Government of Millions Implements FormAssembly to Improve City-Wide Data Collection
Case Study Snapshot
Meet Andres, Information Security Manager in the City of Hillwood.* Hillwood is among the largest cities in the country and is home to several million individuals. A city of that size is operated by hundreds of full time staff members, a city council of over 50 officials, and a dozen other elected representatives. In Andres’ department, there are over 100 full-time staff members dedicated to overseeing the city and its entities’ Information Technology & Telecommunications initiatives.
*Disclaimer: Although this case study contains factual numbers and legitimate use cases from a FormAssembly customer, in order to retain customer privacy, the names and locations have been fictionalized to Hillwood. The form advocate’s name and image has also been changed to retain customer privacy.
The needThousands of forms and millions of submissions mean massive compliance needs.
Due to the size and vastness of Hillwood’s city organization, Andres shared that there had been security compliance complications with a vendor in the past, and that all existing web forms would need to be replaced.
Within the year and a half before the city implemented FormAssembly, staff had nearly 3,000 web forms in use, and one form had received more than 105,000 submissions. Moving forward, the city anticipated 1-2 million yearly submissions. Frustrated with the amount of staff time spent on data collection and form building for all of the city’s departments, Andres sought a solution that was reliable, user-friendly, and secure.
"Andres sought a solution that was reliable, user-friendly, and secure."
The solutionThe only form builder and data collection platform on the FedRAMP marketplace
Andres found FormAssembly’s Government Cloud package, the only form builder and data collection platform on the FedRAMP marketplace, to fill the compliance and usability gaps he was searching for. Outlined below, he shares the progress and changes that Hillwood has seen since investing in FormAssembly as their one-stop solution for secure data collection.
How is FormAssembly changing data collection in municipal agencies within local government?
- Secure and reliable data collection (FedRAMP Ready)
- Streamlined processes
- Saving staff time and resources
- Cross-departmental usability
- User-friendly templates, connectors, and integrations
- Eliminating person-to-person contact and paper waste
Secure and Reliable Data Collection
A governing body of millions simply cannot afford to risk security and compliance issues, specifically with sensitive information like tax documents and rent applications. FormAssembly offers state-of-the-art security and compliance features, including HIPAA compliance, PCI DSS Level 1 certification, FedRAMP readiness, encryption at rest and in transit, and more. With these high standards of security and compliance, government agencies are able to maintain peace of mind while collecting large amounts of sensitive data.
FormAssembly has several key features that simplify data collection across government agencies. These key features were identified as being helpful for the city of Hillwood, given that they span across multiple departments and have over 100 employees:
- The ability to grant access to multiple forms and form owners in one program
- Trustworthy and reliable integrations that make it easy to house and organize sensitive data
- Payment connectors like Stripe, PayPal, and iATS that collect, store, and process payment information
- Pre-built form templates
- An Implementation Services team with knowledgeable specialists that can provide onboarding assistance, training, support, and more
Saving Time and Resources
The staff employed by local governments have the large and important job of serving their communities through many outlets. FormAssembly provides these staff members a solution that prevents them from spending hours creating forms by hand, inputting and organizing data, or collecting information over the phone. On average FormAssembly customers reported spending 55 hours weekly on manual data entry and form building. Our simple tool puts precious time back into their day and back into their community. Additionally, FormAssembly customers shared that employees manually imputing data and building forms were paid an average of $26.60 per hour. This means by investing in FormAssembly they were not only saving 2,860 employee hours yearly, but also $76,076.
“By investing in FormAssembly they were not only saving 2,860 employee hours yearly, but also $76,076.“
Another key reason the City of Hillwood chose FormAssembly was because it is versatile, customizable, and powerful enough to streamline data collection processes across their entire organization, rather than just one department. This makes it possible for staff to spend less time tracking down submissions, eliminates communication and data silos, and ensures security & compliance across the entire city. Sanitation services, parks and recreation, local police and fire rescue services, housing, transportation services, gas and water, events, and several other departments are able to utilize FormAssembly in their own ways to better serve the community. Here are some of the ways these departments have used the platform:
- Events: Requests for proposals, vendor applications
- Public Safety: Complaint forms
- Tax Office: Tax prep and filing Forms
- Housing: Rent application forms
- Police Department: Request for event security forms
- Public Works: Bill payment forms, service requests
- Planning and Zoning: Building permit applications
- City Services: Liquor license forms, business license forms
User-Friendly Templates, Connectors, and Integrations
Andres and his team were looking for streamlined processes that they could count on to save time and resources. FormAssembly’s templates, connectors, and integrations helped them do just that.
FormAssembly templates give city staff the freedom to build something customized and unique without having to reinvent the wheel. The template library includes a variety of pre-built forms broken into different categories so they’re easy to find, implement, and customize. Users can also save existing forms into their template library to easily recycle in the future. “FormAssembly templates make form building so easy. Quality government templates are only one click away,” Andres said.
FormAssembly’s connectors and integrations also helped Andres and his team expand the capabilities of the manual form-building processes that they were using before. Seamless integrations to other systems like Salesforce, Google, Stripe, iATS, and Paypal relieved staff members of menial, time-consuming tasks like manual data collection and entry. Departments are now able to accept payments, reservations, and applications online through the reliable platform. With the power of Salesforce-connected data collection, filtering and reports have never been easier. The simplicity, accountability, and ease of FormAssembly’s integrations and connectors have also given Andres and his team some relief from human error in data collection, which means they are collecting the most accurate data they’ve received to date. This is especially important when dealing with sensitive government data such as social security numbers and bank account numbers.
Eliminate person-to-person contact and paper waste
In an effort to provide a safe working environment for his staff, Andres was also able to use FormAssembly to limit person-to-person contact through the COVID-19 pandemic. His staff was able to work remotely while simultaneously offering more services, support, and amenities to the people of Hillwood via online forms. Reducing face-to-face interactions allowed his staff to care for their families, their own health, and the health of the people they serve on a daily basis. With FormAssembly, the city was able to provide easier options for citizens that needed to pay water bills, receive aid in filing taxes, apply to be a vendor in an online arts event, or participate in any other opportunities their 3,500 forms offer. By transitioning to a mostly online platform for data collection, the City of Hillwood has also been able to save thousands of dollars in paper, ink, and office supplies. Additionally, they’ve been able to save space and improve accessibility with digital files in place of physical files.
For large government entities like Hillwood, the switch to FormAssembly doesn’t happen overnight, but it has proven to be effective. Hillwood has now streamlined processes for more than 12 departments, created user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing forms, and is able to rely on FormAssembly for all of its secure, powerful data collection needs. By replacing the 100-person IT team with 300 FormAssembly licensed users, the results that city staff are seeing in less than a year have been more than enough to reassure them of their decision. With 40+ hours of consulting calls to help the city’s 300 licensed users get to know the product, the transition was much easier for the team than anticipated.
Given all the necessary knowledge through training, the employees of Hillwood are able to utilize all of FormAssembly’s capabilities to the fullest, and they are also able to train newly onboarded employees to do the same. Freeing up 100 full-time employees to direct their attention to other pressing matters will not only help them improve and expand in departments that were not previously given the necessary attention, but it will also ease the frustrations of the IT staff that were putting so much time and effort into data collection and online forms. FormAssembly has provided much needed relief during unprecedented times and has empowered the city of Hillwood team to become better stewards of the data they collect.