50 years changes

I spent last week with the Missouri Community Action Agencies as they celebrated their 50-year anniversary. And it made me think about how technology changes in the past 50 years have affected how they do business.


When someone called a receptionist answered and filled out one of these

cap going paperless doesnt need phone message pads

Today you have


  • Direct-dial
  • Voice mail
  • Voce to text transcripton
  • Auto-attendants


They had to keep client information on paper

CAP customer database


Today they have


  • Computers
  • Databases on servers
  • Client management systems such as CAP60, empowOR, CAPsys, and THO
  • Online database
  • Cloud-based software applications


Applications were filled out by hand and mailed to the CAP agency

CAP application


Today they are


  • Applications can be filled out online
  • Paper applications scanned, converted to electronic files, and routed to staff for approval


Applications were stored in folders as they were passed around the office

CAP Application process


Today applications are

    • Stored in electronic folders in Laserfiche with all the additional documents and forms
    • Automatically routed through the office to team members to participate in the approval process
    • Never lost and can be retrieved in seconds
    • Laserfiche Workflow ensures that each application follows the organization’s policy and procedures
    • Can be found in seconds, so when a client calls to find the status of their applications, staff members can report the status immediately


Completed Applications were stored in filing cabinets

CAP EA applications stored electronically


Today completed applications are

              • Automatically filed
              • Stored in Laserfiche
              • Easily accessed by auditors remotely
              • Can be found in seconds



As you look at the processes that Community Action Agencies and any other organization used 50 years ago and you are still using them, it is probably time to look at improving your process. There have been a lot of technology changes in the past 50 years, it would be a shame if your organization is missing out on them.

If you would like to learn how going paperless changed one Energy Assistance Department, click here.

If you would like to talk about how you could update your processes and become more efficient and effective, reach out to me.

Larry Phelps – lphelps@hemingwaysolutions.net, 612-382-4069

You can also see more details on how CAP Agencies are going Paperless to save time.