Peoria County Working Smarter With Eagle

Industry: County Government
Location: Peoria, Illinois
Number of Employees: 6
Population: 183,011
Number of Years as a Tyler Client: 7
Tyler Products Used: Eagle, EnerGov, Modria®, Odyssey, Tyler 311

Challenge

In 2014, the management of Peoria County’s public records was in a state of transition. The county had just passed a referendum to eliminate the recorder’s office and merge its responsibilities with the clerk’s office by 2016. The county made the impending move to reduce costs, help county staff work smarter, and deliver better service to constituents. As a result of the move, the county needed to bring employees from two different floors together and cross train on the responsibilities of both offices.

During the same timeframe, county officials decided to replace the existing records management software with Tyler’s Eagle records management and citizen self-service software. While the move added to the complexity of the task at hand, officials felt the timing was best given the high degree of dissatisfaction with the previous software provider and customer support, particularly around the challenging and complicated remote records access for title companies. This meant that employees from both offices would need to get up to speed quickly on the new Eagle software if the transition was to be successful.

All around, the Tyler software is really great. It is a very robust and user-friendly software, and it definitely meets all of our needs and exceeds our expectations. I’ve been very happy with everything.

Mike Deluhery

Chief Deputy

And not to be lost in all the shuffle were the efforts made by the recorder’s office pre-merger to digitize and preserve the county’s historical records. The county wanted to continue this critical project and make more records available to constituents via a citizen self-service tool. The problem was the process had been slow moving to that point, with only five years of historical records scanned and indexed over eight years. The county needed help if it was going to scan and index all its records back to 1825.

Solution

Fast forward to 2019. The county clerk’s office has finished its transition and is now running at full speed. An office that depended on 10 employees to manage recordings before the merger now only needs four. While this is partly due to volume, it’s also attributed to efficiencies gained by Tyler’s Eagle records management and citizen self-service software.

The freedom to define their own workflows has helped staff work smarter on a daily basis. They decide when, how, and who receipts, records, scans, indexes, and verifies recording requests instead of having to follow a rigid, linear process. Now employees record documents and hand them right back to the constituent, avoiding the time-consuming process of handing them off to multiple people in the office to complete various tasks. These documents are then available via the county’s self-service option in minutes, rather than days.

When it comes to the digitization of historical records the county has made tremendous progress. To expedite the process, the county took advantage of Tyler’s partnership with US Imaging. It contracted with the company, who specializes in image-scanning projects for local government offices, to scan over two million pages of records. US Imaging set up shop a block away — strategically to keep the records close in the event the county needed them — and scanned records around the clock.

The whole process went exponentially faster than if the county had continued to try and do it in-house. As US Imaging scanned images, county staff got to approve the quality and have them rescanned if necessary. US Imaging even let them know if they found any missing images at any point they would come back and scan them at no additional charge.

Once the image scanning was completed and approved, the county worked with Tyler to input them into the Eagle Historical Index™ module, which organizes records using a familiar, intuitive folder structure. The software breaks down each index into smaller subsets to make searching by title companies and other constituents as easy as possible, especially when it comes to the county’s track index.

Some of the biggest beneficiaries of these newly digitized historical records have been the title companies who work closely with the county. Now they can find exactly what they need from any PC with internet access, instead of having to make a trip down to the clerk’s office.

Similarly, when title companies want to record documents they can submit and record documents online from anywhere through one of Tyler’s approved eRecording partners. The county office receives their eRecording requests and then can either accept them or send them back for corrections. The process is convenient and efficient for title companies and saves the clerk’s office time spent dealing with foot traffic in the office and the scanning of documents.

Results

With the time gained from allowing constituents and title companies to eRecord documents, the county has been able to focus efforts on other important tasks, such as the digitization of historical records. Staff spend time proofing the images from US Imaging to ensure they are accounting for every record and that they are quality images. eRecordings in the county only make up about 25% of the total recordings, so there is the potential to free up even more time to complete other projects in the office as more people turn to submitting their requests online.

The county has made extensive headway in its digitization efforts as well. Now more than 20 indexes are available in Eagle’s Historical Index module for constituents to conduct research. It continues to work with US Imaging to finalize the project and rescan images as necessary.

When county employees have questions or issues when working in the Eagle software, they know they can rely on Eagle’s support team for help. They have been incredibly happy with how responsive their Tyler team has been during the transition and during the back-scanning project.

In the end, Peoria County is happy with the office transition, its progress in digitizing historical records, and how Eagle create efficiencies in the newly combined office.

Delivering Advanced Functionality to the Modern Recording Office

Tyler’s Eagle land and official records management solution has been an industry leader for more than 40 years by providing the advanced functionality recording offices need to achieve the highest levels of efficiency, accuracy, and customer service. We help you accomplish more with fewer keystrokes and fewer screens.

By using Tyler’s Eagle software, you can take advantage of the industry’s most advanced tools to easily manage the recording and filing of your jurisdiction’s land records, birth, death, and marriage certificates, transfer documents, trust deeds, mortgages, notary bonds, Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) records, tax liens, and more. You can tackle your biggest financial and recording challenges with features that ensure:

  • Efficient workflow
  • Indexing
  • Records retrieval
  • Imaging
  • Cashiering
  • Public access

Case Study Highlights

  • Staff hand original document back at time of recording and post digital version to self-service tool in minutes
  • County has partnered with US Imaging to digitize over two million pages of records
  • Over 20 indexes are now available in the Eagle Historical Index™ module

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