Erie County Takes New Strides with Eagle

Industry: County Government
Location: Sandusky, Ohio
Number of Employees: 5
Population: 74,817
Number of Years as a Tyler Client: 4
Tyler Products Used: Eagle

Challenge

As a progressive office — both in how it embraces new technology and how it interacts with constituents — the Erie County Recorder’s Office wanted to make sure its operations and supporting software would serve the county’s needs over the long term. To accomplish its goals, the county needed to digitize the recording office to a greater extent and improve the overall experience of recording documents and making them accessible to the public.

The records management software the county had been using since the late 2000s was a step in the right direction; however, the county recognized there was room for improvement. While it was a less expensive solution that fit into the budget at the time, the software wasn’t growing or advancing at the same pace as the recorder’s office. What proved more challenging for the recorder’s office was that the vendor stopped investing in the software and several key people the county depended on left the software company.

The county recorder’s office realized there was a need to find a stable partner if it wanted to take its operations and use of technology to the next level. It found that partner in Tyler Technologies and its Eagle records management and citizen self-service software.

Solution

Erie county made the switch to Tyler’s Eagle records management software in 2015. From the start, there was an instant infatuation with the flexibility the software’s workflow afforded the recorder’s office. Staff members decided when, how, and who would receipt, record, scan, index, and verify requests based on the method in which the requests came into the office — through the mail, at the front counter, or via eRecording. Staff was no longer forced into rigid workflows that demanded the same linear process.

The county used this newfound flexibility to elevate its efficiency and, at the same time, improve the recording experience of its constituents. The recorder’s office set up individualized Eagle workstations and configured them in a way that worked best for each staff member. That way, when a constituent walked up to the counter, the staff member could greet the visitor, take the document back to the new workstation, scan and record the document, accept payment, and then hand the original document right back. Other staff members could then index and verify the recording as workloads permitted. With this new setup and process, constituents appreciated the fact they got their documents right back and no longer had to wait for them to arrive in their mailboxes.

Erie county is continuing its push to go digital and make it easier for constituents to access documents with Eagle Self-Service, a complementary citizen self-service tool. The recorder’s office is lined with self-serve kiosks that allow visitors to conduct research and purchase copies with little or no interaction with county staff. If constituents don’t want to come down to the office, they can do the same research online from home or any PC with internet access.

Title companies are taking advantage of the self-service tool, as well, to perform eRecordings. Currently 20% of the county’s volume comes from eRecordings, with the goal being 50%. Title companies can use the tool to record documents from their offices instead of having to make a trip to the county. When a document is eRecorded, county staff receive a notification and either accept the document and record it or reject it and send it back to the submitter. That process can even be automated. The county has the ability to set requirements, such as forcing the inclusion of parcel data, and determine whether to accept or reject documents. In the end, the entire process saves both parties significant time and effort — time that is useable to accomplish other tasks.

Overall, I think our productivity and efficiency have really gone up with the flexibility of being able to do it the way we feel comfortable in doing it.

Barbara Sessler

Erie County Recorder

Erie county is progressive in how it supplies constituents access to records and in how it keeps its records safe. The recorder’s office is tasked with protecting all the county’s public records dating back to 1838. That’s why it relies on a tiered approach, consisting of copying records to microfilm and relying on Tyler’s software as a service (SaaS) to deliver its Eagle software and store backups of county records offsite at one of Tyler’s two data centers.

While the county hasn’t digitized all its records yet, staff members are making real progress through the efficiencies gained from Eagle and its citizen self-service tool. They have more time available to work with a third party to scan and index all their remaining records going back year by year.

Results

Tyler’s Eagle records management and citizen self-service software has allowed the Erie County Recorder’s Office to continue to make progress towards a more efficient and digital future. The office was able to completely change the way work gets done daily in the office with the implementation of individual workstations and handing documents back to constituents at the time of recording. Now staff members no longer take time mailing documents or spending money on postage.

Everyone also has their own cash drawer instead of sharing one at the main counter, which has increased accountability, accuracy, and made balancing the drawers at the end of the night easier. Problems can be easily investigated since every transaction can be traced back to one staff member.

When it comes to being prepared for disasters, the recorder’s office feels confident in the steps it has taken. In the case of a disaster, it can be up and running again immediately with access to all its digitized records and ready to serve its constituents. The county only needs access to a PC with internet connectivity.

Tyler is proud to support Erie County’s efforts as it continues to make great strides in its progress toward a more efficient and digital future.

Case Study Highlights

  • Staff time and mailing costs reduced
  • Records accessible even immediately after a disaster
  • eRecordings increased by 20%

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