Paul C. Newman, CIO at Wisconsin’s public utility commission, tackled a big issue at his agency several years ago: how to make his organization paperless (or, at least closer to paperless). The results are now in, and fortunately for everyone else, Newman has taken the time to compile a full report about the experience at Wisconsin PSC.
Newman’s recently published report covers everything from the decisions their agency made throughout the process to go paperless, to the results they achieved. It’s an excellent read for anyone considering a move to paperless, government agency or not, and helps make the case for document management with a multitude of facts and figures.
Take for instance one of the most easily quantifiable numbers; the savings in paper. The agency went from using 15 pallets of paper (that’s 3 millions sheets) in 2002, to about 2 pallets of paper in 2014. But perhaps what is most interesting are all the added benefits gained from doing business electronically. Utility companies, for example, which interact with the agency and exchange a large number of documents, are estimated to have saved millions of dollars with the more efficient paperless procedures. Inside the commission, side benefits were also achieved. Commissioners, who frequently travel and are away from the office, no longer have to wait for FedEx shipments of important documents to arrive. They can retrieve files electronically whenever they need them, from any location, even using their tablets.
The report goes well beyond the numbers, and also points out the challenges that were faced and how they were overcome. It explores how the effects of paperless operations touches staff and the operational procedures they perform on a daily basis.
Paperless: Creating a Paperless Public Utility Commission, The Wisconsin Experience is available for download.