Effective permitting processes drive great citizen experiences and healthy municipality interactions.
Yet, while local governments have taken steps to develop their processes with digital aspects like Excel record keeping or online file sharing, the inconsistency of combining paper permit processes with a single digital aspect can actually create greater inefficiencies.
In contrast, in order to streamline the permit process, local governments need to adopt a comprehensive permitting solution. One that doesn’t just fill in one or two gaps but supports the entire process from beginning to end.
Whether it be a citizen filling out an application or making an online payment, this article highlights the importance of a comprehensive online permitting software and how local governments can use them to meet the changing needs and expectations from their citizens.
The Need For a Comprehensive Online Permitting Software
Permitting solutions can come in all shapes and sizes, either by addressing specific pain points or streamlining the entire journey. And while you consider your options, it’s important to understand what a permitting solution can do for you today and in the future.
Meeting COVID-19 Accessibility Requirements
Since the advent of COVID-19, local governments have had to consider new accessibility requirements and citizen preferences.
Traditionally, a permitting application requires an in-person submission and in-office review. Typically, citizens commute to the town hall to apply and submit a permit application, to be then processed and reviewed by a variety of municipal staff across multiple departments. Employees assemble to provide cross-department transparency.
However, with online permitting software, in-person contact is greatly reduced and in most instances eliminated. Using a cloud-based web portal, citizens can submit, review, and revisit their application anywhere with an internet connection. Similarly, employees can work from home and review applications on their own terms. This improves both the user and employee experience while keeping accessibility requirements top of mind.
Using a comprehensive online permitting software, municipal permit management becomes simplified and more transparent. Employees don’t need to run around looking for paper copies and their matching online excel documents. Rather, all work orders, service requests, and permits are located in a single digital inventory for ultimate transparency.
Using a solution like PSD Citywide Permits, you can even set parameters so specific departments and teams can always access their applications without having to reach out directly to various individuals. Offering intuitive apps and web platforms, teams can connect complex processes quickly and easily – all with real-time visibility.
Improved Employee Efficiency
Using a digital permitting solution, all applications are securely stored in the cloud. Employees can complete a simple search by typing in a citizen detail such as name, permit type, date, etc., and modify based on application status.
With their mobile device, staff can access all permit information in the field, including task lists, property records, and past results. Keeping everything in one comprehensive solution, you reduce the back and forth with contractors and make in-office tasks easier.
Traditionally, paper-based permitting applications are kept in filing cabinets across an office and at times, in different locations In some cases, digital documents make their way to excel sheets or online folders – leaving a trail of both online and paper documents for a single application.
While managing this complex workflow can feel commonplace, the reality is citizens expect quicker service and employees want operational simplicity.
With a digital permitting solution, you can create filters based on your organization’s requirements. They can tag and manage all permits in one consolidated location, saving you valuable minutes, hours, and days of in-person filing.
Better Data Security with Online Permitting Software
With physical documents and diagrams, losing and misplacing items can seem all too familiar. Even more, unprotected Excel sheets saved on a desktop can leave your municipality vulnerable to files being damaged or lost.
With a cloud-based solution, you can achieve better data security. Single sign-on adds a layer of authentication while security and roles help to control access. When you set permissions, you’re always in the know of user capabilities and changes.
Enhanced Citizen Experience
Improving the quality of life of your citizens and the levels of service by which you achieve that is at the core of every initiative municipalities undertake. Providing an exceptional user experience to process permit and inspection applications should be no exception.
From a citizen experience perspective, convenience matters and so does time to process. With a comprehensive solution, citizens not only have the option to send permit applications from home but also provide them with complete transparency of their permit application and status.
For example, with PSD Citywide Permits, citizens can leverage a single portal to submit or access their permit applications. Whether they want to enter as a one-time guest or create a profile, they can see the status of their application.
If a citizen needs to resubmit documents, provide more clarity, add some missing information, or make a payment, they can do so on their own time and from wherever it is convenient for them.
Get Data To Improve
A key feature of a cloud-based permitting solution is data collection and analysis.
After the permit has been approved, it doesn’t stop there. With a comprehensive solution, you can see insights on common permits, approved permits, payment reports, time to complete, inspection details, and more so you can consistently improve the citizen and employee experience. When selecting a solution, consider one that provides a customizable overview of pertinent details.
Final thoughts On An Online Permitting Software
As you begin exploring different digital solutions that meet your organization’s needs, be sure to consider a comprehensive solution that allows your municipality to continue to evolve its services well into the future.