Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 65 | Page 65

London Borough of Tower Hamlets . “ Plus we had racks of storage internally , just filled with folders .”
Laserfiche . The automation shortened the search time from days to hours .
In addition to needing a way to digitise this information , the council also required a solution that could easily integrate with a land management system that was already in place .
“ Laserfiche really did meet all of our requirements and more ,” said Louis Du Preez , IT Project Manager for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets when the project began . “ It ’ s simple and flexible and the integrations are extremely easy to do .”
The team worked with Laserfiche solution provider , Global ECM Solutions , to implement a digitalisation programme in Land Charges . The previously paper-based departments were able to successfully capture information digitally using Laserfiche , with metadata attached that enabled the borough to develop an automated way to process and keep new records .
“ Laserfiche is able to do what our other document management systems couldn ’ t ,” Du Preez said . “ Large files can now be broken down electronically into smaller files that cover smaller geographic areas . The capturing became easier to do and information is now easily accessible to the users .”
Being able to perform automated and accurate geospatial searches helped Land Charges become more efficient , saving staff time and frustration . This same efficiency was applied to the Planning Service as well . All planning decisions from 1948 onwards were captured by Laserfiche , which made for quicker access to planning decision histories and in turn , helped the borough streamline proposal review for the 2012 Olympic Games .
Integrating Laserfiche and land management
“ With the council , Laserfiche was a bit of a pioneer ,” said Pulman . “ It opened the door to more flexible , paperless work and the device-agnostic / locationagnostic setup that really fit into a digital workflow .”
Improving productivity with geo-spatial searches
Going beyond information storage , the borough launched an initiative to automate a number of business processes , including Building Control applications registration , monitoring of works and construction completions – which helped to eliminate time-consuming administrative tasks .
“ It was great to have the peace of mind of knowing that with Laserfiche , you can start with a very small system and upgrade it to an enterprise-wide solution – and can still integrate with all the state-of-the-art software solutions at any time ,” said Du Preez .
The Land Charges Service had a goal of automating geospatial searches which , before Laserfiche , felt impossible . All geospatial indexing was still being performed manually with a typewriter . Searches for information regarding a property often surpassed the turnaround time of 10 days since paper requests had to be manually sent to relevant departments .
In the Building Control Service , 3 million pages in 38,000 files were scanned and indexed – some dating as far back as 1895 – eliminating 1,500 boxes taking up 40 sqm . of office space . At the same time , Building Control decisions from as far back as 1986 were made available digitally .
In 2008 , Laserfiche was integrated with the borough ’ s land management system , enabling all of the critical documents generated from the land management system to be directly stored into Laserfiche . The seamless integration meant that documents no longer had to be manually transferred and town planning case files can now be viewed outside of internal servers through Public Registers or by external viewing folders , making service delivery to the public much more efficient and effective .
Internally , security rights are granted to appropriate staff allowing access to information such as drawings , emails and Microsoft Office format files directly from Laserfiche . Data accessibility has been improved and information can flow seamlessly across the service .
The Building Control team also used Laserfiche Workflow to automate administrative tasks , such as metadata entry and updates . Eliminating these small manual activities prevented errors , saved staff time and allowed for greater productivity .
In order to automate the search process , 15,000 files , each representing an area with a polygon drawn using ESRI GIS , were captured into the borough ’ s land management system , and scanned and indexed into
By streamlining business processes , the London Borough of Tower Hamlets is now more transparent and accessibility to information about local land charges has greatly improved . p
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