The number of physical and electronic documents in offices is growing, making the processes in which they are involved more complex. The requirements for accessing and sharing this data are increasing accordingly. This evolution requires more responsive IT systems in order to optimise the efficiency of public administrations and the quality of service provided to citizens. Indeed, optimised electronic processing can considerably speed up a number of processing or decision-making processes.

The Municipalities of Pully and Belmont-sur-Lausanne, aware of these challenges, decided to jointly launch a study for the implementation of Enterprise Content Management (ECM), more commonly known as Electronic Document Management (EDM). This is a set of tools and processes for optimising the organisation, management and use of documents, whether they have been created electronically or digitised using a scanner. It includes the following steps :

  • creation, acquisition of the document ;
  • identification using metadata (specific properties enabling the document to be classified and then searched for in the tree structure);
  • storage and archiving or disposal.


The benefits of such a project include

  • reducing the circulation of physical files between departments to improve their efficiency, reduce processing times and promote e-government
  • compliance with the legal framework imposed by the Data Protection Act and the Information Act (loi sur la protection de données, loi sur l'information)
  • Involving the responsibility of each employee in the entire life cycle of documents by ensuring compliance with the cantonal recommendations on archiving;
  • facilitating the sharing of electronic documents within the organisation and with external service providers.


Our implementation strategy includes the following phases:

  • acquisition of an Electronic Document Management (EDM) software;
  • gradual migration of all electronic files to the software;
  • automation of internal processes such as document archiving and disposal;
  • digitisation and electronic processing of processes such as building permits.


Today, the phase of switching over the electronic files is underway and will be completed by the end of the first half of 2022. Approximately 750,000 files have been imported out of an estimated total of 1,750,000 for both administrations.


Digitisation of the building permit process

This project was divided into three phases:


  • analysis and optimisation of existing processes ;
  • design of the processes in the EDM tool and production start-up;
  • digitisation of the physical archives.


During the first phase, particular emphasis was placed on the following points :


  • saving time in the processing of the different steps of the process
  • improving the visibility and accessibility of files both internally and externally
  • communication using the digital resources available, such as the website or the City's map counter, particularly for disseminating files during public enquiries;
  • systematic archiving of files in order to guarantee long-term conservation in accordance with the standards in this field.


The second stage consisted of computer developments on our EDM software to produce a tool that is as well adapted as possible to this process. This stage is now being finalised and we should be able to work in the new environment by the end of 2021.


Finally, the third and last stage will aim to facilitate access to all files, including the oldest ones, dating from the pre-computer era. Thus, once the physical archives have been digitised, our EDM will provide a single point of access for all files related to building permits. This will allow us to provide a fast, efficient and modern response to internal or external consultation requests. This step is also underway. More than 7,000 files and 100,000 documents are now inventoried, digitised and accessible. This work should be completed by 2024.