Scanning with versatility at QLD Council

Whitsunday Regional Council has implemented an EzeScan scanning solution to manage incoming and outgoing mail digitisation into a TechnologyOne ECM platform. The council spent a considerable amount of time benchmarking three scanning products before making its selection.

As well as handling incoming physical and electronic mail, the Queensland local government authority wanted a solution that was versatile enough to handle registering outgoing mail such as dog licences, food licenses and accommodation licences as well.

Once the required template is selected in EzeScan the program automatically populates fields with data extracted from the council’s TechnologyOne ECM platform and EzeScan specifically designed spreadsheets.  EzeScan then automatically applies the required indexing profile set before registering the document in ECM with minimal operator intervention.

“EzeScan has been amazingly helpful in getting the workflow setup and making it do what we need,” said Director of Corporate Services Graham Jarvis.

“The variety of incoming correspondence and their variable quality means it is difficult to accurately OCR so we don’t rely on this function as a key part of the program operation but we do use it.

"Our main alternative is that EzeScan gives our operators an option to highlight selected typed text and automatically adds this text to the abstract of the document to work with on screen.  This saves time and improves accuracy when registering.

“Our outgoing documents are much more standardised so the scanning workflow is much more successful. Also by drawing down properties of the document from our systems as well as OCRing customer or licence numbers it is able to more accurately populate ECM metadata fields which again saves time when registering.

“Very little needs to be typed anymore which is a great help”.

“There are many council processes that have greatly benefited from the EzeScan workflow, including registration of property transfers or title name change,” said Jarvis.

“There is a steady stream of these and each one can include up to 40 documents that need to be registered. Prior to EzeScan this process could take up to an hour but now it’s down to around 15 minutes with minimal data entry.”

Another bonus has come in the automated redaction of credit card numbers from documents that arrive via email or in hardcopy.

“EzeScan is able to redact credit card details whether they are in the email body or an attachment. This has been a real problem for us in the past as we needed to do this process without affecting the email message metadata, which we are now able to do.”

The volume of incoming and outgoing correspondence is not enough to keep the council’s new Canon DR6050C scanner working fulltime, meaning it is available for a range of back scanning projects.

Registration of cemetery records going back to the early days of the Whitsunday Region, located half way between Brisbane and Cairns, is one early project.

Established in 2008, the Whitsunday Region was preceded by two previous local government areas with a history extending back to the establishment of regional local government in Queensland in 1879.

“The number of pages in each record is variable. So EzeScan allows us to place a black page, either physically or electronically depending on the project, between the records to separate the documents,” said Jarvis. Another project is the registering of old development applications.

“In this case we populate the required fields such as property & application number and EzeScan builds the document’s Abstract/Subject line based on this information” said Jarvis.

“By working with the amazingly helpful team at Outback Imaging we have been able to set up our Ezescan product to have it do what we need it to do. 

"It’s a live program so I am often altering and updating it to suit our purposes.  Often I will call their support team and say “I would like to be able to do ...” and together we make it happen.  In the 10 months we have had the product there have not been many occasions that I have been told something is not possible.  Our team is thrilled with this product, it is increasing our productivity, accuracy and versatility - what more could we ask for,” said Jarvis.