The City of Lahti

Solution cuts postal and waste management costs and reduces printing as well as the need for physical storage space. It speeds up the processes, reduces errors and improves the visibility of activities and decision-making.

The City of Lahti is the capital of the Päijänne Tavastia region in Finland and home to over 100,000 people. The municipality handles the local government responsibilities including environmental planning, land use, building permits, health care and education.

Lahti wanted to cut down the error-prone manual paper handling by moving to electronic content management. In the past Lahti had 15 people handling the archiving.

Storing, retrieving, removing and destructing records was very cumbersome and decision-making processes were slow as the physical papers travelled through the organization. Lahti spent significant effort on customer service.


Lahti chose the solution based on the world leading IBM Enterprise Content Management technology. The solution is used for smart archiving and electronic decision-making. IBM Document Manager handles the document management and is integrated with office applications and core operative systems, for example Geographic Information System, to provide a seamless user experience. The actual file plan definitions are maintained in IBM Records Manager that also manages the long-term retention and disposal of all the electronic records. IBM Content Manager is the centralized repository for the whole solution. Together these components offer a 100% paper-free system for decision making and archiving.

Benefit of the solution

The solution enables quick and effective archiving and case management for the benefit of the employees and also the local residents.

It boosts productivity by providing instant access to all relevant documents. Using the solution cuts postal and waste management costs and reduces printing as well as the need for physical storage space. It has been estimated that when all departments are using the solution Lahti will save 5 000 000 € per year.

Better service for the citizens

Given the continuously decreasing number of employees paper based business processes such as building permit applications took more and more time and human resources. Defining document metadata and processes as well as process execution was challenging.

Lahti wanted to operate faster and more efficiently and also offer better customer service for their citizens. Today the citizens are able to access all electronic services provided by Lahti through Municipal Account.

From paper archive to electronic only archiving

In 2011 Lahti acquired Elinar solution that is based on Finland National Archives (NARC) standard SÄHKE2 (based on European MoReq2 standard). In 2013 NARC granted permission for Lahti to use paperless electronic archival of permanent records.

Lahti was the first city in Finland to get the permission.

All of the municipal government’s systems, for example municipal decision-making and environmental planning system, have been fully integrated to automatically create documents and records to achieve a seamless user experience. IBM Content Classification is also included to fill in all required and optional metadata for the documents automatically by using advanced learning and classification algorithms.

For better classification results in future end users give feedback to the classification engine by accepting the results or making changes to them. Using the intelligent and automated document classification the number of errors will be reduced and the time can be used for more productive work. The solution significantly decreases the time needed for document entry and classification results stay consistent and correct regardless of person.

The faceted search functionality provided by IBM Content Analytics allows users to search from both record metadata and document content. The information can be located virtually in many dimensions, in example business process, people involved, team involved and location.

In addition the advanced decision-making with IBM Case Manager supports the quality and productivity requirements of Lahti by optimizing the work being done.

Fluid preparation and decision-making

The solution speeds up the processes, reduces errors and improves the visibility of activities and decision-making. The most important benefit of the solution is doing less: The employees of Lahti are now able to focus on the high value work instead of processing papers as Elinar ARTO manages the processes seamlessly between all the different actors.

Enterprise content management with the intelligent classification and full text search automate several work phases related to entering and moving the data.

It also substantially reduces the possibility of errors and delays associated with manual work.


IBM Content Manager Enterprise Edition, IBM Content Classification, IBM Records Manager, IBM Document Manager, IBM Case Manager and IBM Content Navigator.

Photo: City of Lahti.

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