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Morning Sun
  • County hears software pitch

  • Crawford County Commissioners and several county department heads viewed a presentation Friday by Debbie Trahan and Bruce Hardesty of Computer Information Concepts (CIC).



    Trahan said that CIC software is 100 percent integrated, PC-based and image-enhanced.

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  • Crawford County Commissioners and several county department heads viewed a presentation Friday by Debbie Trahan and Bruce Hardesty of Computer Information Concepts (CIC).
    Trahan said that CIC software is 100 percent integrated, PC-based and image-enhanced.
    “A lack of AS/400 functioning has resulted in many counties moving to PC-based systems,” Trahan said, noting that the State of Kansas has finished with AS/400, an IBM server that has been widely used by corporations, industry and government agencies.
    She said that budgeting/fund accounting is the hub of the CIC system, but that there are also plans for code compliance, cemetery records and other functions.
    “Our motto is ‘Kansas Solutions Designed by Kansas Officials’, and we consulted with numerous officials when we were working these programs out,” she said.
    CIC programs are used by 24 Kansas counties, Trahan said, including Johnson, Wyandotte and Sedgwick.
    “A total of 41 out of CIC’s 65 employees live in Kansas,” Trahan said.
    She noted that the CIC software is not stagnant, but that updates are done automatically as they become available.
    “You get a people wire on every change done and why it was done,” Trahan said.
    She added that CIC offers 24/7 support services, including immediate response to emergencies such as a system going down.
    “I did support for 8 1/2 years, and I  used to have to get in a car and drive to the county,” Trahan said. “Now that’s necessary in less than 1 percent of the emergency cases.”
    Commissioner Linda Grilz asked if counties using CIC had reduced their number of employees, thus leading to a savings based on fewer expenses related to employee salaries and benefits.
    “I don’t think they’re firing people,” Trahan said. “What tends to happen is that when people leave, they aren’t being replaced,”
    County EMS director Joey Adams said that his department currently uses  ZOLL Data Management, which develops software specifically for the EMS and fire industries.
    “Our ZOLL system integrates patient care and billing,” he said. “Do you have a package like that?”
    Trahan said that CIC had never tied in with patient care software, but could handle the billing.
    CIC also does not have a package specifically designed for  use by law enforcement agencies such as a sheriff’s department. However, Trahan said it does have a program for noxious weeks and is working on one for use by planning and zoning departments.
    “I think your package is great, but we are so tight on finances our people haven’t had raises in five years,” Grilz said. “I think it would send a bad message if we buy a new system when we have a paid-for system. It was my impression that we were not looking at all for a new software system. If we were shopping, we would have to take bids.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Commissioner Carl Wood took a different view.
    “What I’m looking for is accountability,” he said. “We’ve got people now putting things in with paper and pencil.  We’re in horse and buggy days. If you ask people for something now, they have to look in a drawer, but with this system, it would just take a touch of the finger. I think you have to spend money to make money.”
    County clerk Don Pyle said that in three or four years the county will probably need to go to a PC-based system.
    “I don’t think we have the money to do this right now,” he said. “We’ve been looking at being out of debt in a few years, then we might have money to do something like this. In 2014 we should be in a lot better financial situation.”
    Hardesty told him that CIC would come back at some point and talk further with county officials.
    “We will have to look at alternatives,” Pyle said.
    “You cannot go into one of our competitor’s counties and find a totally integrated system, they have bits and pieces,” Hardesty replied. “We have 24 Kansas counties totally integrated.”

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