Responsibility for maintaining public records is one of the earliest responsibilities of local government. Maintaining records has included binding title records, archiving records series in boxes, and using microfilm and microfiche to preserve information despite the limitations of paper.
Fast forward to today, the responsibility to manage and preserve records is still alive, but the way the government does business, is changing. These organizations are asked to do the same work with less staff, originate and conduct business through self-service and do all of it without paper. The paperless world is also essential to meeting the expectations of constituents who have grown up online and use social media and apps in all aspects of their lives.
This is where it becomes complicated to uphold a paperless world with records management. On one hand, efficiency and reduced cost are essential for today’s local government and creating paperless processes is a key driver for both. But how can records’ responsibilities and the drive for efficient government balance out? What if a single solution could improve efficiency throughout government and support your records management effectiveness?
This is why so many local governments are using enterprise content management (ECM) to meet their needs and why using a single solution makes sense.
Before something becomes a record, it’s often a document moving through a process. ECM features workflow automation that routes documents, provides process transparency and speeds up work. This process helps support a faster and cheaper way to run government offices.
Konica Minolta’s ECM services encourage early capture of documents and will make the job of records manager easier because it eliminates the loss of documents that need to be preserved as records down the road.
These solutions also have the ability to manage a record from the moment it’s stored into the digital workflow. This means that the staff doesn’t need to decide if something is a record. The solution does that for them and this means that an organization can be confident about records preservation.
Another key piece of records management responsibilities is the need to fulfill public records requests. Preservation is only one piece of the workload. ECM solutions excel at fast and comprehensive inquiries which makes local government staff more efficient. Additionally, the system works to make it easier and faster for staff to respond to and provide complete records request packages. ECM “upstream” also allows an organization to remain confident that documents are preserved. Once a document is archived into the ECM repository, it is not only designated to a record but it is also secure and preserved.
Finally, the scalability of ECM means that all future records are stored in a single place. This makes the search for records so much easier than a search that might require file cabinets, offsite bankers’ boxes, staff desks and even multiple locations. The efficiency of searching a single place is obvious, but meeting a request with a complete package is a legal requirement made easy by the single repository of an ECM solution.
In the past, Konica Minolta considered microfilm and microfiche for a records management solution. While these may have satisfied the preservation, today’s local government needs solutions that drive efficiency and are scalable and usable by all departments. ECM meets those needs, but records managers should consider the above and recognize that ECM can provide key “upstream” benefits while making their lives easier. ECM makes local government more efficient and responsive and it does this while supporting records responsibilities.