Put Away That Ladder!
As in many communities, storage space is at a premium in West Windsor, New Jersey. To comply with the state requirement for permanent storage of certain records, the Engineering Division needed to find a creative storage solution - one that didn't involve more filing cabinets or more floor space. That's where General Code and Laserfiche® entered the picture.
Margaret Schierhold of the Engineering Division explained that "Before Laserfiche, searching for documents and files was a major effort and was dreaded by everyone. Each box had an index of its contents, but a single project might be in as many as six different boxes. There was no comprehensive organizational system. In order to find something, you needed ladders and a lot of patience."
The Township began a project to scan its documents into the Laserfiche system. Margaret has high praise for General Code's Rob Shelton, who spent several days conducting training sessions in the Township. According to Margaret, "He was great! He figured out everything we threw at him." Not long after her own training, Margaret went on to train high school students to come in after school to help out with the scanning. "They had absolutely no trouble learning to use the system," she says.
Because there simply was not enough available space for the shelving, boxes and filing cabinets needed to retain the paper documents, West Windsor undertook the process of pursuing state certification of their optical scanning process. With state certification, a township is allowed to discard original documents.
"What would we do without Laserfiche?" asks Margaret. "We would literally have to renovate the building to make room for the storage of paper documents, and there never seems to be enough money for building renovations. Laserfiche was a much lower cost solution to our storage problems."
Laserfiche is also helping West Windsor's Municipal Clerk's office distribute information efficiently. Prior to the Council meetings that are held every two weeks, members are each given the meeting's agenda and all related correspondence. Previously, these packets averaged about 200 pages. With Laserfiche, Council members now receive a single CD that contains the entire packet and is fully searchable. Members can store and carry their packets more easily, and they can find any topic instantly.
Sharon Young of the Clerk's office says that instituting the Laserfiche system has led to a welcomed housecleaning. In just one year, 260 boxes of paper documents were discarded. "We are looking forward to the day when we are a paperless office and we never have to run down to the basement to look for documents!"