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About Ashland, OR
Ashland is a picturesque city in southern Oregon, nestled at the base of the convergence of the Siskiyou and Cascade mountain ranges at nearly 2,000 feet in elevation. The city is best known for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
The City of Ashland was challenged on many fronts. The ERP lacked the ability to provide detailed reporting for analysis. Data that was pulled took a long time to gather and then manually compile. The budget process required multiple staff resources and lacked transparency, creating distrust with the public.
Drive digital transformation through The OpenGov CloudTM to build public trust, save valuable staff time, and reallocate budget to more strategic needs.
We had a budget process that lacked transparency and lacked availability of data. All of the big ERPs have a weakness and that’s in reporting, pulling data, and doing analytical analysis. People wanted to see more than all the information included in a traditional budget book. Real-time information gives the public more trust.
In 2017, we had just begun using Munis budgeting, and our budgeting was largely being done in Excel. Our charts in the proposed budget didn’t match the summarized data. We tried to pull data for analysis, but it would take at least 30 minutes to pull one data point. Then it all had to be compiled. We also had a financial analyst leave, and we didn’t backfill. That position cost us around $110K. So, we were looking for a way to get the work done without needing to hire a FTE.
“OpenGov has been instrumental in enabling us to put all the data including line item details into the budget proposal and make it far easier to understand as the single source of truth. The technology innovation is why we’ve chosen to partner with OpenGov to drive our strategic vision forward.”
Mark Welch, Administrative Services Director, City of Ashland, OR
We chose OpenGov because of the ease of doing analytical analysis, which includes internal use and public facing. OpenGov also helps with forecasting and financial planning. The innovative technology met our needs for Ashland’s long-term strategic vision.
There are many benefits that we’ve experienced already:
Yes, we see OpenGov taking on a lot of our communications. Ultimately, everything has a financial impact. Being able to communicate through Stories to the public about what we’re doing has huge strategic impact long-term. And with performance measurement, OpenGov allows us to put in measures that actually have a meaning. We can track it in real-time, and see how we’re trending.
We see OpenGov being super instrumental, not only in Ashland, but across the country. The old way of producing a budget book is stale and doesn’t meet the needs of any government because it’s too structured and doesn’t allow the ability to communicate. The Stories piece and creating a budget book that is 100% integrated and online is key for all governments.
Think about it: We spend months producing this budget book and printing it for people who never look at it. So we see OpenGov as a way to improve communication both to the public and internally, create the flexibility for departments to use the budget and communicate it to the public. Having an online, interactive platform is a springboard into all the information you’d ever want in terms of budget. The budget book is traditionally a snapshot in time where we never go back and report on that table. In OpenGov, we can start to track how we’re performing (actuals vs budget) and improve our ongoing operations. That innovation is why we’ve chosen to partner with OpenGov to drive our strategic vision forward.
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