As organizations look to become more digital across industries, governments and locales are undergoing the same challenges. And the past year has obviously been full of massive challenges on the state and local government level. The counties that are truly successful have been able to pivot to a digital-first approach and stay connected remotely.
That is why it is so exciting that Mono County, California has been ranked No. 2 in the 2021 GovTech Digital Counties Survey for their work the past year. Mono County has 14,000 residents and are ranked in the category for counties up to 150,000 residents in the survey.
Nate Greenberg, Director of Information Technology for Mono County and the Town of Mammoth Lakes, California, has been navigating digital transformation challenges for Mono County with Quickbase playing a major role in that transformation.
Here is how Greenberg leverages Quickbase in his county, to track mission critical data and automate workflows, and the impact it has made for his team.
Greenberg sits in an interesting position, serving both the County of Mono and the Town of Mammoth Lakes. In working with management, county administrators, and elected officials, Greenberg focuses on finding solutions that are beneficial to both the Town and the County.
This includes spending a fair bit of time developing high-level technology strategy. Unfortunately, depending on a lot off-the-shelf software has its challenges for a department with a lot of specific workflows to solve for.
“Historically, we had a mix of custom-developed applications that fit specific niches, and purpose-built applications that solved larger issues,” Greenberg said. “We spent a lot of time to implement software and still struggled with support, and would still have challenges in terms of meeting customer needs.” This led to a set of solutions that Greenberg said were “cobbled together, but didn’t necessarily work with one another.”
Since the county initially didn’t have a dedicated developer, they needed a specific, customizable project management solution including service, time management, and more.
“Because we’re unique given how small we are and with regard to how we operate, so virtually all COTS solutions we looked at were falling short of our needs,” Greenberg said. Because of this, they pivoted to use Quickbase initially to build out a small-scale ERP for internal IT operations. Success here led to extending their no-code capabilities throughout the organization into other areas like HR Management, permitting, and application tracking for new employees.
“The work that we did around COVID spawned a greater interest in Quickbase to fill gaps, or to find functionality that didn’t previously exist for them,” Greenberg said. And as staff throughout the organizations are becoming more comfortable with the no-code paradigm, it is becoming easier to replace other solutions with new Quickbase apps. “We can [fill our needs] quicker and more cost effective,” he added.
The County has also begun to set up governance around roles and responsibilities, with more people getting comfortable and more involved in developing with Quickbase. The IT team is focused on putting all of the important guardrails in place that can allow those across the County’s staff to optimize their own processes.
“These efforts expand that ring of scope and capacity for [business users], and kind of shrinks it a little bit for my team,” Greenberg said.
This rapid application development has brought major benefits to the County of Mono. With Quickbase, the county could take processes that were formerly disconnected and manual, and make them automated and connected. Further, these processes that historically took hours, now take minutes. “We’re seeing subject matter experts that are tech savvy have their minds blown by how quickly things can be developed and implemented,” Greenberg said, sharing that one routine process that was taking a staff member hours to complete now solved with “four button clicks.”
Further, the agility that the County had built made disruption much easier to navigate.
“Our COVID-19 response app was built in a week,” Greenberg said. “That put powerful functionality in the hands of our Public Health staff months ahead of the products the State built and set us up well to perform case management, contact tracing, and vaccine distribution.”