One central document generation tool for Sweden’s 21 county administrative boards
Sweden’s 21 county administrative boards cooperate on a national scale to work more efficiently. One way for the organization to do this, is to use SmartDocuments for document generation and template management. Elisabeth Mustonen is a template manager at Länsstyrelserna and shares her experience on working with SmartDocuments.
Länsstyrelserna is the collective name of the 21 county administrative boards in Sweden and has almost 8,000 employees. Each county board is an autonomous authority, but because of the Swedish government’s mission to work more efficiently, all boards cooperate in a nationwide IT organization. The authorities serve both civilians, businesses and other organizations, and send out huge amounts of documents, such as reports, decisions, and requests for application details. The scale on which Länsstyrelserna generates documents and the need to work more efficiently and uniformly, prompted them to procure SmartDocuments.
“In one year, our most frequently used template has generated over 52,000 documents.”
Centralized IT infrastructure
“Before, every county board had their own responsibility for creating documents. This means they all had their own solution; perhaps using templates in Microsoft Word, perhaps some template software tool, or simply reusing old documents. It was different for every board,” Elisabeth says. “The starting point which eventually led to the introduction of SmartDocuments, was the formation of a central IT department for all county boards. Once the IT structure was centralized, it made sense to look for a central template tool for all county boards. After all, the boards do the same business and should express themselves in a uniform way.”
Using the same templates for all boards
SmartDocuments was introduced to the organization in 2011. Elisabeth first worked with the software as an end-user and she became a template manager in 2015. “Nowadays we are a team of four people, managing document templates parttime for the whole organization. I work 50% of my time as a template manager in SmartDocuments. The other 50%, I work as a county veterinary. The other three template managers spend 25% of their time each on SmartDocuments. So, in total we are 1.25 template managers supporting 8,000 people with 350 templates (and growing). We create new templates and we change existing ones, for example when legal text needs to be updated.”
“It is very nice to be able to use the same templates for all boards,” she says. “We have about 350 templates across the organization. Some of these templates are used very often. In one year, our most frequently used template has generated over 52,000 documents. That is a huge amount, and there are many like this one that are often used.”
“There is no risk the user forgets to change a name or a date.”
An extensive tool
“When I started making templates, my perception of SmartDocuments changed. The product is much more advanced than I initially thought! There is just so much you can do with it,” Elisabeth says. SmartDocuments is integrated with three different Case Management Systems Länsstyrelserna currently uses. “The integrations with our Case Management Systems are very good, you can trust that information is retrieved correctly. Compliancy is of huge importance in our organization. With SmartDocuments, there is no risk the user forgets to change a name or a date like you would when reusing an old document. The fact that we can ensure that our documents are correct is really the biggest benefit of SmartDocuments.”
Developing & cooperating
“We are still developing in some areas and making sure everyone sees the benefit of working with the software tool,” Elisabeth says. “A year ago, we migrated to the web version of SmartDocuments. The added preview function was a huge improvement. It makes it fast and easy to test your template. A new development is also that we can see which county is using which template, and which isn’t using a template at all. This is helpful information, because now we can pursue them to start using it, improving our efficiency and making the whole organization expressing themselves in a uniform way.”
Elisabeth is happy to be working with the organization of SmartDocuments: “Whenever we have questions, we get a quick reply from our SmartDocuments consultant. He has also helped us develop a lot of templates and he trains new developers in using the software. It’s a very good cooperation. Also, the technical support is very professional,” Elisabeth concludes.