Face it. Twenty million pieces of paper is a lot of paper.
That’s the estimated amount of paper currently being stored at UNLV, according to electronic document management specialist Craig Topple.
Topple, whose new unit is document imaging and storage services (DISS), says Business Affairs alone is storing around 7 million pieces.
He and his new office are out to change that by providing cost-effective, high-quality document scanning and storage to units across campus.
RebelDocs, which operates on Hyland’s OnBase software, is certified by the U.S. Department of Defense, Topple said. His unit currently is focused on document scanning and storage and will be expanded to include forms and workflow, he explained.
One important thing to remember, Topple said, is that DISS is a cost-recovery unit, meaning it is not out to make a profit, but instead just to break even. UNLV offices that are using off-campus companies for the services now offered by DISS should do a cost comparison, he suggested.
The Lee Business School already has started using some of the department’s services for its advising center. Previously, when a student walked into the advising center, a student worker pulled a physical file and delivered that paper file to an advisor, who then could start helping the student.
When the university transitioned to remote operations for COVID-19, physically pulling and re-filing 20 or 30 files a day became time-consuming and inefficient. This obsolete process meant advisors had less time to devote to student success.
“Digitizing our files was something we were thinking about for a long time,” said Beth Gersten, Lee’s assistant dean for undergraduate programs. The advising center had already started creating electronic files for every new student, but they needed a solution for returning students. COVID-19 just made it a priority.”
DISS now is scanning every student file. When the project is complete, each advisor will have access to and spend less time finding every file. This means they will once again offer drop-in services so students can be served by any advisor.
“Craig Topple is thoughtful, patient, and understanding,” Gersten said. “He went above and beyond to make this project happen.”
Scanning files isn’t the only service DISS offers. The department also prepares files for digitization, creates keywords, electronically indexes documents, integrates files into RebelDocs, provides physical document storage, and more. In the next few months, DISS will be able to assist departments with creating electronic forms and workflow. Visit the DISS website for a full breakdown of services and pricing.
Every department has different needs, so DISS holds preliminary consultations with each area to explain the services offered, estimated costs, and project needs.