Rising wait times at Weld County Clerk and Recorder’s Office likely tied to busier months
April 15, 2017
Time spent by month
The following wait times and service times represent the average wait time for all transaction types, by month, starting in September when the Weld County Clerk and Recorder’s Greeley office launched the Nemo-Q system, which tracks such data to the second.
Month wait service
Sept.* 33:42 8:17
Oct. 25:39 8:37
Nov. 20:24 8:45
Dec. 19:09 8:58
Jan. 17:59 8:48
Feb. 20:55 8:30
March 26:02 8:28
April* 22:47 8:46
*Sept. 15-30 and April 1-11; partial months.
Wait times at the Weld County Clerk and Recorder's Office reached a six-month low in January, but they're creeping back up, according to data obtained from the office.
But it won't be clear until September whether numerous changes aimed at decreasing those times really are working.
April marks the launch of the clerk office's busy season, which stretches through October each year. That means more transactions — sometimes thousands more per month — than the office handles in the four-month winter lull from November to February.
So when Weld County Clerk and Recorder Carly Koppes pointed to 15-minute wait times for title and renewal work in January, it's still unclear whether that number — a 20-minute improvement from September — really represented an agencywide improvement instead of just a smaller number of transactions.
That's because the Greeley office just began using its Nemo-Q system at the start of September. The system helps streamline operations by queuing customers for different transaction types.
It also tracks to the second the amount of time those customers spend waiting and the amount of time the clerk's office takes to serve those customers once the wait is over.
Before September, the clerk's office would hand-time a select sample of customers and average those times for the month. The new system gives wait times for every transaction type by day or month.
Wait times refer to the amount of time spent waiting to meet with a clerk's office employee. The office also tracks service time, which varies depending on the complexity of the transaction.
In October, the average wait time was 25 minutes, 39 seconds. Average service time was 8 minutes, 37 seconds. So the average person who visited the clerk's office in October spent about 34 minutes there.
The highest wait times in April were for manufactured home transactions. The office had seven such transactions, and the average person waited 28 minutes, 57 seconds to get service. The resulting service required 11 minutes, 27 seconds on average.
Compare that to a simple question in April, which took about 5 minutes combined.
The data The Tribune requested shows a sharp drop in wait times for most transaction types between September and January, then an uptick in February, March and the first part of April.
Koppes said the increase doesn't mean January is an outlier, just that there were more transactions in those other months.
That wasn't exactly true for February, which saw the average wait time increase by 3 minutes across all transactions despite having slightly fewer transactions.
But March, with its 4,000 more transactions, increased 5 minutes compared with February.
Wait times in April are lower, but there were just 4,308 transactions registered through April 11. There should be at least another 10,000 by the end of the month.
Although true apples-to-apples comparisons won't be possible until September, when the clerk's office can compare Nemo-Q numbers with other Nemo-Q numbers, Koppes isn't waiting until then to set goals.
"Thanks to September and October, we're able to project the rest of the busy months," Koppes said. "It will be a really good test for the different processes we've changed and functions we've improved."
— Tyler Silvy covers city and county government for The Greeley Tribune. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with him at Facebook.com/TylerSilvy or @TylerSilvy on Twitter.