City of Niles, Ohio

With a population of approximately 20,000 residents, Niles is located within the nation’s former industrial belt in the northeastern sector of Ohio, within about 100 miles of Lake Erie. The Niles city government, which includes approximately 100 employees, is charged with overseeing all city budgetary decisions, the Board of Control and all city departments. It invests community money to ensure that the local citizens receive uninterrupted water, electric, sewer, garbage pick-up, cemetery services, police protection and other essential services. 

The city of Niles, Ohio, improved document access with FileBound, which led to increased customer satisfaction.

The Problem

Like many city governments, Niles found itself drowning in a sea of documents, including some dating back to the city’s founding in the early 1800s. After decades of accumulating records of every sort, the volume of paper was overwhelming, challenging to store and even more difficult to search in a timely manner when a specific item was requested. There was no consistent, reliable repository in place for managing hardcopy documents. Because of the volume, documents were being stored in many different locations around the city and employees were running out of options of where to put items needing to be available for later retrieval. Typically, when a retrieval request came in for a specific item, it was impossible to provide it quickly. An employee would write down the request and then begin a search to locate the requested document. Sometime employees were successful, sometimes not. Moreover, the city had no disaster recovery process in place for its records. In a city where in the past flooding of the nearby Mahoning River had reached epic proportions, the absence of such a system was worrisome to say the least.

The Solution

Niles initially adopted an ASP system to meet community needs until the city was able to establish the infrastructure to handle the software in-house. Decision-makers were pleased that we were able to provide both their short-term and long-term solutions. The solution provided was able to handle not only the utility billing department, but also could be deployed to enhance customer service enterprise-wide.

FileBound Results

Now that the system is fully up and running, employees of Niles city government can offer a level of customer service that was simply impossible in the past. The Engineering Department is a case in point. Previously, the department managed hard copies of all the maps and drawings for the city. These were constantly being taken out for various uses and while out were unavailable to others who might need them. Once the entire document and map repository was made available digitally, multiple users could access any document or map at any given time. In addition, historic maps and documents brittle with age are now preserved forever in the digital resource. The City of Niles is a city with a vision for implementing state-of-the-art solutions that benefit the community and meet the needs of its citizens. With the installation of their FileBound document management solution, they have taken a bold step toward achieving this objective.

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