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LaPorte probation department saves time, money and “steps” with content management system featuring KODAK i1320 Plus Scanners
Four probation officers. One part-time and two full-time secretaries. About 800 individuals to supervise at any one time. 47, 792 people on probation between 2000 and 2008. An average file, per person, of 82 pages. A total of 3,918,944 pages of records.
Those are the stats and volumes that Steve Eyrick—Chief Probation Officer for LaPorte, IN Superior Court—deals with. Obviously, his job duties aren’t limited to processing documents. He supervises clients charged with misdemeanors and Class D felonies, and he and his staff work with these individuals to help them turn their lives around. (Eyrick was recently recognized as being exceptionally good at his job, receiving the 2009 “Order of Augustus,” an annual award presented by the Probation Officers Advisory Board to an Indiana probation officer whose commitment and personal dedication have exemplified the ideals and philosophy of John Augustus, the “father of probation” in America.)
Yet it’s easy to see how, before transitioning to an electronic content management system, Eyrick and his staff filled up 80 banker’s boxes with records. “We had a small room in the basement of the old police station filled with boxes, because by law we have to retain records for seven years. We spent a lot of time searching for files and it really wasn’t a productive process,” says Eyrick. “And to be honest, my office is on the third floor, so I had to go down three flights, back to the station, down another flight to the jail cell, then back across and up all over again. Copy what I needed … repeat the trip both ways. Inefficient and tiring would be understating the case. It was a lot of steps!”
All that probationary legwork ended when the LaPorte Probation Department contracted with Bolt Document Management to implement a Laserfiche Document Management System.
Turning data into valuable information
At the front end of this streamlined, paper-eliminating system are four KODAK i1320 Plus Scanners, used to capture a wide array of documents: court files, police and arrest reports, letters, treatment and program documentation, community service records and more. “With the speed of the KODAK i1320 Plus Scanners we’ve been able to catch up on almost all of our legacy documents, and we’re making 2010 a ‘paperless’ year,” Eyrick notes. “The quality of the images is phenomenal. We OCR every page, every word; and now we can use this information to extract key data to see patterns, draw correlations and create other valuable analyses.” Two of the department’s secretaries operate the scanners and appreciate how the i1320 Plus Scanners flawlessly handle two-part NCR forms without jamming or misfeeds. (A previous, lower-level and short-lived imaging system used another manufacturer’s scanners, and the NCR forms would often get hung up in those machines.)
Busy probation department amasses a jail cell full of banker’s boxes loaded with records. Access is slow and time consuming; storage requirements significant; and efficiency is lacking in this system.
A content management system — allowing records to be accessed and searched online — and delivering high-quality images while eliminating paper and the manual record retrieval process.
KODAK i1320 Plus Scanners, Laserfiche Document Management System, and Bolt Document Management’s BOLT Bridge Software
“With the speed of the KODAK i1320 Plus Scanners we’ve been able to catch up on almost all of our legacy documents, and we’re making 2010 a ‘paperless’ year.
~ Steve Eyrick, Chief Probation Officer, LaPorte County, IN
When the system was introduced, the operators quickly got up to speed on the new Kodak Scanners. In the past, the probation department used other scanners and an optical disk storage system (that became obsolete). However, the content management concept was essentially the same and the friendly user interface and fast learning curve of the KODAK i1320 Plus Scanners made implementation a fast, painless process.
Saving time, money and storage space
Since adopting their new document management system with Kodak Scanners and Laserfiche Document Management System in 2009, the probation office has realized some impressive benefits. The first being greater efficiency, as employees can now instantly locate probationary records from the highly organized Laserfiche content repository. “I think the simultaneous access is one key advantage,” says Eyrick “Two of us can view the same information at one time, and there’s no longer the issue of trying to discover who has the file and tracking it down. We’ve also freed up the staff to do more productive tasks with their time, and none of us has to make that long trek down to the basement and back anymore.”
The savings on space and costs is also significant, as scanning old records allowed the department to destroy thousands of older documents and return the storage space to the Court Clerk, who appreciates how well organized and neat the room is today. There’s also enhanced document protection to help ensure privacy for everyone involved, simplified document sharing with parties who are privy to this information, and the ability to gather all the data needed on a case much more quickly.
Integration was a streamlined process, as Bolt Document Management integrated the probation department’s case management system with Laserfiche via their BOLT Bridge Software. Now probation officers can quickly access clients’ files while viewing case information in the database. The probation department has also set up different profiles for different scanning tasks — via BOLT Bridge Software — to more efficiently name, index and route documents.
Positive productivity and experiences
“Our satisfaction level with this system is extremely high,” Eyrick praises. “The way that our Kodak Scanners work with the Laserfiche Document Management System and the BOLT Bridge Software is generally flawless. The amount of productivity that we’ve gained, combined with the space and dollar savings, is truly impressive and valuable.”
In closing, Eyrick related a positive experience he had just a few days previous with KODAK Service & Support. “We had ordered another i1320 Plus Scanner and when it arrived we plugged it in, but it simply wouldn’t work. I called KODAK Service & Support and they said they would ship out a new one. By the afternoon of the next day there was a new i1320 Plus Scanner sitting in my office.”