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.
Saving $110K Annually (1 Financial Analyst FTE)
67% Staff Time Savings for Preparing Budget
Saved 3-4 Hours of Reporting Time Per Month
Reduced Time Spent on Rework From 15% to 0%
What led you to seek a cloud-based solution?
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
Why did you choose OpenGov?
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.
What benefits are you experiencing by using OpenGov?
There are many benefits that we’ve experienced already:
- Return on Investment: We have realized a $110k annual savings from not needing to hire a full‑time financial analyst.
- Time savings with reporting: OpenGov has changed how we do our monthly reports to departments. We put out a standard Munis report and redirect it to OpenGov which saves three to four hours per month for accountants. It’s been a very well-received new process.
- Time savings with budgeting: We just completed our first budget cycle using OpenGov budgeting, and the time savings was tremendous. We went from a process that involved three employees spending 80% of their business day over a three week period to just one employee spending 80% of their time over a three week period. That’s a 67% time savings across the team!
- First-ever interactive budget book: We’re proud to have launched the first-ever interactive Budget Book using OpenGov! This is a game-changer for internal stakeholders and the public.
- Building internal and external trust: Our department users are comfortable using OpenGov, and the department heads have been very supportive of it. They like being able to see the real-time impact when they input the budget into OpenGov versus having to wait for a report to be run. It also equates to less work for staff, as people can self-serve. It used to take 30 minutes per data point each time we received a question from the budget committee and we had to pull the data and produce the analysis; now it’s down to 10 seconds through 5 quick clicks. As a result, we’ve built a strong relationship with the budget committee and the public because of the trust built through using OpenGov to share and access real-time data.
- No more rework: We’ve been able to reduce the amount of time spent on rework from 15% to 0%, due to removing the manual rework steps in our process by moving to The OpenGov CloudTM
Do you view OpenGov as a strategic partner?
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.
Related Case Studies
Ready to get started?
Or call (650) 336-7167