Government agencies face a number of challenges in today’s ever-evolving economic landscape. Not only are they expected to improve service delivery and boost efficiency across their operations; they must do so with tighter budgets than ever before.
It is against this backdrop that the City of Nedlands, an inner city local government in the western suburbs of Perth, decided to modernise its information-handling processes to maximise performance.
This meant implementing a high-end electronic document and records management system (eDRMS) that could cope with the demands of a modern government environment, both now and in the future.
Mike Fletcher, manager of corporate strategy and systems for the City of Nedlands, says government agencies typically face strict regulatory guidelines when embarking on new projects.
The State Records Office of Western Australia has complex restrictions on how local government recordkeeping is conducted and staying compliant with this legislation can be a time-consuming and resource-heavy task.
Fletcher claims that the City’s previous system, Hewlett Packard’s paper-based TRIM platform, was only capturing 10 per cent of the local government’s corporate knowledge.
“This results in a lack of factual information when you’re trying to make important decisions,” he explains.
“Furthermore, having found a document that you think is relevant to the information you’re chasing, there’s no guarantee it’s the correct version – so you can’t be confident of its accuracy.”
The City of Nedlands needed a new solution that effectively centralised document and records management processes and integrated seamlessly with its existing Microsoft products.
This is where Bluebox Solutions stepped in, providing a tailored corporate eDRMS platform on Microsoft SharePoint that was State Records compliant.
The eDRMS incorporated a flexible design that was capable of scaling to specific additional features and functions the City of Nedlands required, including:
Having worked with Bluebox on a previous project, Fletcher confirms he was confident the implementation would go according to plan – and he wasn’t disappointed.
“The system is working as I expected and it’s been an extremely positive experience,” he adds. “It’s implemented far better at the City of Nedlands than on similar projects I’ve worked on.”
The new eDRMS system has a number of innovative features that have helped the City of Nedlands improve its document and records management.
Users also benefit from fast and powerful enterprise search, access permission controls, automatic document naming functions and various other features. However, according to Fletcher, the most impressive feature is the system’s innovative and intuitive design.
“It’s easy for an end user to use and it’s very simple for a records department to monitor, control and capture information,” he says.
“We’re going from 10 per cent of corporate knowledge to 80 per cent overnight. We’re catching photographs, CCTV, audio – none of which was being captured in the previous records system.”
The success of the eDRMS solution is just the start for the City of Nedlands, which is carrying out several large-scale technology upgrades organisation-wide.
Fletcher says the aim is to make the LGA more efficient and they are already looking to introduce new eDRMS workflow processes to add functionality for end users. Bluebox Solutions has been extremely flexible and approached the unique challenges faced by government agencies in a receptive and innovative manner, he adds.
“This has been a very good solution and an excellent outcome and I would say that if it can be extrapolated to all local governments in Western Australia, this is exactly what we should be doing.”