Avantix enacts Southern Downs Regional Council’s Digitisation Strategy
DIGITISING RECORDS DRASTICALLY CUTS TIME & IMPROVES WORK FLOW FOR SDRC
Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) have enlisted the digital scanning service expertise of Avantix in enacting their long-term digitisation strategy.
Queensland’s southern-most council, SDRC was formed in 2008 through the amalgamation of the Shire of Warwick and the Shire of Stanthorpe and has a population of over 36,000 people.
With two major service centres positioned 60 kilometers apart, as well as staff working on a mobile basis, the need for digitalisation was urgent.
Prior to digitising, a simple and common request relating to a Building Approval would prompt substantial work. “Staff would find the relevant register, locate the hard copy record in whichever location it was held, then scan it,” explains Mrs Susan Brown, Records Management Project Officer. “Now that digitisation of records is complete, a customer in any office can ask about any property and be provided with the information they require quickly.”
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After this initial success, attention turned to Town Planning applications, then Engineering files. “They are the council’s next biggest repositories of information,” says Brown.
Engineering plans can be up to A0 size and, with handling, can easily become damaged. “By having documents in a digital format, staff can access and use them as many times as needed without the original suffering from wear and tear or, worse, being at risk of serious damage or being misplaced.”
While SDRC has a large format scanner, which they will use for newly created documents, it was recognised that attempting to complete and digitise the project in-house would not be as efficient or effective as working with an expert provider.
LARGE FORMAT DIGITAL SCANNING SERVICES BRING VALUE TO TRANSITIONING CUSTOMERS
Large format scanning of maps and plans is a speciality of Avantix. With the experience and knowledge gained from over 16 years in handling the digitalisation, data capture and data governance of large scale projects, Avantix has been able to bring real value to customers transitioning from paper to electronic records.
“Our team is able to bridge the gap between labour intensive tasks and higher cost resources that understand CAD, CAM and GIS content,” says Jim Cohen, of Avantix. “By understanding how information is used by front line staff, Avantix is able to help during the discovery phase, to identify which data fields are needed to achieve the best outcome. This arms users with the ability to quickly find drawings based upon what they have to go by at the time; no matter the field or filter, be it project, drawing number, title, revision, vendor or even discipline.”
To safeguard the reliability of drawing data, custom business rules are developed in consultation with the customer to produce a result compliant to the defined standards. The project methodology allows for high volumes of plans in paper, microfilm, aperture card, PDF or CAD file format to be processed in an efficient manner and provides confidence in the quality of images and data.
COUNCIL SAVES & REDUCES COST WITH AVANTIX EFFICIENT SCANNING & DIGITISATION METHODS
SDRC have embraced the benefits of efficiency, thoroughness and customer service that result from digitisation. “Avantix have opened our eyes to the possibilities of what digitisation can offer,” says Brown. “Council is reducing costs, by saving time and staff resources both now and into the future.”
Of working with Avantix, Brown says: “Avantix have been a great partner to work with. They are professional, flexible and accommodating. They ensure our business processes can continue with as little disruption as possible.”
On a day-to-day level, this means that Avantix prioritises information that is needed to meet immediate business or customer needs. “If we need access to a document or file they have, they process it immediately,” says Brown.
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The next areas within SDRC to receive digitising attention include Roads, Sewerage and Infrastructure. “This is a significant digitisation program that promises substantial benefits to the region over time,” says Avantix CEO, Duncan Lord.
Avantix would like to congratulate Southern Downs Regional Council on their forethought in creating a strategy for digitalisation, as well as their systematic approach to implementing their plans to increase business efficiency and customer satisfaction.