City of Greensboro

SUCCESS STORY

With a population of nearly 230,000, Greensboro holds the title of third largest city in North Carolina. Once the city’s AP department experienced the power and seamless integration capabilities of Perceptive Content, city officials extended the benefits across multiple document-dependent departments and processes.

Discover the: Challenge | Solution | Results

City of Greensboro

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With the arrival of the railroads in 1891, the city of Greensboro, N.C., began a new era of progress that would carry it into the next millennium. Dubbed “The Gate City,” Greensboro established itself as a regional center for many booming industries including textiles, financials, insurance and distribution. Boasting a population of nearly 279,639, Greensboro holds the title of third largest city in North Carolina.

Industries

Accounting Finance, Government, Human Resources

Products

Data Capture & Extraction, Document Management, Video Content Management

Location

North Carolina

Population

279,639

Established

1808

Challenge

With Perceptive Content, we can scan the invoice and view it simultaneously when we’re entering the purchase order. It’s literally just one click to index, one click to access. The staff loves that.
Susan Wuchae Accounting Manager City of Greensboro

The day-to-day operation of a city this size entails many processes that involve managing a large volume of paper. Years ago, the City of Greensboro chose Perceptive Content enterprise document management, imaging and workflow to replace an existing imaging system. Today, the city’s use of Perceptive Content encompasses the police and fire departments, accounts payable (AP) and human resources.

The city’s AP office processes up to 200 documents each day, including incoming invoices, vouchers and related correspondence. The department’s previous document imaging system was slow, difficult to navigate and didn’t integrate with existing Lawson® business applications. It also required manual administration on a daily basis that reduced staff productivity and delayed the payment cycle.

Solution

Reducing AP Turnaround Time and Simplifying HUD Audits

Perceptive Content easily integrated with the city’s Lawson application and took the AP office to a new level of efficiency, “With Perceptive Content, we can scan the invoice and view it simultaneously when we’re entering the purchase order,” says Susan Wuchae, accounting manager. “It’s literally just one click to index, one click to access. The staff loves that.”

“This accessibility is very useful in a department such as Housing and Community Development. This department has to make copies of everything for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),” says Wuchae. “Because Perceptive Content provides a report behind the Lawson screen, the department staff quickly and easily pulls up everything needed for HUD audits.”

In cases where we have to provide these documents for court proceedings, it’s imperative that we be able to access them as needed, and now we can with Perceptive Content.
Donna Chester Administrative Assistant City of Greensboro

City-Wide Expansion

Implementation in the AP department was only the beginning of a full-scale initiative for the City of Greensboro. Police and fire department administration recognized the value of managing the paper in their own areas. They, too, struggled with an old system that didn’t have the integration benefits of instant access and one-click indexing that Perceptive Content offers. The police department required a means to scan approximately 50 accident reports daily and index them to multiple individuals’ records.

“What I like most about Perceptive Content is that once you scan and index the document, it’s immediately in the system and on the screen,” says Susan Farkas, administrative assistant. “And fixing a mistake is quick and easy.”

According to Gary Ballance, network administrator, the initial success has set the stage for expanding Perceptive Content to other department areas, such as arrest reports. “The scanning and indexing has been extremely smooth,” Balance says. “We’re very pleased with the operation of Perceptive Content.”

In fact, with the system in place, Ballance is confident that the police department will completely eliminate paper. The fire department began with a manual process, so electronic document imaging held the potential for much greater efficiency gains. Their initiative began with digitizing two key department forms—plans reviews and fire inspections. Plans reviews are submitted by new or remodeled businesses to ensure their building plans are up to code.

Results

Enhancing Vendor Satisfaction

Time savings are the most noticeable improvements since the department began using Perceptive Content—both on the front end and behind the scenes. It transformed a two-day information backup process into one taking only a fraction of that time. WebNow, the browser-based complement to Perceptive Content, extends instant document access to authorized users outside the AP department.

“Employees in other departments who have access to the Lawson financial system have the ability to electronically view invoices using WebNow,” says Wuchae. “If a vendor contacts a department directly with an inquiry about payment, the department can often resolve the vendor’s question immediately because they have access to the same imaged documents as AP staff.”

“The Lexmark application is much faster,” says Donna Chester, administrative assistant. “It takes me half the time to index documents now versus the old manual way.” Once those documents are captured, access is just one click away. “We may have a daycare provider call because they’ve lost the copy of their fire inspection,” says Chester. “Now we can quickly pull up the document and print, e-mail or fax them a new copy.”

The Lexmark application is much faster. It takes me half the time to index documents now versus the old manual way.
Donna Chester Administrative Assistant City of Greensboro

Improving Accessibility for Court Documents

Fire inspectors also use Perceptive Content for resolving questions about a past inspection, which may have included violations. Now they can easily pull up the needed documents and make sure all violations have been addressed. “These records are considered public documents,” says Chester. “In cases where we have to provide these documents for court proceedings, it’s imperative that we be able to access them as needed, and now we can with Perceptive Content.”

By integrating easily with the fire department’s custom application, Perceptive Content provides single-click access to inspection documents from within the staff’s everyday software. The City of Greensboro is exploring the fully scalable potential of Perceptive Content’s management functionality in the AP, police and fire departments, with human resources not far behind. By tackling their own specific areas of need, these departments are working toward collective, citywide improvements in efficiency, customer service, and stewardship of taxpayer resources.