GlobalSearch Water Services

Clay Rural Water System Puts Your Safety First with GlobalSearch®

ECM Software for Utilities Industry

Quality water improves quality of life. For over 40 years, The Clay Rural Water System has operated with the sole purpose of providing safe, quality drinking water to over 2,300 customers for domestic, farm and business use. A non-profit, member-owned corporation delivering water services throughout southeast South Dakota, Clay RWS distributes from two treatment plants through a network of 900 miles of pipeline, six storage reservoirs with a capacity of 1,040,000 gallons, and three booster stations.

Since original construction, the water system has seen steady growth and expansion – allowing more rural farms, residences and businesses to join together for a common goal – safe, affordable water. As the non-profit accumulated additional residential customers, Operations staff at the main plant in Wakonda, SD, recognized inefficiencies in the management of account records. File cabinets were overflowing as Clay RWS was quickly running out of filing space, and finding it difficult to locate documents backed up on discs.

Both Accounting and General Office departments were in desperate need of a solution, enabling them to operate with triple the efficiency and a fraction of the manual effort. Clay RWS found the solution they needed in GlobalSearch Enterprise Content Management software from Square 9.

Not only did implementing GlobalSearch drastically improve records management activities, but the award-winning solution helped ensure customer account data was protected from risks of natural disaster, theft or fire. With this assurance, Clay RWS can now scan and shred 50% of the paperwork acquired, which in return frees office space as files are now electronically stored within the GlobalSearch software. Additionally, once scanned, the system’s built-in KeyFree Indexing feature makes document filing a breeze through advanced data capture capabilities, allowing staff to file records effortlessly in seconds.

Clay RWS is now currently using GlobalSearch to store customer service tickets, membership paperwork, board minutes, IRS forms, monthly statements, audits, loan paperwork and more. With all of these records stored electronically, the water services provider will always have enough room for new and existing customer records, without the need for additional file cabinets or off-site storage.

Although still in the process of scanning customer files that date back 40 years, Clay RWS is expecting to see much increased efficiency and savings, as they are already experiencing immediate benefits in search and retrieval. Documents can now be located via a quick system search, and are immediately accessible for improved customer service.

Very pleased with their new document storage technology, Clay RWS would highly recommend GlobalSearch, as the company plans on expanding its use to other departments and processes in the near future. Knowing that their information is safe and secure, yet easily accessible with permissions-based access, keeps the staff at Clay RWS minds at ease. With GlobalSearch in place, 40 years’ worth of history and information is no longer at risk of vanishing ‘down the pipes.’

The mission of the Clay Rural Water System is to provide high quality water service to the members of the corporation at the lowest possible cost consistent with sound business practice. To learn more, please visit

Interview: Donna Henriksen, Office Manager, Clay Rural Water System, INC.

Q. What business challenges led you to discover GlobalSearch?

Donna Henriksen: As the Office Manager at Clay Rural Water System, it is my top priority to make sure the paperwork associated with our 2300+ customers is filed and stored properly. Since we have been in business for 40 years, we have a lot of paperwork and many loyal customers, making it hard to find the necessities, but also creating a sense of concern that all of this documentation could be lost in just a few minutes if a fire were to occur. This issue led me to seek alternate forms of document storage solutions that could help with quicker filing, creating room for newer customers, and also providing a backup storage method.

Q. How have processes changed since implementing GlobalSearch?

Henriksen: Square 9’s GlobalSearch solution has helped us for General Office work as well as in our Accounting department. The quick filing methods help to store and manage customer service tickets, membership paperwork, board minutes, IRS forms, monthly statements, audits, and loan paperwork. GlobalSearch allows us to have easy and immediate access to files for much quicker and efficient retrieval while also helping us to diminish around 50% of the paperwork that is no longer needed once the scanning process is complete. Customer service now has a better response time and important customer information can easily be found.

We would absolutely recommend GlobalSearch to others that are looking for a document management solution. It is a great feeling knowing that your information is in a safe and secure place. We have been in business for 40 years, so that is a lot of information that could be lost within a matter of minutes in the event of a natural disaster, theft or fire, so the reliability of GlobalSearch has helped us to protect not only our business but our customers too.

Q. In what ways has Square 9’s product suite improved business performance?

Henriksen: GlobalSearch has drastically decreased filing time. It does not take nearly as long to index records since the document is scanned and most of the time discarded afterwards. It has also given us unlimited storage for new and old customer files and the KeyFree Indexing tool has made all of our stored documents very easy to locate. We no longer have to worry about not having room for new customer paperwork or having to buy new filing cabinets for storage purposes.

Q. Do you plan on extending your use of GlobalSearch?

Henriksen: We are currently still in the process of scanning our customer files. Once this is completed we would like to further expand the scanning process by storing other types of documents as well. It is very reassuring knowing our documents are stored electronically, so the more documents we can store this way, the better off we are going to be.