Automated Document Workflow

Case Study: Hillsborough County Planning & Growth Management 

The Planning and Growth Management (PGM) Department of Hillsborough County, Florida performs planning activities to carryout the County's Comprehensive Plan, including the administration of the Land Development Code and Building Codes.


Generating approximately 2.4 million new documents annually, the PGM Department needed a way to curtail the massive amount of storage space these documents required. The large volume of documents, large size of the documents (i.e. building plans), and the workload required for proper document mangement was debilitating to the Department.

Document Management Solution

Various-sized scanners were placed at main and remote locations to begin scanning, indexing, and storing the documents electronically.  Over 100 workflows were identified, streamlined, and created using a DocuVantage® electronic document management system. This facilitated faster processing and approval process, and faster overall workflow automation. Electronic signature capture is now used to reduce the time needed for processing.

Old Process

The PGM Department was preparing documents by hand, with many of them being stored on microfiche. Nearly $25,000 a year was being incurred just on courier services to transport files to and from remote offices, not to mention the high labor costs associated with having employees work weekends to keep on top of the volume of paperwork. In addition to the labor involved in maintaining, filing and retrieving over 30 years of documentation (which include building and site plans, permits, and vital engineering information), the PGM Department must follow workflow and handling strategies to meet mandates on reporting and responding on applications and appeals.

New Process

DocuVantage® implemented a workflow automation system, which provides:

  • Workflow, document flow and approval paths
  • Action Plans for distributed versus centralized document management
  • Distributed scanning from 4 remote sites and the downtown head office, plus satellite offices
  • Check-in and check-out for version control
  • Track location of documents, plus auditing features for time constraints and accountability
  • Handling of all phases of the documents from creation to archival
  • Meet required legal and regulatory provisions

Compared to several days to retrieve documents under the old manual system, the new workflow automation system retrieves online documents within seconds, and provides secure web access to internal staff. The system supports the many types of files the PGM Department deals with, including Autocad and large format documents. The system also allows for annotation, redacting, highlighting, date and time stamping, and more.

Due to the massive volume of existing documents, the PGM Department's evolution from hard copy to electronic document management will take from two to four years during which time DocuVantage® will continue to provide support and training to management and personnel.