In the normal processes of operation,
municipalities deal with various businesses and need to collect fees from them.
These fees are necessary parts of a municipality’s revenue and help them pay
employees and serve the public. This is important for all local governments,
but especially for smaller communities.
These communities sometimes have less than
10,000 people and a limited operating budget. They can find it difficult to
finance the different things which local governments are responsible for. To
compound this, some of them lose a substantial amount of revenue due to inefficient
fee recovery methods. This money can be in the tens of thousands annually. This
loss of revenue often has to do with their records management system. A typical
community may have a simple mainly paper-based records management system which
has some software components for archival.
This Type of System Can Have Numerous Problems:
- Paper records which are stored offsite, making them hard to access and leading to very expensive storage costs – these can be thousands of dollars by themselves. There have been cases of municipalities not being able to hire more employees simply due to the fact that the records took up all their available space.
- Outmoded record management systems which are often very difficult to learn and which only store the physical location of documents. These kinds of systems may have been cutting-edge 20 years ago, but modern technology has come a long way and to modern users, these systems often seem unintuitive and unfriendly.
- Employees have to travel to offsite storage and retrieve documents, causing delays in fulfilling document requests and leading to wasted employee time.
- Contracts and agreements are signed and put into storage and forgotten about. The contracts aren’t stored in any particular hierarchy which helps employees do their jobs.
These issues can open a local government up
to potential lawsuits due to non-compliance if it can’t retrieve records in the
necessary time (as outlined by government regulations). Governments can lose up
to tens of thousands of dollars of potential revenue due to uncollected fees.
For a cash-strapped community, this is a very serious problem and one which
could cause constituents to demand new representation. Luckily, Ricoh is
an expert in dealing with local governments and can help mitigate these
problems by instituting a much more efficient records management system.
- Having paper records is the main issue. These records can
be digitized and stored electronically through Ricoh’s secure solution. As Ricoh’s
solutions are cross-platform, employees can now easily access these records
through office computers, their personal computers and even through their
mobile phones. This will save employees a significant amount of time as tasks
which would previously take hours could be done in seconds through a simple
- Records can be intuitively organized according to their
nature, leading to standardization and reducing the learning curve for new
- An automated cross-functional workflow can be put in
place for the agreement process, through which different departments (legal,
finance, etc.) can work on agreements together. The system will automatically generate
notifications which make it clear which fees still need to be collected.
The Net Benefits
- Due to adopting a wholly electronic records management system for their agreements, a community can collect up to $50,000 from previous contracts and save up to $25,000 annually in storage costs.
- The local government will be more compliant and safe from lawsuits as they can now easily access required documentation.
- Employees will no longer have to travel to offsite storage and will now be able to access data using their mobile devices – improving employee morale and productivity.
- With an automated contract management system employees can work quicker and more effectively, saving vital employee hours – which can be utilized for tasks which better serve constituents.
Governments depend on fees to serve their constituents. Make sure that your community isn’t missing out on vital revenue by automating its processes with Ricoh! We are an award-winning internationally recognized company and a market leader in this field. We have over a decade of experience working with local governments in Canada and know how to meet the unique needs of local governments.
To learn more about Ricoh and our solutions, click here.