CASE STUDY

CITY OF CHARLOTTE

5th Method delivers training and implementation services for apps across organization

Challenge

Like many government organizations, the City of Charlotte relied on manual processes that were inefficient, sometimes ad hoc and prone to error.

When the city needed to find a new solution for its helpdesk system, planners saw an opportunity for efficiency organization-wide. But they would have to act fast — the new system needed to be up and running in just a couple months — and they would have to find something that worked well with the city’s large SharePoint investments.

Solution

Charlotte’s K2-based helpdesk system was built and implemented by 5th Method in less than 90 days.

All processes — application submission, communications, hiring and onboarding — are automated, paperless and easy to use. The solution works across multiple line-of-business systems, content management systems and record centers.

SharePoint, which Charlotte employees were already familiar with, acts as a foundation for the entire system. Documents and information are stored here, and tasks are accessed and completed here. Built-in notifications and escalations, handled by the K2 workflow engine, keep the processes moving; rules and policies prevent errors; and K2 visibility and reporting capabilities give Charlotte meaningful information that can lead to better decision-making or allow business consultants to identify process weaknesses.

“One of the most important things, for us, is the visual process map that you can get into and see real-time status,” Drury said. “[We] can see what the function is, the route of the process, any bottlenecks, etc.

“My bosses might not understand a workflow or how an application is built, but they understand productivity, cost savings and timelines.”

K2 offers multiple designers with simple interfaces, so applications can be created and changed by non-developers — without writing code. This ensures processes suit the organization’s needs perfectly; and it is important for the City of Charlotte, whose IT resources are often limited.

“We can also reuse workflows or parts of workflows to build new ones,” said Sonya Hawkins, a business process consultant for the city. “We don’t have to rip everything up. We can use what we have, pull it all together and make enhancements where we need to.”

With the success of this project, 5th Method was tapped to build out a vehicle requisition process, which works across many domains — police, administration, aviation, utilities and more — and other applications.

Support and training

In addition to these solutions, Charlotte engaged 5th Method for training and support. According to Drury and Hawkins, those services have been invaluable.

“K2 is easy to use, but [5th Method’s] training was immensely helpful,” Drury said. “And we have a complex environment with multiple servers, Web front ends, etc. Ron Douglass and Eric Eichler (5th Method principals) calmed our concerns, helped us to get everything to function correctly and helped us to get K2 to play nice with all our other apps and technologies.”

“5th Method has done everything we’ve asked,” Hawkins said. “They set up our systems, they answer our questions, they help us ask the right questions, and they have stuck with us through a lot of changes.

“They essentially gave us a groundwork and empowered our organization to get where we are, helped us to focus on the overall picture. Now we are rolling with it, and everyone is happy.”

LOCATION

Charlotte, NC

INDUSTRY

Government

SOLUTION BUILT

Multiple

SUMMARY

The City of Charlotte called on 5th Method to streamline multiple processes, including a helpdesk system that boosts efficiency and provides deep visibility.

BENEFITS
  • Faster processes
  • Easy to use, familiar tools
  • Errors eliminated
  • Visibility for better decisions and process improvement
  • Notifications and escalations keep processes moving
  • Works across line-of-business systems

LET’S TALK.

5th Method understands K2 better than just about anyone. Contact us, and we’ll schedule a demo or talk you through some potential solutions and benefits.

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