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Improving Efficiency Through Innovation


 

Buncombe County is committed to efficient and innovative, practices. Recently, Tax Assessment employee Eric Cregger took his passion for service and value in his job to lead the creation of an eco-friendly, paperless system for Land Records.

Recognizing certain challenges and issues with the system, Eric worked with staff and IT to develop a new system. “We are in continual review of our business processes to identify areas we can become more efficient and more productive,” states Tax Assessor Keith Miller. “Eric accepted the challenge of designing and implementing a paperless process for the land records department. This has been a successful endeavor. We are now spending less money, becoming more productive, and producing high-quality work due to this new process.”

While the new system took months to plan, test, and train staff on, it has proven to be well worth the time and effort. “This change hasn’t only benefited Land Records, but it’s improved our service to the Assessment staff, Planning, Permitting, and the citizens as well,” notes Eric. “We now have an organized drag-and-drop system that can be improved upon with ease at any time and should be an easy transition for future members of Land Records. As a Supervisor, I’m very fortunate to manage a staff that is willing to see the necessity and the upside in this big change, and they’ve been supportive from day one.”

 

Kudos to Eric and staff for identifying these issues and working with technology to improve and create a sustainable system for employees and citizens alike.

 

Benefits of Going Paperless for this System

  • Accountability. The Supervisor can now see who reviews and works the documents, thus enabling a Supervisor to quickly identify the source of any problems. 
  • Ease of tracking the workload. A quick and accurate count of the work waiting to be processed by the team is now readily available.
  • Ease of integration. Mimicking the old paper system helped the team easily adapt to the new structure. It has also allowed us to integrate more features into the system such as adding a section for our deceased owners and estate files. We now have an actual digital archive of any estate file or deceased owner form that has been submitted and worked.
  • A major decrease in human error. Typographical and ownership transfer errors entered into the system was an issue that could be sourced back to having a paper-based system without a set standard for notations. Now that we have easily enforced standards, the time addressing these kinds of errors has dropped by more than 50 percent.
  • Improved communications and teamwork. This environment promotes working on projects together and encourages communication within the team. We now have total transparency within the team and can easily share research and mapping projects.
  • Less stress, more efficiency. No longer having to wait on all of the deeds to be “verified” before has allowed us to be more efficient with our time and to not have to stress over when we can print. We can now work on the steady stream of verified deeds as they come in throughout the day.
  • Cost-savings. Land Records went from printing approximately 900 deeds per month at approximately 3 pages per deed to printing 0. If averaged throughout the year this cuts our paper cost by over $3,500 per year and cuts the cost of monthly printer maintenance and ink by 90%. The approximate amount of money in paper alone that we have saved since July is $1,100.