Focused on improving the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens, Mahoning County Government of Ohio provides a host of services to ensure economic growth in the community. From taxation, to judicial services, property approvals and more, Mahoning County serves just under 300,000 people who call this area home.
But like most government entities, there were three main challenges that Mahoning County was encountering – excessive paperwork, breaks in collaboration and the security of sensitive data.
At Mahoning County, there is a specific approval process for each service offered to the community. Whether an Auditor, Engineer or Tax Map Analyst, turnaround time for document approval would take weeks, sometimes months! Physically distributing files between office locations proved time-consuming and inefficient, which was especially troubling when a citizen needed updates on the status of their request. There was no easy way to track Mahoning County’s approval process, with many files often misplaced or even lost.
That’s when Manhong County found GlobalSearch, an award-winning document management solution from Square 9. After a demo of the software, they knew it would be the solution to meet (and exceed) their needs! A web-based software, GlobalSearch provides Mahoning County with the means to collaborate in real-time with check in/check out revision control plus automatic document versioning. With unique user-based permissions, data can be shared instantly while Mahoning County can easily check on the status of a document across locations to see who had it last, and what changes were made. This identity management helps Mahoning County track documents to better understand where they stand in the approval process. With GlobalSearch, Mahoning County has gained accountability between departments for their respected workload.
Now members of Auditors Real Estate, GIS/Tax Mapping, and County Engineers have a robust solution for workflow automation which provides them with better visibility into everyday document processes. In fact, Service Level Agreements are now completed in a more consistent manner. A process that would previously take 4 weeks is now turned around in less than 5 days! Lessening their reliance on paper, Mahoning County has reduced annual printing costs by over $5,000.
Even administrative tasks such as copying and storing documents has been reduced. Previously, Mahoning County would make three copies of each document, ranging from 4-12 pages in length, and then send them via courier to the respected locations. Now this process is done by scanning documents directly into GlobalSearch. Users across locations have instant access to the data and can start their tasks immediately. With simplified collaboration and accessibility, Mahoning County has experienced a 300% reduction in paperwork alone!
As a central location for all case files and historical information, the speed of data access has improved productivity tenfold thanks to GlobalSearch. With results like these, Mahoning County could not be happier with their process change and look forward to expanding their capabilities with document management software!
To learn more about Mahoning County, visit www.mahoningcountyoh.gov.
Interview: Jacob Williams, Mahoning County Government, Director of IT
Q. What criteria did you have in mind when searching for a document management solution?
Jacob Williams: We were struggling to efficiently handle paper documents between disparate locations. Plus, certain documents needed to be approved by the appropriate entities in a respected manner, so the turnaround time for approval was weeks to months. On top of that, we were lacking document tracking not only on approval process but for historical purposes as well. Files were being misplaced and it was difficult to share data quickly and accurately.
Q. How have your processes changed since implementing GlobalSearch?
Williams: With GlobalSearch, document turnaround is consistent and predictable. Service Level Agreements previously took at least 4 weeks to complete, and now they’re done in less than 5 days. We’ve reduced paperwork by 300% and are saving roughly $5,000 annually in printing costs. Beyond that, GlobalSearch gives us accountability between departments for their respected workload and the ability to collaborate in real-time.
Q. Would you recommend Square 9’s solutions and why?
Williams: I absolutely would recommend Square 9’s GlobalSearch solution. Although I do think a needs assessment should be completed prior to any pursuit of a software solution, GlobalSearch document management stacks up very well against other government software vendors and solutions. Our users are very happy with their new process change.