Friday, September 22, 2023

Like the Little Engine That Could Veronica Lomas Keeps Moving Down the Track

Governments are well-known for generating piles of paperwork and maintaining thousands of records and public documents. This results in a mountain of information that someone must organize and properly manage. Fortunately for Southlake, Deputy City Secretary Veronica Lomas has stepped up to the challenge and keeps the document management program moving forward, no matter how difficult the terrain.

Veronica is responsible for managing a system to capture, track, store, and dispose of records. Each record has a life cycle, from creation to active document, to disposition. Working to ensure that Southlake is compliant with state law by meeting retention requirements, Veronica and department liaisons have the challenge of ensuring that paper and electronic documents are maintained efficiently and correctly secured.

“Since coming to Southlake, Veronica has worked with city departments on important projects to better manage documents,” said City Secretary Amy Shelley. “Her leadership to maximizing the use of Laserfiche has resulted in many of the city’s business functions becoming paperless, and great efficiency has been achieved. She is working hard to reduce manual tasks and improve our interaction with citizens.”

An example of a successful project includes digitization of a complex human resource process, open enrollment. Working with HR Business Partner Dylan Welch, efficiencies were gained as follows:

  • Use of paper was reduced from approximately 13,500 pieces of paper to 0.
  • Form distribution was reduced from approximately 12 hours to less than 30 minutes.
  • Employee election data entry process reduced from 40 hours to about two.
  • Data entry into enterprise software reduced from eight hours to about two.
  • Eliminated duplicate data entry, handwriting interpretation, improving accuracy.

Open enrollment is only one successful project. Other work has included digitizing the public safety personal history statements process, improving the City’s board and commission appointment process, vendor performance evaluations, and recreation incident reports.

Veronica and departmental partners have won awards and been recognized for their work by the DocuNav/Laserfiche User Group. This is because the Southlake team is viewed as role models for innovation and the documentable efficiency gains.

Veronica is fond of saying, “It takes a village” to achieve success, a humble expression of her commitment to work with city departments. And always optimistic, she sees plenty of

opportunity for the future – additional automated business processes, increased digitization, more efficient records management, reduced need for records storage, and better transparency.

When it comes to managing documents, Veronica’s know-how, commitment, and ability to work with others ensures that city business processes can be transformed into a successful digital experience.

Like the Little Engine that Could, Veronica just keeps chugging along, making progress day-by-day, driving innovation and efficiency all along the way. For her exceptional work, she is recognized as one of the City’s Unsung Heroes.