Using Perceptive Content from Lexmark, Tulsa County shortened the contractor payment cycle by 26 to 39 days. As a result, bids have become more competitive and projects are completed on schedule, saving valuable taxpayer money. The flexibility and ease of use of Perceptive Content make it a solution that can be easily extended to various entities countywide.
Accounting Finance, Human Resources
Data Capture & Extraction, Document Management, Workflow & Process Management
For the last four years, the National Association of Counties and Center for Digital Government has ranked Tulsa County, Okla., among the top 10 counties in the nation for its effective use of innovative technology. Tulsa County credits this honor in part to its extensive use of Perceptive Content from Lexmark.
In 2003, the citizens of Tulsa County passed Vision 2025, a tax that would fund a series of capital and economic improvement projects spanning through the year 2025. The flood of projects to follow would require the county to manage thousands of documents.
“We needed a way to track these thousands of projects and all the work they entailed,” says Tom Trimble, director of technology for Tulsa County. “If an auditor came or taxpayer wanted to know how his tax dollars were spent, we needed to be able to quickly produce any invoice, contract or other document related to a Vision 2025 project.”
Shuffling the high volume of paper involved in government projects was already a painfully slow and frustrating process. Contractors had become wary of working with local government after having to wait a month or more after project completion to receive payment. The county knew it would need to streamline the contractor payment process to satisfy the requirements of Vision 2025, and it turned to Perceptive Content.
Tom Trimble Director of Technology Tulsa CountyThe thing that really stood out about Perceptive Content was its user-friendliness. You don’t need a strong background in IT to use it, so we had high confidence that county employees would be able to actually use and understand it.
Prior to Vision 2025, Tulsa County selected Perceptive Content for use in personnel, the county clerk’s office and the treasurer’s office. The county chose Perceptive Content for its flexibility and unique integration method, which would enable the solution to be leveraged county-wide. Patented LearnMode™ technology allows Perceptive Content to integrate with any application without programming, providing instant, single-click access to supporting documents from business application screens.
“The thing that really stood out about Perceptive Content was its userfriendliness,” Trimble says. “You don’t need a strong background in IT to use it, so we had high confidence that county employees would be able to actually use and understand it.”
After Vision 2025 was passed by Tulsa County taxpayers, county officials had only six weeks to plan and deploy Perceptive Content in the fiscal office. With help from Lexmark, the implementation was complete a week before the tax was collected.
“Perceptive Content is really flexible,” Trimble says. “We can mold it to fit whatever our needs might be, and that’s a big deal for county government. We were able to use the tools that ship with Perceptive Content to quickly build a solution we knew would be reliable and easy for employees to use.”
Using paper files, it took more than a month for Tulsa County to complete a payment to a contractor. Now, employees in the purchasing department scan invoices and related documents into Perceptive Content upon submission. Employees can access all documents related to a single project with one click. Using Perceptive Workflow, the documents are routed through the payment process quickly and efficiently in a fraction of the time.
“With Perceptive Content, contractors are paid within four to six days, as opposed to the 30-45 days it used to take,” Trimble says. “Before, contractors might not be that excited about working on a county project. With Perceptive Content, they get paid faster so their bids are more competitive.”
Tom Trimble Director of Technology Tulsa CountyWith Perceptive Content, contractors are paid within four to six days, as opposed to the 30-45 days it used to take. Before, contractors might not be that excited about working on a county project. With Perceptive Content, they get paid faster so their bids are more competitive.
The fiscal office used to be immersed in paper, but now all documents are scanned into Perceptive Content and then discarded, saving the cost of additional file cabinets or expanding off-site storage. The efficiencies Perceptive Content creates also result in additional cost savings. In addition to a quicker payment cycle that has resulted in more competitive bids, most projects are now completed on or ahead of schedule, saving the expense of delayed construction. “It’s frustrating to the public to see projects drag out, and it’s costly too,” Trimble says. “The longer a project takes, time and materials costs go up. By expediting the administrative process, Perceptive Content saves us a lot of money and keeps projects on schedule.
” Serving the public is the goal of any government, and Tulsa County taxpayers expect the county to complete projects in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. With Perceptive Content, all documents related to a project can be viewed instantly, so questions are answered quickly and audits that may have taken months now take just days.
“I think Tulsa County has found a good, creative use for Perceptive Content that really makes a difference for the community,” Trimble says. “The public has benefited from it because they have seen a lot of projects completed quickly. Contractors are happy, the public is happy, we’re happy. It’s a win all around.”
Perceptive Content is essential to the success of Tulsa County’s Vision 2025 effort, so reliability and support are of the utmost importance. Trimble has found that Perceptive Content is easy to administer and generally “takes care of itself,” but when the IT team needs assistance, they turn to the Lexmark product support team.
“Perceptive Content is mission-critical for Vision 2025,” Trimble says. “We can’t have it down, and the support from Lexmark has been great. If we have a problem, we can always get through to someone who can help us quickly.”
Perceptive Content will see Tulsa County through these years of growth and development, making administrative tasks easier, less time-consuming and less costly. Trimble views Lexmark as not just a vendor, but a partner in the county’s effort to better serve citizens. In the coming months, Tulsa County plans to extend Perceptive Content to the district attorney’s office, courts, jail and many other areas. Empowered by Perceptive Content, Tulsa County will continue to find new ways to serve taxpayers more efficiently and achieve its vision of building a better community.