Paperless Solutions Streamlines Contractor License Renewal Process for Lower Merion Township
Company: Lower Merion Township
Lower Merion Township was first settled by the Welsh Quakers in 1682 and is part of a growing affluent area in Pennsylvania known as the Pennsylvania Main Line. As a first-class township with a population of over 50,000 and 23.9 square miles, the township’s collection of historic places and historic significance plays an important role in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
Challenge: Simplify the contractor license renewal process
Lower Merion Township had disparate information systems with varying data layouts that were becoming difficult to manage and maintain on a regular basis. With budgets tightening, limited programming staff and multiple employees needing to access various systems to accomplish their jobs, they decided to take a closer look at streamlining their information technology tools. One area that was in great need of scrutiny was the contractor license renewal process. The process to renew contractors’ licenses required querying a Microsoft Access database. On a small scale this seemed to work adequately. However, when multiple users of the database grew and simultaneously needed to access many pieces of information in the database, it became a very slow and burdensome process. Additionally, manual processes such as managing and tracking the growing paperwork associated with contractor license renewals and supporting documentation became a challenge. To process the contractor information, contractors needed to visit the township offices. Township employees at the front desk were needed to manually look up information from the database and enter the contractor’s data, type up renewal information and take payments. At the end of the year, additional staff were required to handle this workload.
The Solution: Paperless Solutions’ expertise in workflow automation
Lower Merion Township turned to Paperless Solutions to help streamline the contractor licensing renewal process. “We had a tight time-line we were trying to meet. We also looked at buying a one-solution product but determined we lacked the proper programming staff in-house and also needed to integrate with other solutions including our database and a third-party payer systems.” indicated Jim Weiman, Chief Technology Officer. “We also knew we had to think about integration with other providers in the future.
Ultimately, we determined that a better, longer-term strategy was working with Paperless Solutions and leveraging Hyland software,” he continued. After analyzing the process, Paperless Solutions identified ways to shift the licensing renewal paperwork back to the contractors.
They created a user-friendly Web interface that integrated with OnBase, enabling contractors to input information.
This interface incorporated a progressive information capture form that leveraged data already stored within the Township’s Microsoft Access system from prior years (such as organization name, address, etc.).
Contractors simply needed to input their name and license number into the web interface and then select their company name and other corresponding information via point-and-click from the presented options (e.g. company name, address, etc.). Then they could input the additional information the township needed into the web form and easily upload their supporting documentation, such as insurance certificates and licenses. Paperless Solutions also integrated the system with the township’s EPay2gov software for payment processing. Contractors could conveniently make a credit card payment while submitting the renewal information all in one simple transaction.
“We were very happy with the completion of this project and how Paperless Solutions was able to deconstruct the whole process, implement the solution and meet the tight timeline,” mentions Mr. Weiman. Lower Merion Township staff are now able to focus on other tasks instead of processing contractor license renewals. All the data entry was streamlined by the Web interface and the OnBase integration. Contractor renewals that are missing information are kept in a queue for easy reference and reporting for the township staff knowledge worker. The staff is also able to reach back out to the contractor to request the missing information through this system. Improved reporting enables staff to view contractors on a project and their associated approvals. Contractors can renew their license in a mobile environment if needed.
The Return On Investment
- Saves time: Eliminated the need for township manpower resources to process contractor license renewals. The work of data entry and paperwork
completion was shifted to the contractor with the ease of the web-based solution. Township staff time is now more productive and can be focused on other things.
- Saves costs: The Township no longer needed to hire additional staff to process renewals at the end of the year. The cost to print and mail renewal notices was removed.
- Streamlines process: The new automated system eliminated the waiting time for contractor documentation and made it easier for constituents to do business with the township. The system now easily captures all the information needed. Improves compliance: The solution provides an easy way for staff to notify the contractor if they are still missing information and/or view contractors and approvals received on a project.
- Improves customer service: Implementing appropriate technology improves the interaction with the township. It also meets the Commissioner’s and Township’s goal to ensure doing business with the township is easy.
The system has been so successful that Lower Merion Township will be enhancing the system further with a cash receipt record option and integrating OnBase and the Web interface with an additional system. They are also identifying other areas in their organization where they can create automation and efficiencies with OnBase and Paperless Solutions, Inc.
About Paperless Solutions
Trusted experts in enterprise content management since 1999, Paperless Solutions specializes in industries with complex processes and stringent compliance requirements. State and local government, prothonotaries, manufacturers, laboratories and collections agencies rely on us to simplify their processes, decrease costs and keep their business compliant. By combining innovation with an intelligent business sense we bring about dramatic improvements in every client’s efficiency and bottom line. We skillfully combine best-in-breed off-the-shelf ECM solutions from Hyland OnBase and FileBound with our own software to deliver the right workflows from finance to human resources, court case management, e-Filing, sample test reporting and collections correspondence. Recognized for our outstanding customer service, Paperless Solutions is a repeat winner of the Hyland OnBase Diamond Award.
“We would highly recommend Paperless Solutions, Inc. as an essential business partner because of their ability to quickly understand a process and implement the right technology solutions to streamline it. They also stepped up to meet our tight timelines.”
Jim Weiman, Chief Technology Officer
Lower Merion Township
Software provided by Paperless Solutions Inc.
- OnBase Enterprise Content Management Systems
- Web interface
- Contractor license renewal
- Integration with Microsoft Access and Epay2gov systems
- Eliminates township staff time spent on manual paperwork for contractor renewals.
- Reduces dependency on older systems and slow processing times.
- Streamlines and speeds up the contractor renewal process.
- Makes it easier for contractors to renew their licenses and provide required documentation.
- Saves cost of hiring additional staff for processing, printing and mailing renewal notices.
- Frees up staff time for higher level tasks.
- Creates better relationships with contractors and constituents who use them.
- Improves information access.
- Delivers better management reporting and project monitoring.