Community Action Partnership Washington and Ramsey Counties – Katie McLemoreA opinion on going paper-less from CAP employee
What advice would you give a CAP that is fearful of going paperless?
While going paperless is a big change, you should think about the risks you’re taking by not going paperless. The potential for losing files is much larger with paper, especially when multiple people need to access the same file. If anything were to happen to your physical office location or building, what would become of the paper files? You should also be thinking about how much of a burden storing large amounts of paper can be just from a physical storage standpoint.
Another piece of advice would be to have a project champion for a paperless project, preferably someone in a leadership role, who can spread the message to staff at other levels. This will help to reassure front line staff that they have the support from upper level staff in this big project. Make sure you communicate a positive message, and reassure your staff that they’re supported and that their input is valuable in shaping a successful paperless implementation.
There are many great benefits to going paperless, including feeling less cluttered and making information more accessible to those who need it at any time. Communicating the benefits and keeping the positives in the forefront of everyone’s mind will help for a smoother transition to paperless.
Also know that going paperless can be a phased approach. Starting with an archiving project to just get completed documents digitized makes a huge difference. From there, staff can ease into searching for electronic documents and then you can start to build up your current paper processes electronically.
How has Laserfiche benefited your organization?
As an organization, Laserfiche gives us peace of mind that we have business continuity. We can seamlessly work across multiple locations knowing that our files and documents are available from those locations to those who need them. In a worst case scenario where something happens to our physical offices, we know that our data is still available.
We have freed up an entire room from physical paper storage that now serves as an employee wellness room for staff to use at any time. In one of our program areas, we have saved on needing a dedicated file clerk position to manage paper files. In all areas using Laserfiche, we have also reduced the amount of time staff dedicates to searching for, and working with, paper files. Finding files is fast and easy, and by reducing time searching for files, it has allowed our organization’s staff to spend more quality time with our clients.
Would you have any comments about Hemingway Solutions and the services we have provided that you would be willing to share?
Hemingway Solutions has been a valuable partner in our Laserfiche experience. If our staff need help in the field someone from Hemingway is there to help and walk through the process while out in the field. Hemingway Solutions continues to be responsive when we have questions, and is always willing to have a call or meeting in person. They have been accommodating with training and any adjustments we need to current setups in our repository, workflows, or forms.
One of the great benefits of Hemingway Solutions is their institutional knowledge of our agency, and Community Action Agency processes. They know the Minnesota programs’ language and we don’t need to spend a lot of time playing catch up on what’s going on if updates are needed.
Any comments on Laserfiche?
Laserfiche offers multiple learning opportunities, whether through regional training, online CPP courses, or hands-on training at their annual conference. Their Answers site is robust, and is extremely useful because you get input directly from Laserfiche developers themselves.