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The City and County of Broomfield is home to more than 68,000 residents in Colorado. Like many local governments, the City and County aims to provide outstanding services that improve the quality of life for its citizens in a fiscally responsible manner. The right technology plays a big part in fulfilling this mission and is why this fast-growing city pursued a new enterprise software solution to improve their local government processes.
The City and County of Broomfield had a legacy system that was a simple storage repository that was no longer supportable. For many years, they were limited by confusing, obsolete software that only ran on aging hardware and software. Storing and searching for documents was a nightmare and the maintenance was increasingly complicated and at risk of permanent failure. As they evaluated options, there was a clear need for a solution that would help them be more organized and responsive to the needs of their community while remaining compliant with regulations. First and foremost, they needed a system where they could easily store, search, and retrieve their secure files.
As they evaluated requirements, having the ability to track and manage the flow of documents was a priority, however, the value of this capability would be a significant change for the organization. The word, “workflow,” wasn’t even in their vocabulary. For example, reviewing a contract was a time-consuming process. First, documents were printed and passed on, in person, from one department to another until it reached the mayor for final approval. This process became even more complex when contracts had to be sent abroad, costing the City and County valuable time and money. These processes, like many others that the City and County were using, also made it nearly impossible to properly track files. If employees felt that a document was stuck somewhere in the process, they had to search around the office for it.
Finding a solution that would address the time consuming manual processes, and transform their storage and retrieval capabilities from a struggle to an enhancement became more and more important for Broomfield. It was equally important that the costs and long-term maintenance of a solution could easily be absorbed by the lean organization. As a first step, they decided to move to G Suite to store their documents.
The City and County of Broomfield officially aggressively adopted Google as its public cloud platform in 2015 allowing them to move over 35 terabytes of files into the Cloud. G Suite’s user-friendly interface and security features were a huge improvement over their old document repository. It quickly helped solve the issues related to finding and storing files and allowed them to simplify their approval processes by retiring the existing system that had used physical documents. However, employees still had a hard time tracking documents throughout the process and often found themselves needing to chase them down. It was at this point that Broomfield realized that G Suite alone was not enough. They needed a document management system that would allow them to automate and better secure these processes.
Since Broomfield was already a Google customer, they wanted a document management system that could leverage the features of G Suite. They considered several products and even partially implemented on before determining that a more mature solution that was tightly integrated with G Suite was essential. That’s when Broomfield decided to try AODocs. The results were dramatically different, particularly when it came to implementation flexibility and user adoption.
With AODocs, the word, “workflow”’ became meaningful and is now part of the common vernacular across the City and County. Now, three of their most important processes, council memos, construction contracts and agreements, and budget requests, have been completely revolutionized.
Council Memo Review Process
Like many governmental organizations, all council decisions need to carefully documented, reviewed and approved by a number of different people and published publicly to ensure transparency. Before AODocs, council requests were done with physical color-coded folders full of paper being passed from person to person. Employees were constantly chasing after documents, trying to figure out where they were in the review process.
With AODocs, Broomfield’s s process is now entirely automated and paperless. Documents are created in G Suite and then moved through a customized workflow. It is now easy to create new requests and employees can be sure that they will be automatically sent to the right department in the right order. Broomfield no longer needs to print documents and are working to completely eliminate physical signatures. AODocs’ eSign integration with DocuSign allows employees to sign their documents electronically and is being introduced to the processes in Broomfield.
With the success of this new technology implementation, Broomfield easily moved to trust and depend on AODocs to help speed up their construction contract and budget request processes.
For a construction project to be fully approved, multiple agreements have to be signed. Broomfield leveraged their AODocs environment to create an automated process that used document templates and reduces the amount of time that it took to draft each contract. There are typically many agreements in review at the same time so a streamlined and visibly trackable process was essential to helping their team handle the increasing volume of construction contracts that were needed to keep pace with the city’s growth.
Local Government Budget Processes
Transparent budgeting is also a critical goal for the City and County of Broomfield. Every budget request is thoroughly reviewed and with thousands of requests made during the planning process, it is easy for the process to become a significant hurdle. Before G Suite and AODocs, budget requests were managed through emails and attachments despite each request often including many different documents. Using workflow in AODocs, Broomfield now has a clear and easy way for departments to submit their budget requests while providing full transparency as to what gets approved or abstained each year.
After less than a year of using AODocs, the City and County of Broomfield now has more than 300 employees using the solution as part of their regular work. Even better, hundreds of hours of work have been saved thanks to custom, automated workflows. With more time, the county has been able to expand its services and take on more projects to help improve the lives of its residents.
Broomfield also saved thousands of dollars a year by retiring their expensive server infrastructure and have reduced the maintenance load for the IT staff.
Unlike the old system, users are actually happy to use AODocs. Ernesto Chavez, IT Director at Broomfield County, has told us that he keeps getting more and more requests and use cases for AODocs and intends to continue working to maximize the value of their investment in this technology. The most common feedback he hears from his team is, “It’s so much easier!” and “I can find stuff!”
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