Kerr County District Clerk
Digitech Systems Reseller:
CASO Document Management
Permanent records were kept on microfilm, making retrieval and reproduction difficult
Reduced record retrieval times and improved both access to information as well as the quality of printed documents
Kerr County District Clerk, Linda Uecker, made a pledge to preserve the integrity of more than 1.2 million permanent records and to provide public access to this information. Managing these responsibilities using 400 rolls of microfilm was no easy task. Document retrieval was grueling and older records, dating back to 1857, proved difficult to reproduce. With the growing county population, there were more court cases and more people requesting documents. Uecker knew the microfilm format was limiting productivity, and that something had to change.
- Reduced time spent searching for judicial records by five hours per employee per week
- Saved $140,000 each year in employee productivity
- Saved $140,000 each year in employee productivity
- Eliminated $1,800 in annual costs needed to rewrite microfilm
- Improved public access to permanent records
- Increased revenue from information requests by $2,500 over the past two years
By converting microfilm to digital documents and implementing a Digitech Systems’ PaperVision Enterprise solution, the District Clerk’s office now manages information electronically for improved efficiency at an annual cost savings of $141,800.
Located one hour west of the San Antonio in the Texas Hill Country, Kerr County (www.co.kerr.tx.us) covers 1,108 square miles and serves as home to a growing population of nearly 50,000. The District Clerk is responsible for recording and preserving the acts and proceedings of the district court. Additionally, the Clerk must keep an index of the parties involved in lawsuits filed in the court and make reference to any judgment made in the case.
Managing information with microfilm was quite inconvenient for the clerk’s office. In order to retrieve and modify documents or include original judgment records in new case files, employees had to research the correct location of each microfilm cartridge, pull it, load it into one of three microfilm reader/printer machines and identify the precise frame among the 3,000 images on the film. Printing quality copies was also a challenge, because several setting adjustments had to be made before an employee achieved a high-quality print. As a result, staff members spent six hours each week searching for documents to prepare files.
Frequently, the court seals adoption files and other records, which makes them private and no longer available to the public. Securing the document and removing it from the microfilm was costly. Each time, the microfilm had to be rewritten, costing about $1,800 every year.
To add to the burden, approximately 50 members of the community entered the office each week asking for certified copies of records, costing $1 per page. “We couldn’t provide a valuable public service, because the quality of our printed copies was often very poor—particularly with older documents,” said Uecker. The images were dim and didn’t provide enough contrast for older, faded documents. Plus, the staff and the public had to share the microfilm machines, and “almost certainly, at least one machine was broken,” said Uecker. This resulted in employees losing at least four hours of productivity each week.
Uecker needed a reliable records system that would make document retrieval and management faster and more convenient, but she also wanted to quickly and easily create quality document reproductions for customers.
Uecker contacted CASO Document Management, a Digitech Systems reseller and was impressed with PaperVision Enterprise, the Digitech Systems Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system, and the microfilm conversion services CASO offered. She chose PaperVision Enterprise, because it would enable employees to quickly locate, manage and print documents without getting up to search giant books and multiple drawers for microfilm.
In 2006, CASO implemented the system in less than four hours and trained eight employees in just one hour. CASO also converted 1.2 million documents from microfilm into clear and printable files. Now, the entire library of permanent records is available electronically via PaperVision Enterprise.
Using the ECM system, the clerk’s office retrieves judicial records in seconds. All seven employees can search for, view and print documents from the convenience of their desks. By managing information electronically, each staff member saves five hours per week in file searching, which saves taxpayers $140,000 in productivity each year.
Today, the clerk’s office improves their public service and satisfies customers more quickly. They can go to the office and use the two designated public computers to access PaperVision Enterprise and quickly pinpoint the documents they need.
“PaperVision Enterprise is so intuitive that we don’t have to train the public to search and retrieve records. They can just come in and help themselves. It’s easier than the public library, because the document pops up right there on the screen.”
-Linda Uecker, Kerr County District Clerk
Now that employees can securely send archived documents electronically, the Clerk’s office has provided another convenient option for the public to find and receive records remotely. Instead of making a special trip to the courthouse, they simply search the published archive index online, call the office, request a unique document number, provide their credit card information and have the document emailed to them. Uecker says that the documents are so accessible that they have seen an increase in the demand for information. Over the past two years, revenue from information requests that cost $1 per page has increased by about $2,500.
When the courts seal and secure documents from public access, the office no longer needs to rewrite rolls of microfilm, saving the county $1,800 annually. “With one click, the documents are secure and inaccessible. The public can’t even see that those records are there,” said Uecker.
Since the implementation of PaperVision Enterprise, Uecker was able to remove the three microfilm machines, open 144 square feet of office space and make room for the growing number of pending case files, which are kept in paper format until they can be scanned and loaded into PaperVision Enterprise.
Best of all, PaperVision Enterprise saves the District Clerk’s office and the public hours of searching through hundreds of rolls of microfilm and enables everyone to identify and print clear copies of important permanent records in a matter of seconds.
About CASO Document Management
CASO has been an innovator in developing practical, cost-effective imaging services and document management systems since 1994. With a management team that has more than 100 years of experience between them, they have a proven track record with even the largest commercial and government customers. CASO offers a full-range of imaging services or a comprehensive custom solution tailored to each company, industry or specific project. Their New York and Texas offices support hundreds of regional and national clients in government, finance, education, healthcare, manufacturing and other sectors.
To learn more about CASO, call 888.388.CASO or go to www.caso.com.