Bloomfield Township to modernize its document management system

System to address 200 years of paper archives

By: Mary Beth Almond | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published February 21, 2024


BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — In an effort to update its document management system, Bloomfield Township has enlisted the help of Detroit-based Security Archives Data Management.

Township Clerk Martin Brook said the project will help identify each department’s needs in storing all documents and records in one place.

“What we’re doing here is we want to have a comprehensive document management system,” Brook explained. “Right now, we have paper archives that go back almost 200 years, scanned documents, a local iDrive where we store different records, and desktops where people store records. It is not a comprehensive way of doing it.”

Security Archives — which recently completed the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department retention manual and a reorganization of Grosse Pointe Public School’s system management records program — will help the township develop a request for proposals to identify a document management vendor.

The project — which is estimated to cost the township $169,000 — is one of many scheduled to be completed through the $4.5 million awarded to the township through the American Rescue Plan Act.

“We’re excited to be engaged with the township in this particular assignment,” said Taylor Lydon, the president of Security Archives Data Management. “We’ve been selected to lead and assist the township in identifying, selecting and implementing a document management system that will take into consideration all the departmental records — both physical and digital — and make sure that it integrates with (the township’s) local environments — including the tools, systems and processes (in place).”

Bill Saffady, the lead project manager, said the project will have five phases and will take about 12 months — six of which will be spent interviewing all township departments to determine their needs. The five phases include meeting with township project managers, stakeholders and IT; interviewing department units; putting together a needs assessment and implementation plan; the RFP and vendor selection processes; and implementing tasks and services.

“This is a pretty straightforward project. That doesn’t mean it’s a simple project. It’s a challenging one,” Saffady said. “Right now we are focusing on the information that we need to do the RFP, and the way that we do this is by meeting with the individual departments, discussing their records, determining what their requirements are, and trying to identify which among the records they maintain are candidates for a document management implementation, where you could realize some of the benefits of document management.”

So far the team has met with three departments — clerk, finance and engineering — and Saffady said the project is moving full-steam ahead.

“We don’t see any problem with bringing this project in on the timeline, or maybe even ahead of schedule,” he said.

“If we do this right, we’re going to be more efficient internally, more effective in doing our work and we’ll all have better access to the records,” said Brook.