City of Westlake (OH)

The Customer

Westlake, Ohio, is the classic picture of U.S. suburban living. The city offers plenty of shopping and restaurants to its more than 30,000 residents and is just 10 miles west of museums, theater and more in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Challenges

Although the city relied on powerful computer systems to manage numbers and data, Westlake had only paper, folders and filing cabinets to manage most of its documents. This made public records difficult for everyone to access – not just constituents. It also increased phone calls and strained constituent service because sharing documents and even agenda information was a hassle. Direct constituent service wasn’t the only that suffered. Sharing information across departments was time-consuming and manual.

The Journey

City leaders wanted to find a way to make documents and records easier to store, access and share. After investigating many enterprise content management (ECM) solutions, the city chose a product that wasn’t far from home.

The Solution

Westlake chose OnBase, an ECM product developed locally by Hyland Software. But it wasn’t just about picking a local company. “We wanted a system that could work for many departments and integrate with many of our systems,” says Nicole Sackman, Clerk of Commissions. “We use OnBase to tackle one project at a time.”

Mountains of Paper Slow Processes, Constituent Service

The city started using OnBase in the Planning Department first. “The mountains of paper in our file room showed us we had a problem,” says Sackman. “But the length of time it took us to find specific documents slowed our processes and constituent service. That’s what really hurt.”

Thankfully, OnBase was able to help. By scanning and electronically storing all planning documents (e.g., easements, titles, contracts, deeds, etc.), the city could then retrieve them quickly and easily. It also made it easy for departments to share the same information at the same time – something that was impossible with paper.

Web Portal Goodness

But when it came time to share documents and content with constituents, Westlake had another trick up its sleeve. The city wanted to make accessing maps and related documents as easy for constituents as it was for staff.

“We took advantage of the Public Access Viewer in OnBase,” says Chris Grau, IT Director. “It didn’t cost much to get it to do what we wanted – give constituents the ability to find information about an address or parcel without coming to our engineering or building departments.”

To accomplish this, Westlake integrated OnBase with its geographic information system (GIS), Imaginit. Now, constituents visit to get all the map-related information they need.

Accounting Solution Rocks

OnBase helps the city’s internal processes run faster too. For example, accounting teams no longer flip between line-of-business systems, shared network drives and file cabinets and folders to find answers. Instead, everything they need to do their jobs can be accessed from their SunGard accounting system.

“The team only needs to go to one place to get the job done,” says Anne Fritz, Director of Finance. “Everything runs automatically behind the scenes so we process work faster.”

Why OnBase?

Finding answers and distributing documents doesn’t have to be a pain. Whether you need to resolve constituent worries faster or automate internal processes, OnBase can help. By building on existing systems, OnBase manages documents and processes so you don’t have to.

  • Resolves constituent and staff concerns and requests faster
  • Gives constituents self-service access to documents from the Internet
  • Provides staff single location to find answers

Get Started with ISSI

With ISSI, you can use an enterprise content management solution for your business to easily store, access, and share documents and records, saving time, money and hassle.

Contact us to learn more about OnBase document management software