“Making It Work” in Times of Uncertainty

July 07, 2020 by Allie VanNest

“Making It Work” in Times of Uncertainty

If there’s anything the past few months have taught us, it is that local governments have grit. Faced on a typical day with budget cuts and antiquated systems — and in more recent months with economic uncertainty and temporary closures — we know you’re using every resource you have to “make it work.”

For some cities and counties who rely on enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that is five, 10, or even more than 20 years old, this might mean using paper-based processes to supplement outdated financial management and human resources software, a practice that can cause long-term consequences.

For the city of Rancho Mirage, California, legacy financial management software, coupled with paper-based processing of requisitions, was making “business as usual” extremely difficult. In 2017, Rancho Mirage implemented a powerful ERP solution from Tyler designed to encompass a wide range of public sector needs.

The software very quickly enabled operational improvements across the city’s finance, human resources, payroll, and IT departments:

  • The approval process on requisitions became digital and now takes one-third of the time — it can happen from anywhere, desktop or mobile
  • Time and attendance processes became digital; these are faster and less prone to error, reducing staff time spent responding to routine requests

Employees at Rancho Mirage use employee self-service (ESS) for timesheets, as well as to monitor and request leave time. ESS is an employee portal available in real time over a secure internet connection. It ensures everyone is on the same page when monitoring accrual balances, time requested, and time taken — especially when they are not in the same building.

On a typical day, Jason Jaurigue, director of information services at the city of Rancho Mirage, credits Tyler’s ERP system with “streamlining our whole process.” However, when faced with the temporary closure of city hall during a global pandemic, Jaurigue credits the software, in part, for keeping the government running smoothly.

“When COVID-19 hit and city hall was closed, our employees were able to connect remotely from home and enter their timesheets,” said Jaurigue. “ESS granted our employees secure access to their personnel data and — in a time where nobody had much control — put the control back in their hands.”

While no one knows what tomorrow will bring, the city of Rancho Mirage is confident that by taking their paper-based processes digital they have taken the steps necessary to ensure their local government will continue to make it work for years to come . . . no matter what curveballs are thrown their way.

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