Law enforcement is paper-intensive work. On top of personnel records, procurement paperwork and IT documentation, law enforcement organizations must manage inmate records, property receipts, and a host of other documents. This creates a tremendous challenge for these resource- and time-strapped organizations. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has relieved its document management burden through a back-file conversion arrangement with Birmingham, AL-based ibml.
ibml offers a wide range of document automation services, including scanning, lockbox processing, revenue cycle management, disaster recovery, and microfilm conversion.
The arrangement, which enables the sheriff's office to digitize its documents and make the images available via their document imaging solution, has saved the office time and money, improved access to critical information, improved document security and control, and laid a foundation for growth.
Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is comprised of many departments. Together, these departments process a wide range of documents, including personnel documents (such as benefits, payroll, worker's compensation and training documents), jail records (such as inmate files and inmate medical records), property receipts, procurement paperwork, IT documentation, and a host of other items.
In the past, the sheriff's office physically stored processed documents at a combination of on-premise and off-site locations, and manually retrieved them, whenever necessary. Not only did this arrangement require the sheriff's office to pay for the physical storage, it also created delays in document retrieval and increased the possibility of misfiled documents.
Additionally, the transportation of documents made it challenging to ensure privacy and chain of custody.
In 2007, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office began an extensive evaluation of alternatives to physical document storage. Over three to four months, it evaluated seven solutions providers. It ultimately selected ibml for its back-file conversion based in large part on the company's excellent references, strong financial standing, and commitment to superior customer service. The fact that ibml also manufactures the hardware it uses also appealed to the sheriff's office.
Under the arrangement, ibml uses its high-speed ImageTrac hardware to scan documents on behalf of the sheriff's office. After scanning, ibml exports the images to the sheriff's office's archive, where they are immediately available to authorized users. In addition to eliminating the need for physical document storage, scanning documents on-site and storing them electronically removed potential risks with transporting some documents off-site, which made it harder to ensure privacy and chain of custody.
ibml's back-file conversion has delivered significant operational and business benefits.
From the start, the sheriff's office found ibml to be easy to work with. What's more, ibml's scanning technology is flexible enough to simultaneously process work on behalf of multiple departments, processing different document types and conforming to each department's procedures. For instance, while most of the sheriff's office's documents are scanned at 200 dpi, certain critical documents must be scanned at 600 dpi. To ease the transition to the new scanning environment, the sheriff's office worked closely with ibml before and during system deployment to define the requirements of each of its departments.
From a cost perspective, storing images online has eliminated the considerable expense of physical off-site storage, and allowed the sheriff's office to reallocate the space it previously used in its own facilities for document storage. The ibml solution also has proven to be extremely reliable. The sheriff's office has experienced 99.9 percent uptime on its ibml scanners, with 99.2 percent of its images meeting its stringent image quality standards.
Since 2007, ibml has processed more than 28 million images on behalf of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, completing scanning for 13 departments. The project has been so successful that the sheriff's office has expanded its scope to include work from departments that weren't part of its original plans. The sheriff's office also plans to have ibml convert its microfilm back-file to digital images.
The Bottom Line
ibml's back-file conversion has helped the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office meet its document imaging objectives on-time, on-budget, and with the highest level of image quality.
It's little wonder that the sheriff's office describes its partnership with ibml as a "big success."
To learn more about document automation services from ibml, visit www.ibml.com.