The way to the digital town hall - digitization of the administration
Mr. Carlos A. Garcia Marketing and Communications Manager
As an authority in the public institution, the town hall of the city of Carrión de los Condes has to manage a large number of important documents: documents, applications, ID cards, registration certificates but also construction files and business documents, correspondence and much more.
Unfortunately, the town hall has so far not benefited significantly from the use of suitable document management software, as no suitable solution has yet been found.
In order to make the search easier and more efficient, the city archive planned to digitize the documentation and incorporate the content into the internal archive database.
Manual processing would have been too time-consuming, which is why automated information extraction was sought.
The objective of the city administration was to digitize existing paper documents, bring in process optimization and workflow control over all incoming and outgoing documents, automate a large part of the processes in the background and thus optimize the property management process.
In the past, the entire government system was based on paper. Applications submitted by citizens were sorted into files by the registration office, forwarded to the town hall, where additional documents were added.
The documents then migrated to meter-long shelving walls that covered the entire office walls and were stored there for years.
But with the existing and daily incoming documents, the manual system of the town hall of Carrión de los Condes reached its limits: Individual receipts were often filed incorrectly or previously removed by colleagues and not yet put back. The involvement of external institutions was also difficult, for example when town halls or experts needed access to assess applications.
"We had avoidable storage costs by filing documents in folders. In addition, the search for documents was time-consuming and often involved a visit to the archive",
recalls Mr. Carlos A. Garcia marketing and communications manager.
The result was lengthy processing times and inefficiencies in processing, retrieving and forwarding the necessary documentation.
But the biggest problem was the age of the documents, because they became brittle. Accordingly, the authority went in search of digital document management.
The case study, carried out together with the PaperOffice document management system, was based on the concern, as is common in any administrative body, to maintain the numerous paper records and files and to have a physical space and staff available to ( some in critical condition) to store, classify and organize.
Despite the budgetary leeway, the municipal authority of Carrión de los Condes came to the conclusion that this old-fashioned system had to be replaced with an up-to-date, modern, digital one. In this way, instead of searching for documents, the public institution can devote itself to the actual task of a city administration: the citizens.
"We just moved the work forward and now we have a head start."
Mr. Carlos A. García, Marketing and Communications Manager of the Carrión de los Condes administration, was looking for a solution to digitize all the problems that all public institutions face. It was also envisaged to digitize all of the municipality's administrative tasks, which were previously largely analogous.
Why the town hall chose PaperOffice DMS
The most important selection criteria were reliability and security, since the documents managed are confidential, such as personal documents or the applicant's financial situation.
Various cloud providers or open source solutions were not considered due to the data protection regulations in the public institution, since the security of personal data GDPR and long-term investment security could not be guaranteed.
Since PaperOffice DMS is not a cloud application and stores all data in a central database located in the town hall, it was ultimately decided to test the required scenario with a test.
"Already at the first appointment with PaperOffice you notice the 20 years of PaperOffice experience in the field of document management."
PaperOffice surpasses all document standards and legal guidelines, in particular due to the highly encrypted document storage directly in the town hall and not in a cloud.
The need for using a document management system that has compliant version control and audit-proof versioning is clearer than ever.
An enormous reason for the decision was the accessibility of the support, since very bad experiences have been made with other providers in the past, which also led to the standstill of the town hall.
In particular, to ensure reliability and to simulate real problems, PaperOffice support was contacted several times to assess whether deadlines were met and what the quality of the support was.PaperOffice is ahead of every other manufacturer here.
PaperOffice has accepted the challenge - objectives and timing
The decision was made to digitize all existing paper documents into a digital archive.
Especially for the digital transformation, an organization of a mixed training and employment program entitled "Creation of a digital archive" was founded by the city council of Carrión de los Condes. This organization, together with the PaperOffice specialists, is currently training eight students and two professors .
In it, the acquired knowledge is applied in a real practice, with a precise workflow that helps to optimize the time and start the digitization solution of the historical archive, which dates back to the 1820s.
"The manual processing of the documents would have cost us a lot of time. With the automated solution from PaperOffice DMS, the manual effort could be greatly reduced, at the same time invested in future-oriented technology.”
As an expert in the field of intelligent AI document processing, PaperOffice DMS was commissioned to digitize the existing documentation.
The existing paper documents were carefully scanned by City Hall employees and archived in PaperOffice DMS. The document management system then creates a thumbnail of all scanned documents and carries out a detailed text recognition. This means that any text content of all documents can be found in seconds using the search engine integrated in PaperOffice.
Benefits through digitization with PaperOffice
Thanks to the digitization implementation of PaperOffice, the city archive of Carrión de los Condes was already able to:
- Save time and resources
- Easy document access
- Availability of documents for each authorized employee
- Provide clear filing
The now easier and faster availability of data and documents is fundamentally and permanently changing the processes of the town hall. Administrative knowledge is now organized transparently and available at the right time.
"Data security, automated workflows, digitization of documents and the easy integration of PaperOffice into an administrative environment delivered what this city administration needed to reduce paper consumption minimize paper processes, archive fragile documents and preserve them for the long term and gain space and thus save costs.”
In this sense, the basis for the digitization of all document-based processes in public administration is laid with PaperOffice DMS.
In addition to the general archiving process:
- Revision-proof archiving
- Optimization of organizational processes
- Better organization of documentation
- Faster document search
- Simplified communication and task solving
The city council has eliminated the problem of the previously paper-based data, all fragile documents originating from the archive have been carefully scanned and thus archived. Since PaperOffice runs the OCR text recognition on all incoming data, city hall employees no longer have to get the documents out, but can simply search for them within PaperOffice.
The city administration now uses a central, workflow-enabled document management system.
City Hall can now locate case files, as well as case numbers with their associated names, locations, and dates, in a matter of seconds. Thus, the archive can help its citizens faster and with greater accuracy, while the originals remain untouched.
About the town hall of Carrión de los Condes
Area: 63.37 km². Population: 2,096 (2018)
Province: Palencia. Community of Castile and León
Mayor: Jose Manuel Otero Sanz.
Population centers: Carrión de los Condes;
This city of more than 2,000 inhabitants is located in the center of the province of Palencia. According to archaeological finds, the origins of the village date back to pre-Roman times.
Today the city is known for all pilgrims who walk the Way of St. James, because the city is on the Way of St. James and has pilgrim hostels.
Finally, we answer a few more frequently asked questions on the subject "Public Institution
Carrión de los Condes":
What tips would you give future PaperOffice users?
It is never too early or too late to deal with the topic of digitization.
The most important thing is to get an idea of the software but also of the company itself. It was important that we didn't feel compelled to purchase the software or sign up for any service and support packages.
Even before we acquired PaperOffice DMS, we spoke to all departments of the company and never felt badly treated. On the contrary: PaperOffice has a nice, courteous and competent team.
For us as a public institution, the process is becoming more and more complicated and involves a lot of bureaucracy. Therefore, trust in the system and the software was very important. Of course, it was also very important that the software was easy to understand.
Who would you recommend PaperOffice to?
We will recommend PaperOffice to all other administrations and public institutions that would like to digitize and automate.
What do you particularly like about PaperOffice?
We are very satisfied with everything.
PaperOffice is a lightweight yet powerful document management system.
Functions that seem meaningless at first, such as the automatic reading of document content, turn out to be the most important functions that you don't want to miss any more over a longer period of time.