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Project Title:Reduce Waste and Printing Costs in Records Management without Spending a FortuneInstitution Name:Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi Innovation Category:Operational Efficiency Project Director:Dennis Raulie, Manager, Administrative ComputingContact Information:(361) 825-2689, dennis.raulie@tamucc.eduWebsite:
Project Description:In April 2009, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (TAMUCC) began development of the Report Upload Bifurcation Engine (RUBE) system to receive the continuous stream of bundled report files from BPP/FAMIS feeds, and to perform the complex task of separating and distributing individual BPP/FAMIS reports to their respective imaging repositories in secure digital format.  The primary benefactors of these systems are the Accounting and Payroll departments and these benefits extend to their own customer base in the form of more timely access to reports in a collaborative format.  In addition to cost savings in paper, printing supplies, mailings/postage, and the recapture of prime office space from storage of old documents, these departments experience a more efficient use of staff time and abilities.
Objectives:
  • The ultimate objective of this innovation was to eliminate the wasteful print-to-paper then scan-to-imaging repository cycle. 
  • The paper-driven report distribution system itself was very expensive in terms of total resources consumed, i.e.: printers, fax machines, paper, toner, storage for these supplies, and storage for the printed, archived reports. 
  • Personnel time invested in securing these consumables is considerable. 
  • These paper reports often were copied and saved by individuals along the paper trail, thus duplicating the expenses. 
  • Lost or misplaced documents are costly in terms of staff time searching for the reports, and in some cases, the added expense to re-create the documents. 
  • Security of these paper documents, as they made their way around the office cycle, was always a risk with sensitive data. This report processing method of operation presented an opportunity to make tremendous gains in productivity, with more timely and simultaneous access to reports by authorized personnel in a secure environment. 
Outcomes:

Scanning and electronically filing these reports and other documents was a very labor intensive and time consuming task. This resulted in a backlog of documents that needed to be scanned and electronically filed. For instance, the accounting department allowed a month between the date of receiving a report and having it scanned and filed.  Now, reports are processed and ready for use by staff in minutes.

“No more lugging around huge reports that everyone needs to look at the same time.  No more wasted paper.”
Becky Torres – Comptroller, TAMU-CC
 

It is always favorable to have your professional staff looking at their reports instead of looking for them.

Challenges/Problems Encountered:The real challenge was to overcome the “reluctance to change” syndrome that often accompanies an undertaking of this size.  We needed “something” that could generate departmental buy-in, acceptance, and utilization of this new imaging system.  It would have to increase productivity, reduce costs, be easy to use and meet, or beat, the current departmental production standards.
Evaluation Approach:There has been no formal evaluation process conducted with respect to the implementation of this initiative.  However, since September 2009, a rough estimate of printing 416,300 (FAMIS: 336,300   BPP: 80,000) pages at a conservative $.03 per page to produce, has saved just under $12,500 thus far by using both systems.  Support software resources are listed below and cost less than $300 to purchase.  Annual maintenance is about $40.  These systems upload and file these reports for each department and in doing so fulfill each department’s records management requirements; and as a result, managers are able to focus personnel resources in other areas. Dollars saved in printing costs will be used to fund other departmental operations.
Potential for Replication:The BPP/FAMIS systems described here have been replicated and are in use at the Health Science Center in College Station Texas.  The installation at HSC is the first and so far only replication site and while many of the problems associated with software installation have been addressed, there may be other unknown situations that could arise.
Additional Resources:
  • The Laserfiche Document Management system (RME) is required to use the upload portion of these systems. For more information you may visit Laserfiche Document Management Systems. If you are a member of the TAMU System you may also want to visit SMARTfiles for further information and support.
  • Documents are received from the BPP/FAMIS systems and distributed with a product called Remote Print Manager (RPM-Select) marketed by Brooks Internet Software.  Though this particular brand of print spooler is not required, it is the preferred choice.  In addition, we have a system in early development that will utilize other features of RPM.
  • The TIFF format is the preferred document storage format.  The Universal Document Converter (UDC) is required for programmatic control of report conversion from text to TIFF.   UDC profiles can be easily created to produce other formats such as PDF and DOC.

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CEO-to-CEO Contact:Flavius Killebrew , Presidentflavius.killebrew@tamucc.edu
(361) 825-2621
Date Published: Thursday, April 14, 2011