Embracing Paperless Processes
- Industry: Municipal
- Location: Asheville, North Carolina
- Employees: 1,500
- Population: 91,560
- Tyler Client Since: 2008
- Tyler Products Used: Enterprise ERP, Content Manager, EAM
For many years, the city of Asheville, North Carolina, depended on time-consuming, paper-based processes to generate purchase orders, approve requisitions, create invoices, enter and track employee time sheets, and more. Even after city employees were encouraged to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, heavily manual workflows remained the norm — with end-users often needing to send five emails to move tasks forward.
Amy Patterson, Asheville’s purchasing division manager, realized the city had the technology in place to change the way it did business.
In 2008, Asheville had invested in Tyler Technologies’ integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution Enterprise ERP, powered by Munis®, to manage its financial, human resources, utilities, revenue, general tax, and business licensing needs. In addition, it had chosen Content Manager to streamline document management.
However, despite the fact that employees were benefiting from Enterprise ERP and electronic access to their financial records, they weren’t capturing documentation across the city in a way that allowed them to move to a fully digital environment.
Patterson, who was familiar with Enterprise ERP from a previous role, recommended Asheville look to Enterprise ERP’s workflow functionality to enable employees to view and act on approvals, notifications, and alerts — using Content Manager to digitally track paper trails. City employees have since used this process for routing and improving contracts.
According to Eric LaRue, ERP project manager at the city of Asheville, “We’ve gotten a tremendous amount of value through the combination of workflow and Content Manager. This combination has brought about the most significant changes for the city.”
That’s saying a lot.
The city of Asheville also relies on Enterprise ERP’s Employee Access portal to provide nearly 1,500 employees with real-time access to their personal and employment information. The Employee Access portal actively extracts this information directly from the city’s Enterprise ERP database and makes it available in real time — improving efficiency and eliminating redundancy.
Said Patterson, “It just goes to show how valuable it is to find an ERP solution that can manage all of your core functions. From financials to HR and everything in between, Enterprise ERP has been invaluable to our day-to-day processes.”
“I came into the city of Asheville when we were using our old financial system. It didn’t make sense to me. On the other hand, I understand Enterprise ERP from the ground, up. It is intuitive. Our team can access the information we need, when we need it.”
Purchasing Division Manager, City of Asheville, North Carolina
As the person responsible for overseeing the purchasing and contracting process for the city, Patterson said of Enterprise ERP: “We’ve been able to centralize purchasing. Contracting — jobs like construction, professional services, and others — are decentralized.” Yet, the city is able to effectively retain oversight of both functions using Enterprise ERP.
Content Manager has allowed Asheville to realize tremendous savings — in workflow, materials, and storage. It is a simple, intuitive, and powerful indexing and search system allowing the city to quickly retrieve documents without having to understand arcane directory structures.
And finally, Employee Access has reduced staff time spent responding to routine employee requests, allowing employees to update personal information, request leave, or check compensation quickly, confidentially, and securely from any computer at any time.