TIMARU DISTRICT COUNCIL (TDC) Launches into a Digital World

OPEX® Falcon® scanners increased staff efficiency by 110%

The Background

The Timaru District Council (TDC), located in South Canterbury, New Zealand, consists of five different standing committees that handle governance and policy issues involved with a variety of different functions of the Timaru community, covering 2,737 square kilometers of South Canterbury with a population of 25,900 people. The TDC was spending hours collating and searching for the documents used in their everyday functions. Inefficient document processing is somewhat common. It tends to be a by-product of councils trying to serve their community while also wrestling with the mammoth task of manually storing, filing, and handling documentation coming across council desks. 

The Challenge

To solve this problem and to bring their document handling system into the online age and remote workspaces, TDC engaged Desktop Imaging to utilize its local government experience and digitise their property file records. Desktop Imaging executed this project using a state-of-the-art machine – the OPEX® Falcon+® scanner. Digitisation saved time and money by allowing council workers to forget complicated document handling procedures and ‘hone-in’ on their core roles. From a simple productivity perspective, document digitisation has been of immense value for the council! Not to mention the general staff morale boost from being freed from superfluous paperwork.

Key Challenges

Locating files quicker and remotely

Providing staff more meaningful and satisfying tasks

Minimising risk to document integrity

The Solution

Desktop Imaging has digitised over 25,500 physical files (~2 million pages) and created ~201,000 digital (PDF) files broken down by record type for ease of access. Without the speed and efficiency of the OPEX® Falcon+® scanner, it would’ve taken more than 2X this amount of time to transform this volume of paper records into digitised, easily-accessible versions.

Another key benefit was better accuracy. The digitisation provides for enhanced security against property files being misplaced or accidentally destroyed. In case of a disaster, everything is now backed up to the digital space ensuring documents can be recovered quickly and remotely. For TDC, this provided peace of mind that their Business Continuity Plan was secure.

Desktop Imaging’s expertise in document handling processes, combined with the power of the OPEX® Falcon+® scanner, made the process of bringing the Timaru District Council into a digital culture seamless. From the initial collection of the documents right through to the electronic delivery of the scanned files and the storage of confidential destruction of the hardcopies, Desktop Imaging was able to do all this while also facilitating public access to files so Council services experienced minimal disruption.

Key Results


Number of pages digitised


Increased efficiency


Amount of time needed to scan without OPEX

The Future

In order to prevent another paper build-up and fully capitalize on the new-found efficiencies, Timaru District Council have moved to a paperless process for generating and maintaining property files. Therefore efficiency gains are 110% maximised, staff are able to spend more time on tasks that increase their job satisfaction, adding greater value to this enterprise on all levels.

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