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etfile Transforms 50 Years of Paper into Digitized Paperless System for Leicester Public Schools

4 Oct, 2013

Leicester Public Schools is a school system based in Leicester, Massachusetts - a small town in the state’s central region. Settled in 1713 with a population today of 11,000, Leicester has 1,900 school age residents that attend Leicester Primary School (K-2), Leicester Memorial School (3-5), Leicester Middle School (6-8),and Leicester High School (9-12).

Operational Impact & Benefits

•             Eliminated 50 years of paper
•             Saved time and labor searching for files
•             Eliminated need for manual filing and refilling
•             Saved on paper and postage use/costs
•             Increased worker efficiency
•             Increased document security

The Challenge
The Central Office -a small administrative building in the center of town– had been servicing the Leicester Public Schools system since July 2012. There had been continuing discussions for years about consolidating the Central Office within the town hall’s 3rd floor, but the issue holding the town back was: 50 years’ of paper documents stored in the Central Office basement.

“Everywhere you looked in the Central Office basement there was paper – filing cabinets bursting with documents and boxes of information stacked by year,” said Paul Soojian Former Superintendent Leicester Public Schools. “Nobody wanted to move or organize all that. It was clearly a lot of stuff and the paper, mostly on the old green and white dot matrix computer paper, was starting to curl, dampen and fall apart.”

Leicester was legally required to keep faculty and other school records for 50 years.  These documents contained special education files, teacher and staff employment records, school committee meeting files, warrants and purchase orders - all boxed up and put in the basement at the end of each year.

“If you needed a specific file, you had to know the year or month to begin a search.  If you didn’t have this information, you had your work cut out to find it,” added Soojian.

When records or documents were requested, it would take hours or days to locate. “I had only two admin staffers.  If they had several requests for information it would require them to be downstairs for several hours or a day –pulling them away from their regular work,” said Soojian.

The Solution
Leicester Public Schools needed a new document management solution that could archive older records, streamline the filing of future documents and share all information across the entire school district.  

Leicester Public Schools selected etfile’s integrated, electronic document imaging, filing and retrieval system. The new system provides content management and automated workflow processes with a modular suite of capture, distribution, process management, and integration tools.  etfile allows users to:

•             Simplify file sharing of all types of paper and electronic content

•             Streamline data storage, stimulate online collaboration and reduce paper-related costs with this secure storage solution

•             Scan documents with various methods of scanning

•             Import contact lists into etfile and to automatically get indexed to a specific contact. Organize, index and retrieve information fast

•             Save time with faster and easier email retrieval and file sharing – and never lose an email again

•             Search the secure central repository by keywords and find documents

•             Retrieve, review and email files from the central repository through an iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones, tablets, and other popular mobile devices

•             Integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Office and other popular business applications

•             Leverage advanced business analytics for added security by running customized reports on users, folders, documents  and more

The Approach
Soojian’s team began the transition by running electricity and computer lines down to the basement and purchased a scanner to tackle the 50-year document backlog. The team started by scanning faculty and special education student records, digitizing each document to get rid of the paper.

Moving forward, Leicester Public Schools decided that everything would be filed electronically, with no print outs. “It does not make sense to print anymore,” said Soojian. “We didn’t want to do this digitizing work and then have to scan in printed documents – we wanted to electronically process information as we received it.”

The Results
“Etfile was excellent. They showed us how to save, file and retrieve information quickly as well as helped us figure out the most efficient organizational system to put in place,” said Soojian.

Today, new documents are quickly scanned and digitally filed on secure servers. Digitizing the documents has made them easier to search.  Soojian elaborates: “Using etfile, we can search by any key word to find a document. It is a huge savings on labor and time. If a school record is needed for a legal hearing, we can easily find it and pick only the pages to electronically send to the lawyer.”

About etfile
Founded in 1996, Westborough, MA-based etfile is a leading provider of custom integrated, electronic document imaging, filing and retrieval systems.  At the cutting edge of content management and automated workflow technology for the paperless office, the company’s flagship product offering is a modular suite of capture, distribution, process management, and integration tools.  Etfile’s product portfolio includes scalable client/server and cloud-based content management and automated workflow management software solutions for enterprises and small-to-medium businesses across all industries.  Enabling organizations to harness the power and ease-of-use of the cloud for web-based file sharing, online collaboration, automated workflows, and advanced business analytics, etfile’s strategic partnerships with the world’s most innovative automation vendors ensure its solutions are in full compliance with the latest industry standards for compatibility and security. For more information, visit http://www.etfile.comdoc

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