San Antonio River Authority
Digitech Systems Reseller
CASO Document Management
Documents were at risk and difficult to locate
Improved access to information, protected all documents from disaster, and saves $44,148 annually
In Texas, the San Antonio area is known as flash flood alley, and flooding is always a major concern for the San Antonio River Authority (SARA), because they manage water. When Jordan Merson, Database and Development Administrator, came on board in 2003, they were just beginning the big push towards digitization, and they were storing documents in the basement. “We manage rivers, so flooding is always a concern. Protecting our documents is critical,” said Merson. “I inherited the digitization project and got to work clearing out that basement.”
After implementing PaperVision Capture, to convert paper documents to digital files, and PaperVision Enterprise, an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system, SARA saves countless hours in productivity, ensures compliance, and saves money.
- Documents can be located instantly, from any device, anywhere
- All documents are compliant and 100% protected from natural disaster, theft or loss
- Faster processes save over $44,000 annually
After the devastating floods of 1913 and 1914, the State of Texas decided to set up river authorities to develop and manage the state’s water resources. SARA was created in 1937 and is one of many river authorities in the state. Its jurisdiction covers four counties and covers 3,658 square miles. Their mission is to protect and enhance the creeks and rivers through service, leadership and expertise.
In addition to flooding concerns, SARA needed a better way to locate their documents. All requests for information had to funnel through one key person. This person was the only one with the institutional knowledge to know where to find the requested information. They needed a way to ensure that when that person left, the knowledge wouldn’t leave with them.
The next challenge SARA faced was to physically locate the requested information. They were storing documents in the basement and in rolling file racks throughout the building. Many of the engineering documents were being stored as giant flat files, including mystery documents from the 1940s and 1950s that were not properly labeled and were becoming very fragile.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) also requires scientific laboratories to prove the chain of custody of documents and provide certification for each sample to maintain compliance with the law. “Keeping track of the paper trail for each property or even worse, the lab samples, was tiresome and time consuming. Locating information was very difficult,” said Merson.
SARA is a government institution, so looking through file boxes and losing documents to flooding was an inefficient use of taxpayer’s money. It became clear that digitization should become a priority.
SARA worked with CASO, a Digitech Systems reseller, to create a solution. They wanted a system that would allow them to digitize their documents quickly and easily. They chose PaperVision Capture, and PaperVision Enterprise, for their document storage needs because it was easy for them to manage in-house. CASO took care of the scanning of their archived documents, and SARA began scanning in-house in 2003.
“We don’t lose time anymore researching and getting documents. Thanks to PaperVision Enterprise, we know where they are, and we are able to get to them quickly, from anywhere.”
— Jordon Merson, Database and Development Administrator
Today they use the system in their HR, real estate, utilities, and environmental sciences departments. All paperwork is scanned by PaperVision Capture as soon as it comes in the door. SARA scans over 10,000 documents each month and they store 250 GB of data in PaperVision Enterprise.
The time efficiencies gained are the biggest benefit SARA has realized. In the office, they are no longer reliant on one person to be the gatekeeper of information, as more than 50 active users access PaperVision Enterprise at least once a week. Out in the field, it helps the workers perform various tasks. For example, when workers need to access the sewers, they can click on the Geographic Information Science (GIS) map and know which manhole cover to open, how to get around underground, and can view any associated documents to that property. “They used to have to take paper maps and documents with them. Now, thanks to the integration with PaperVision Enterprise, they can just use their laptops, and instantly have the information they are looking for because it’s all linked,” said Merson. “The ease of use really is the best part. Once documents are in PaperVision Enterprise, and have been cataloged, it’s really easy to get the information whenever you need to.”
The SARA Laboratory is an accredited laboratory through the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP), and the SARA Environmental Sciences Laboratory is accredited by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Both are certified for the analysis of drinking water, non-potable water, and solid and chemical materials. These accreditations require each of the laboratories to make sure the certifications are attached to each lab sample. “As an accredited lab, PaperVision Enterprise is a critical portion of us maintaining our certifications. If the samples ever have to go to court, we can prove the chain of custody of all documents, and we have the certifications we need to back them up,” said Merson.
Since SARA is a government institution, they are always concerned about trying to save taxpayers money. When the initial scanning project was over, they were able to eliminate one full-time employee, which is a savings of $44,148 annually. 1 The conversion to digital records has helped SARA more efficiently control the information they need to cost-effectively manage south Texas water resources.
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 totaling more than 100 years of experience, they have a proven track record with even the largest commercial and government requirements. CASO is a recognized Circle of Excellence reseller with Digitech Systems. CASO offers a full-range of imaging services and can provide comprehensive custom solutions tailored to each company, industry or specific project. They 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.