City & County of Denver: How to redesign a document-intensive business process – Part 2

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When Colorado approved the retail sale of marijuana in 2013, the City & County of Denver was hit with a massive influx of applications from hopeful retailers. In a two-part blog post we show how they dealt with the backlog and redesigned their business process in the new era of legalized marijuana sales. In part one of the blog post we discussed how the licensing department dealt with the backlog.

We now outline the six steps they took to redesign a new business process.

Redesigning a core business process

After dealing with the backlog, the licensing department was a little less certain on how to set up a new process that could handle a higher volume of license applications. Improving our service levels and overall efficiency would likely involve moving toward digital workflows but what was the best way to do that?

To answer that question, TAB guided the City & County of Denver through a step-by-step approach that looked at different elements of the overall process. By applying best practices in each area they were able to redesign the overall business process and realize some amazing results.

These are the six steps they took to improve the overall process:

  1. Scanning existing physical records collection to make them available online
  2. Relocating inactive and less-active paper records to less expensive space at a near-site storage facility
  3. Converting to a more efficient filing methodology
  4. Mapping workflows in the department’s document management system
  5. Managing document access to ensure regulatory compliance
  6. Implementing a “day-forward” scanning process for all new application paperwork

The results

The new business process accomplished three important things for the department:

  1. New document-related policies and procedures provided a solid long-term foundation for their business processes
  2. Physical documents were now organized, secure and easily accessible
  3. The department now had completely digital workflows

The business results far exceeded the department’s expectations.

The department is now efficiently processing significant volumes of applications and renewals for all license types. The average processing time for applications and requests has been reduced from days to hours. Clients and constituents are pleased with the improved customer service and the department is able once again to meet the mayor’s targets. As the head of the licensing department put it: “One of the main reasons we were able to meet these targets was because we brought in the expertise of an experienced partner in TAB.”

Next steps

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