Louisville Metro Government Boosts Efficiency at a Critical Time with Docusign eSignature

  • 6x

    Faster grant application processing
  • 40%

    Reduction in paper usage
  • 345

    Trees saved in one year

Most people know Louisville as the home of the Kentucky Derby, Muhammad Ali, Louisville Slugger, and the Hot Brown. Some Louisville Metro employees want Kentucky’s largest city to be known for one more thing: efficient government. “Efficiency is not a term that’s used with government very often, and we want to change that,” said Tracy Meiners, Information Systems Analyst. 

Meiners and her team support close to 6,000 employees across 30 agencies, providing the tools they need to improve processes and more effectively serve citizens. Docusign eSignature is one of those tools. 

Louisville Metro’s Docusign journey began in 2018 when it launched its paper-free by ‘23 initiative. What started as a few internal use cases quickly ramped up to dozens when the pandemic hit—and within a few months, the city saw a 2,000% increase in Docusign usage and made a huge reduction in their paper consumption. In addition to boosting efficiency across the board, Docusign eSignature played a pivotal role in helping residents and vulnerable organizations stay afloat during a really challenging time.

Providing faster relief to people in need

At the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, the team worked with Docusign to accelerate the delivery of millions of dollars in federal CARES funds for utility and rental assistance. Using Docusign PowerForms, Louisville Metro created an intuitive, mobile-friendly application process.

  1. First, applicants schedule an appointment 
  2. Then, they complete and submit their application along with required documents
  3. Next, both the landlord and tenant electronically sign a landlord/tenant agreement to kick off funds disbursement (for rental assistance)

The Office of Resilience and Community Services also set up Neighborhood Place drop boxes throughout the county so residents have the option to submit paper-based application packets for utility and/or rental assistance.

Outside of the government-funded programs, Louisvillians raised close to $11 million for a One Louisville Fund designed to provide swift support to both nonprofit organizations and individuals hit hard by the pandemic. Docusign transformed what was once an entirely paper-based process—enabling the committee to quickly process 1,768 applications and get funds to people 70% faster.

And when the city converted Broadbent Arena into a massive vaccination center, Docusign was used to help screen and onboard over 4,000 volunteers who signed up to direct traffic, collect paperwork and disinfect clipboards for the chance to get vaccinated early. 

“The community really came together to help those in need,” said Deputy Director Ken Hillebrand. “Throughout it all, Docusign gave us the agility to make changes and improve those processes as we went through the pandemic.”

From interoffice to electronic

For Meiners, one of the unintended consequences of implementing Docusign was “this huge increase in productivity.” Before making the move to electronic signatures, she was physically shuttling paper packets between departments to avoid interoffice delays. It was not uncommon for many documents—including employee timesheets and grant applications—to float around for up to two weeks before all signatures were captured. Now, that same paperwork can be handled in minutes or hours—and stored electronically for easy retrieval.

It’s satisfying when you're helping your internal people be more efficient and do their jobs in a better way.
Tracy Meiners
Information Systems Analyst
Louisville Metro Government

Adoption accelerated once Louisville Metro found a use case that would be valuable to every agency: employee performance evaluations. Printing and signing forms was no longer feasible with a predominantly remote workforce, and simply posting evaluations to SharePoint made potentially sensitive employee information visible to other contributors. With Docusign, HR is able to send the appropriate evaluation forms directly to stakeholders who need to sign off on them while keeping private data secure.

Saving time and trees

As Louisville Metro continues to scope processes that can be made more efficient using Docusign eSignature, Meiners holds monthly user group meetings to share tips and tricks and highlight the environmental impact of using the tool. Through the paper-free by ‘23 initiatives, the city saved close to three million sheets of paper—the equivalent of 345 trees and nearly two dozen cars worth of greenhouse gases. 

“The opportunity to integrate Docusign with enterprise applications is going to be a big game changer for everyone,” said Hillebrand. “I think we're going to keep finding new ways to use the tool to improve our processes. There are a lot of untapped applications we just haven't discovered yet.”