Southfield-based company helps local governments to share services

As officials at all levels of government look at sharing services to
save money, companies such as ImageSoft, Inc. in Southfield have the
goods to show them how.

ImageSoft is hosting a summit on the
topic of shared services June 8 in Lansing. Oakland County Deputy
Executive Robert Daddow will be keynote speaker and share Oakland’s
success stories of shared services in a presentation titled: “Shared
Services — Politics Versus Reality.”

While fire and police and
similarly high profile departments are often the targets of
consolidation, the focus of ImageSoft’s Enterprise Content Management
software is documents and work flow-labor intensive, costly and often
inefficient areas that come with serving the public.

Scott Bade, president of ImageSoft,
a 15-year-old company recognized as one of Metropolitan Detroit’s 101
Best and Brightest Companies to Work For and winner of the 2010 Best Fit
Integrator Award from the Center for Digital Government, says the
software is ideal for human resources, billing and other financial
areas, permitting and even dog licensing.

The software doesn’t
eliminate paper but cuts it and the processes that go with it way back.
Data entry duties are saved, the need for multiple servers can be
eliminated, as can the space and IT staff they require. The idea is to
eliminate redundancy and cut costs without sacrificing quality of
services, he says.

The software lets communities share data
collection and storage, hardware, and expenses, and allows for processes
to be centralized and knowledge shared.

“The software in
general is going to save money because it makes your staff 20-30 percent
more efficient,” Bade says. “Unfortunately in a lot of cities the
adoption rate is pretty low…A lot of that is changing because of shared
services.”

Shared services is not a new concept, but recently
more and more bodies of government are taking a hard look at it as they
look to slash budgets, especially as the proposed state spending plan
needs to make up a $2 billion shortage. Gov. Rick Snyder is asking
communities to put the shared services concept into practice as a money
saver.

Bade says Oakland County is a prime example of sharing
services successfully. In addition to Oakland County using ImageSoft,
Washtenaw County is using it to share services with Ann Arbor and
Ypsilanti. With the system they share storage, a server, and disaster
recovery. Grand Traverse County uses the software to collaborate with
Traverse City as do cities on the west side of the state, Bade says.
ImageSoft also provides similar software solutions for banking, health
care, courts, insurance and other organizations with vast amounts of
document requirements.

Separately, cities in Macomb County have
banded together to talk consolidation, and other cities are combining
libraries, police dispatch, and other areas.

The summit is free
and is geared toward state, county and local government officials of all
levels and areas of expertise. It will be held from 7:30 a.m. – 3:30
p.m. at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development and will
include continental breakfast and lunch.  For more information or to
register go to
www.imagesoftinc.com/government-summit-2011.html

Source: Scott Bade, president ImageSoft Inc.
Writer: Kim North Shine


A version of this story previously appeared in Metromode.