Government Entity Reduces Business Risk Through Process Automation
The Eagle River Water & Sanitation District stored paper files for ten years in binders in a separate storage facility. Each file search took several productive lab hours out of the personnel’s work schedule. The ECS Team implemented a Business-Critical SharePoint solution through connecting SharePoint 2013 with existing Line-of-Business systems to improve visibility, productivity, and compliance.
Eagle River Water & Sanitation District (District) is a local government entity responsible for the public water systems and wastewater treatment system that serve communities in the eastern half of Eagle County, Colorado. The District’s service area encompasses approximately 54,000 acres in Eagle County.
In the Eagle River Lab Department, the testing laboratory of the District, manual data entry, hand-written forms, and traditional phone/email communication dominated business processes in the past. They utilized standalone hardware instruments to provide sample test results. Original electronic bench sheets were printed each day for each test. The analyst manually entered the data on the printed bench sheet, entered the data on the electronic calculation sheet, printed the sheet, entered or parsed the data into their lab system (LIMS), and filed all paperwork in a binder. These binders were stored in the lab offices for three years. Then they were packed into banker boxes and moved to a standalone storage structure located fifteen miles from the lab facility to keep them for seven more years, as required by the State of Colorado Special Districts Records Retention Schedule.
Eagle River Water & Sanitation District is a local government entity responsible for the public water systems and wastewater treatment system that serve communities in the eastern half of Eagle County, Colorado.
Eagle County, Colorado, USA
"The Business-Critical SharePoint solution transformed the way we think about records, information and data organization. This brings file sharing and collaboration well into the 21st century."
-Kyle Collins, Records and Information
Management Eagle River Sanitation District
In order for lab personnel to retrieve data stored here, a portion of their paid time had to be sacrificed to leave important lab business activities and drive to the storage. Items related to each record were stored in binders which made it difficult to find the right information when required. Employees had to un-pile boxes andsearch through stacks of paper within these boxes by hand.
The District selected ECS Team, and KnowledgeLake to implement a Business-Critical SharePoint solution. The goals were to surface Line-of-Business (LOB) data through SharePoint 2013, create a standardized, organization-wide system record management system, improve search, and automate business processes. SharePoint was directly integrated with LIMS via ODBC call. An Enterprise Search Center was also deployed along with KnowledgeLake Search.
Eagle River Water and Sanitation District had purchased SharePoint prior to the implementation of this solution but employees were only familiar with its functionality through research and demonstrations. The critical lab LOB system, LIMS was integrated with SharePoint to incorporate key lab information as metadata in SharePoint. This lab metadata would then be used for information management and retrieval, improving business-critical processes.
In order to automate the lab’s business processes, first the existing manual processes had to be analyzed. Notebooks, Excel spreadsheets, and handwritten notes were reviewed. All interfaces, application components, hardware components and software services were identified. Through the use of functional decomposition the ECS Team identified multiple interfaces and data points that needed to be integrated with SharePoint in order to develop an end-to-end automated process. The service decomposition was used to develop the foundational architecture, which was developed in SharePoint 2013 and integrated with KnowledgeLake.
Through the Business-Critical SharePoint solution, the District was not only able to create a new procedure that removed the need to manually collect, store, and search for raw data, but also improve productivity and decision-making. “The whole process has given us a cutting edge skill set, not only from software tools, but in how we think about records, information and data organization.”
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