Customer stories

County of Los Angeles, Department of Human Resources

County of Los Angeles achieves cost-saving digital makeover. Most populated U.S. county eases HR record access, disposition for enhanced productivity, compliance and millions in annual savings based on return on investment analysis

Challenges

  • Time consuming, manual appeals processing
  • Security, productivity limitations
  • Costly escalation of appeals crossing 60-day threshold

Results

  • Enabled streamlining of HR record access, employee onboarding

  • Produced timely, verified audits and reliable disposition

  • Estimated cost-savings of nearly $3.4 million per year

Story

The County of Los Angeles has 35 departments, close to 110,000 employees and more than 1,000 facilities across nearly 4,000 square miles. Each department maintains its own personnel files and records, with most documents stored in file cabinets and spare offices. The storage areas are part of limited space available to departments. When storage space runs out, some departments incur off-site storage fees. As such, a uniform application of records retention policies proved challenging.

A man writing on a notepad.

OpenText replaces the manual process of maintaining paper files with an automated, central and trusted system of electronic employee personnel records.

Roozan Zarifian
Chief Information Officer, County of Los Angeles, Department of Human Resources

Furthermore, paper-based file sharing involves time-consuming effort. To view files, employees need to make an appointment, then wait on couriers or travel to remote locations to pull documents. Information can be difficult to access or misplaced. Outdated manual methods also introduced compliance and security risk with delayed responses to record requests under information access legislation or subpoena. Even digital files lacked integration and central access.

The County assessed all personnel transaction processes, gathering information on personnel records handling frequencies and storage requirements. Starting with a pilot in three departments, the County established a central online repository of countywide personnel records with OpenText™ Documentum™ , with plans to replicate across all departments.

“OpenText replaces the manual process of maintaining paper files with an automated, central and trusted system of electronic employee personnel records,” said Roozan Zarifian, chief information officer at the County of Los Angeles Department of Human Resources. “It provides real-time, secure and auditable access and adheres to standard retention policies in accordance with County policies.”

The integrated Electronic Personnel Digitization and Records Management system (ePR) supports a strategic County goal to realize tomorrow’s government today by transforming how information is shared, protected and stored. As its foundation, Documentum provides an established file structure and searchable index keys. Single sign-on is achieved through the cloud-based SharePoint® Office 365™ portal for easy access and management.

Murtaza Masood, assistant director for Branch I, County of Los Angeles Department of Human Resources noted, “For the first time all personnel files will be centrally accessible from the cloud by the employee. It increases employee productivity by reducing manual processes.”

Building upon electronic access, the County is automating employee lifecycle workflows such as onboarding, transfer and termination. It turned to OpenText to govern all aspects of content management for its ePR system: OpenText™ Intelligent Capture to digitize paper documents, OpenText™ Documentum™ xCP for business process management and OpenText™ Records Management to automate retention and disposition.

The County ePR system also integrates with six enterprise HR systems to capture documents natively from source systems. The County is transforming manual processes by using up-front forms and electronic data, reducing the need to print and scan paper files. Down the line, users track document checklists, prompt notifications for annual and scheduled tasks, and audit compliance reports from a central location.

The Documentum central online repository for personnel records will continue to be replicated until all departments are transformed, touching every employee. The County of Los Angeles has seen many benefits since implementing the solutions:

  • By avoiding mailed paper documents, the County expedites onboarding for new employees and eliminates delays or travel for employees to view files.
  • HR staff members use advanced discovery features to search and retrieve additional material, increasing productivity with constructive tasks rather than paper shuffling.
  • Records managers now rely on Documentum to inform external audits in a timely, compliant and verified manner. They rest easy knowing digital retention and records management also safeguards files and provides recovery in the event of a natural disaster.

Along with benefits to employees, the County of Los Angeles estimates a substantial return on investment for the countywide ePR deployment. The Department of Human Resources conducted a return on investment (ROI) analysis quantifying time spent by HR staff to access and manage documents, copy files, recreate lost documents and transport material, as well as space used and expenses incurred to store the information.

For the first time all personnel files will be centrally accessible from the cloud by the employee. It increases employee productivity by reducing manual processes.

Murtaza Masood
Assistant Director for Branch, County of Los Angeles, Department of Human Resources

“Based on estimates provided by 33 departments, a County ePR system could save an estimated $2.9 million annually in efficiencies and cost avoidance and $488,000 in storage and office supply savings,” said Zarifian. Combined, estimated total cost savings approach $3.4 million per year. “After deployment to the first three departments we realized these savings to be accurate and reflective of actual cost savings,” Zarifian noted.

“There are also intangible areas such as the amount of time spent by employees to find a file that was misplaced, or liability costs associated with the keeping of records as physical files.”

Based on valuable return and effective integration, the County of Los Angeles relies on Documentum as a trusted system and OpenText as a trusted partner for future development. Moving forward, the County will continue to deploy ePR across all departments as well as introduce additional capabilities, including digital signatures with OpenText™ Brava!™ for Documentum™ xCP, enhanced capture with Intelligent Capture and digital rights powered by OpenText technologies.

About County of Los Angeles, Department of Human Resources

Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, is the most populous county in the United States, with more than 10 million inhabitants as of 2017. The Human Resources Department is responsible for a countywide human resources program to ensure fairness and equity for employees and citizens seeking employment with the County.

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