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Going Digital: The journey to modernize field inspections.

Cuyahoga SWCD’s tagline is “Leading conservation in the urban landscape”. Breaking it down a bit really highlights the core of what we strive to accomplish as a District. Being a leader in conservation means Cuyahoga SWCD makes it a point to stay informed about the latest trends in the industry and works to implement innovative ideas in the field. Working in an urban landscape means that Cuyahoga SWCD deals with a high volume of projects in a unique and sometime harsh landscape. In order to remain on the cutting edge of storm water management and provide quality services to our partner communities we have undertaken an effort to modernize how we conduct field inspections and produce reports by utilizing technology based solutions. Below is a brief description of the process that we have gone through to date.

As with most modernization projects, the idea to revamp how Cuyahoga SWCD conducts field inspections and prepares reports started with some causal conversation amongst staff members. We questioned whether there was a better way to do our daily work or if there were efficiencies that could be gained within the existing process. An idea about creating a fillable form using a Microsoft Office or Adobe product was initially floated thus beginning our journey toward a digital future.

Along the way the Cuyahoga SWCD staff participated in brain-storming discussions, discovery sessions, product webinars, online research, software vetting trials, and conversations with storm water professionals and non-industry professionals alike. There were times when we thought we had landed on a solution only to discover a new product or different approach that we had not previously explored.

While it has been a long road, nearly two years, the process has been enlightening and exhaustive. As a District we have identified our current needs, projected future requirements, and identified solutions that will meet our vision. At this time we are on the cusp of finalizing our research and making some decisions that will propel Cuyahoga SWCD to a new level and enable us to get conservation on the ground better than ever.

Stayed tuned over the next couple of months for more details…

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