LOTT Clean Water Alliance achieves efficiency in records management
LOTT Clean Water Alliance modernizes its records storage system with RecordPoint solutions.
LOTT Clean Water Alliance
LOTT is a regional wastewater treatment agency in the Pacific Northwest serving 85,000 customers across four jurisdictions.
LOTT Clean Water Alliance achieves efficiency in records management
LOTT Clean Water Alliance’s 2013-2018 Performance Plan contained an objective that outlined the need for a modern application to manage its growing dataset. The objective was to establish a more efficient records management system that would reduce liability and risk for the organization.
A project to overhaul records management processes, aptly titled “Get to the Point,” LOTT envisioned a centralized, legally compliant record storage system with advanced search capabilities to improve efficiency.
- Manual processes to manage rapidly growing electronic content repositories
- Variety of management and storage processes and file structures across internal departments and individual staff members
- Difficult and time-consuming search efforts to identify the right record within various departmental file structures for both internal staff and fulfilment of Public Records Act (RCW 42.56) requests
- Inconsistencies in the management of document life cycles across the organization
Results to date
- Faster and more comprehensive fulfillment of Public Records Act requests
- Reduced time spent by staff on searching for records needed to accomplish their jobs
- Leveraged existing SharePoint system that improved adoption across the organization and integrated multiple systems together
- Increased user adoption and lessened additional training due to retaining the familiar SharePoint user experience
"The key was RecordPoint leveraging the existing SharePoint experience, continuing the momentum that we had built. User adoption was important. They didn’t create another silo for us, which was appealing."
Natalie Windle, Public Records Officer, LOTT
LOTT has a small and agile team dedicated to managing records across the organization. As it evaluated seven vendors to help fulfill its vision, the only vendor that fully met its needs was RecordPoint. Natalie Windle, LOTT’s Public Records Officer, pointed out that the “key was RecordPoint leveraging the existing SharePoint experience, continuing the momentum that we had built. User adoption was important. They didn’t create another silo for us, which was appealing.”
LOTT is also leveraging RecordPoint’s wide selection of connector endpoints to cover more content services and continue growing the records management deployment. The organization can bring in various types of records, including physical records, file shares, and more. Later, if LOTT decides to deploy Office 365 or a hybrid model, RecordPoint can manage those content sources as well.
Like many organizations, LOTT’s manual records processes struggled to keep up with the electronic world. This presented risk and challenges for the records management team, who had been manually managing their growing content repositories. Before RecordPoint, Natalie would “walk around with a piece of paper listing documents/files to be managed and getting approval signatures on it … think of the time that it takes everybody. How many different conversations that is and how many levels of approval.”
As a public agency, LOTT puts much effort towards maintaining compliance with the Public Records Act. “We need to be able to provide records to people when they ask for them. Our response needs to be accurate, complete, reliable, and timely. RecordPoint has increased our confidence in our records request responses,” says Natalie.
Before RecordPoint, identifying the right record in different departmental file structures and locations was difficult and time consuming, involving manual reviews of multiple untracked record versions. Of the first pilots that have been deployed, Natalie and her users have nothing but praise for their new experience. Natalie explains, “If I know where the official record copy of a document is located, I can go right to it. With less information to search, we are going to be able to respond quicker.”
We need to be able to provide records to people when they ask for them. Our response needs to be accurate, complete, reliable and timely. RecordPoint has increased our confidence in our records request responses. —Natalie Windle, Public Records Officer, LOTT
Seeing the first results
To date, LOTT is managing 275,000 electronic records and 760 boxes with the RecordPoint system. Processes aided by RecordPoint include location tracking, requests for boxes, and life cycle management of the records. “People are surprised by how little they’re impacted so far,” Natalie expressed.
“Except for the supervisors or those that need to approve disposition of records, users don’t need additional training beyond SharePoint, which they have used for years … it’s not a brand new system to learn.” Natalie continues, “It’s just training people on what we already have. That has helped greatly with adoption.” RecordPoint has enabled LOTT to successfully process a disposal batch, and Natalie’s team continues to configure the process to meet required approvals and end-user preferences such as batch size and record type groupings. They are also exploring how RecordPoint’s reporting functionality can benefit their program.
Overall, LOTT and Natalie have justifiably high hopes for the success of the project, and they trust RecordPoint to help them in their journey. “I feel we were educated about what RecordPoint had to offer, and the results so far have justified our choice to use this product. The result is what I expected and what it was set up for.”
Going forward, LOTT will grow its adoption of RecordPoint across additional business units. Once all department SharePoint environments and file shares are managed by RecordPoint, LOTT will be looking to expand to emails and social channels as well. As a public-facing agency, mitigating risk across multiple content sources is crucial. “We are off to a great start,” says Natalie, and RecordPoint is pleased to provide services that empower people to tackle complex records management issues across the organization.
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