Lakes and Pines Community ActionReplaces filing cabinets with Laserfiche ECM

Lakes and Pines community action go to paperless

Lakes and Pines Community Action Council is a non-profit corporation that offers a variety of programs to assist low-income families and individuals in a seven-county area north of the Twin Cities. They provide assistance to eligible consumers in the following areas: Early childhood and family development; Energy and housing; family loan program; special projects and emergency services.

Steve Long, Director of Data Processing for Lakes and Pines, spoke about Lakes and Pines experience with Hemingway Solutions (formerly Solbrekk) Laserfiche document management solution.


Steve stated “Several years ago we were informed by our funders that we would be required to increase our document retention from 3 years to 6 years, meaning we needed to double our storage space. An additional 40x40ft storage space or leased storage space in some warehouse or purchasing a $50,000 sliding file equipment.  Our other options were quite costly and inefficient


We evaluated a number of document management solutions. We chose Laserfiche because of its modular licensing, which allowed us to purchase what we needed and then add other modules later. We also found it much easier to use than other products.  Larry Phelps trained me to use it and I was able to train the rest of my staff.  The total cost of the LaserFiche system purchased was less than $13,000 including three Fujitsu scanners for departmental scanning.



We  had several employees that initially were very resistant to the change, but have since completely embraced the solution. Documents can easily be brought up on-line and 2 employees can view a document at the same time.  We frequently use the scanning and searching features based on key words to find information. One example is remembering that a decision was made at a board meeting, but not remembering which meeting. A quick search on key words saves a great deal of time.”


The time to find a file and then multiple employees can look at the same file and then not having to refile them again.   The one employee that wanted a file scanned instead of just bringing the file to her desk was a major breakthrough.   Accounting can search very fast for an amount their balance is off to see if that entry was in error or not.  Head Start can scan the children’s crayon drawing’s so they can give the parents the original drawing of the child.  We save about 1 to 2 boxes a month of the 11×17 greenbar accounting paper and 1 box a month of 8 ½ x 11 computer paper.


Filing 2000 sheets of payments histories for EAP would take about 2 to 3 months when employees had spare time.  I could file these in about 3 minutes with Laserfiche simply by printing out of our software application using Laserfiche snapshot.

The front desks loved not having to put customers on hold, while they went to pull the file and then find time later to refile.

Laserfiche has been better that I could have imagined, it has made our office much more efficient.

before paperless at Lakes and Pines
Before going Paperless

lakes and pines community action after going paperless
After going paperless






Steve concluded by saying “Larry is like the Maytag repairman because we just never have problems with the Laserfiche solution.”

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“There is virtually no chaos in our offices now. Nobody is looking for information, it’s all right there. My staff is able to instantly access files regardless of who last worked on them.”

Community Action Partnership Laserfiche client
Catherine Fair
Senior Director, Programs and Technology Innovation, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey Washington

We increased productivity in our Energy Assistance department by 129% in one year using Laserfiche Workflow

Laserfiche imporved productivity
Robin Tousley
EAP Administrative Coordinator, Community Action Partnership Hennepin County

One of the great benefits of Hemingway Solutions is their institutional knowledge of our agency, and Community Action Agency processes. They know the CAP 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.

Katie CAP RW advise on going paperless
Katie McLemore
Applications Analyst, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties

Looking to go paperless?