THE CHALLENGE: ANTIQUATED SOFTWARE AND PROCESSES
Shelby County, established in 1836 by the Congress of the Republic of Texas, is on the Eastern boundary of the state—with the Sabine River separating the County from Louisiana. As part of one of 12 counties that make up the area known as the Texas Forest Country, it is also a major component of the commonly described East Texas oil fields region, which over the years has experienced the ups and downs of the oil industry. Today, with a growing population of over 25,000, the oil boom has returned to the area—with mineral rights leases sometimes commanding nine times the price per acre they did just 10 years ago, and hundreds of oil and industry related companies making Shelby County their new home.
Besides administering all county and state elections, serving as clerk of the county court and the commissioners court, Allison Harbison, Shelby’s County Clerk is also the county’s Recorder of Deeds. Her office is responsible for ensuring that all land and other records are filed, recorded, and completely secured and accessible to the public. She is also responsible for the collection and accounting of all funds and fees paid to her office.
However, according to Harbison, over time, her office had begun to lose ground. “With the large increase in document filings—50% over the last three years—and ever mounting in-person, constituent requests for document copies coming into our cramped offices, we were fast losing ground both in the productivity and customer services front,” she said. “We were operating on an antiquated DOS system and we needed to move into the 21st century with a state-of-the-art, user friendly, and affordable system—a system that could take care of our needs now and into the future.”
Harbison’s most difficult challenges were: decreasing the office’s foot-traffic, increasing productivity and safeguarding the security of their documents, while allowing the County to provide better service to its constituents.