David Suess, Fairfax CEO, Discusses the Grey Wave and the Need for Office Automation
As the demand for government services increases, citizens are depending on an effective and efficient government more than ever. However, meeting the needs of citizens is becoming a bigger challenge because of the "grey wave." Baby boomers in government are retiring earlier due to budget cuts, removal of retirement benefits, and natural aging. This early retirement creates two “gaps,” or inefficiencies, in government processes. Budget cuts create a workforce gap, as less people enter government positions and more people leave. Early retirement also creates a knowledge gap; the boomer generation in government possesses a lot of industry knowledge and expertise that originated before IT infrastructure. Without handing down this knowledge or storing it in technology, the expertise is lost as these people retire.
This is where office automation can help! By enhancing the government’s digital presence, automation can save time and money while making government operations easier. Better automation in government can essentially multiply the workforce by processing information a lot quicker than humans. Automation can also eliminate the knowledge gap, as computers and software can retain industry knowledge and processes. This is how office automation can combat the forces of retirement, resulting in increased productivity and lower costs.
To illustrate his point, David recalls how Fairfax Data Systems helped a State Environmental Protection Agency with their underground storage applications. By automating the application, the 6-8 month process was reduced to a 6 hour task. Fairfax decreased paper processes and alleviated human responsibilities. The new application contained intuitive questions using SmartForms, GPS integration, new automated billing, easy renewal, and the dynamic ability to adjust with changing legislation. Within two years of implementation, Fairfax was able to eliminate paper applications completely and installed a simple, intuitive underground storage application.
“Great technology, poorly implemented, is a failure,” says David. Here at Fairfax, we have the expertise that allows us to successfully incorporate technology into processes that people actually use. Thanks to our customers’ confidence in our expertise, we can continue to enhance government automation.