9xfaster procurement cycle
17divisions city-wide use DocuSign
Memphis is more than barbecue, blues and Beale Street. It’s an innovative city that understands the importance of being—as Mayor Jim Strickland said—“brilliant at the basics” while continuing to push the envelope. And it’s a place that more and more young people and entrepreneurs are calling home.
“We are making great strides to transform the city of Memphis,” said CIO Kimberly Bailey. From opening a multipurpose community center to launching new Smart City initiatives, Memphis has a lot of exciting projects underway. Not even a global pandemic could slow its momentum. In the face of COVID-19, Memphis fast tracked part of its digital roadmap—accelerating the shift from paper-intensive agreement processes to simplified, electronic workflows.
“We need signatures on lots of things: contracts, renewals and everything else that needs to go from a division to legal to the mayor and back,” said Bailey. “DocuSign enabled us to keep business moving.”
Bringing speed and visibility to procurement
When COVID-19 hit—and over 8,000 employees began working remotely—the city had to digitize business processes fast. This included the procurement process for spending millions of dollars for goods and miscellaneous services every year.
The CIO and her team chose DocuSign eSignature for its ease of use and implementation. “We didn’t want to roll out something that would require a huge introduction,” said Bailey. “Most people have used DocuSign before in their day-to-day lives, so we knew it’d be easily adaptable for everyone.”
With DocuSign, the IT team completely transformed a procurement process that was slow, error-prone and required more steps than necessary. Before, a typical document might have had seven stops—from beginning to end—and no one could see where it was or who was waiting on it. “Now, we can easily pull it up on our phones or tablets to check the status—and the time to route things around has decreased tremendously,” said Bailey.
Fast-tracking digital initiatives
The IT team capitalized on the massive time-saving potential to ease change resistance and boost adoption. Before rolling eSignature out across 17 divisions citywide, the team ran a few small group tests to demonstrate how DocuSign will help accelerate the procurement cycle while saving loads of manual effort. During the test, employees saw a process that typically took two to three months shrink down to just eight days. “That’s when they truly started to see the value it will bring,” said Bailey.
IT continues to lead the pack in accelerating the transition to digital—starting at the management level. Now, when a document hits her desk or inbox, the CIO always sends it back via DocuSign to get everyone more comfortable with the new way of doing things. When a contract is set to expire, she knows exactly who to tap to keep things moving. “I’ve also been actively encouraging division directors to start their day with DocuSign,” said Bailey.
Beyond procurement, the city of Memphis continues to find new use cases to save time and eliminate trips to the copy machine, including timesheet approvals for the city’s many contract workers. Now, HR can easily manage temporary employees with paperless workflows while avoiding administrative headaches. The city is also looking at using DocuSign PowerForms to streamline new hire paperwork and improve citizen services.
“Our chief HR officer has always had a vision of us becoming a paperless organization—and we’ve implemented a number of solutions to help close the gap,” Bailey added. “DocuSign is helping to bring that whole wish list together.”
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