the documents they need to do their job, for PIA requests, and litigation production. So much time is saved by routing documents electronically!
Automatic Capture into LF helps promote better document retrieval, since being able to retrieve the documents we need quickly has a real impact on the quality of work. Regarding the use of Workflows, I believe the most significant change for us right now is that employees are steered to consistently perform mindful, configured processes, resulting in better compliance and information.
A few ways that using Laserfiche Capture to automate document uploads helps our staff have immediate access for their safety:
- Quality standards provided when testing the air in a confined space
- Pictures of a specific piece of equipment being inspected
What plans do you have for Laserfiche within your organization?
We’re looking to automate email notifications regarding Confined Space Permits to the nearest Fire Station.
Currently, when the Safety Department receives notice that an employee is entering a confined space, they must look up which Fire Station is both the closest and able to handle the potential emergency and then forward the Permit notification to them.
The benefits of using Forms and Workflows are just being felt and understood across the District. We plan to continue changing out our old paper processes with Forms and Workflows.
What advice would you give someone just starting with Laserfiche?
- Take advantage of online training and enroll in Getting Started with Laserfiche and other CPP courses
- I would also say to utilize Laserfiche Answers when you have questions
- Set a standard naming convention in the beginning
- Set up Audit Trail to help track down unusual activity
- And of course, attend Laserfiche Empower!