Excel sheets and manually recording data have been a long-standing system for the local government permitting process. However, for administrative and public works teams, sifting through data, consolidating hundreds of sheets, incurring delivery costs, and managing contractors can get overwhelming.
That’s why many are shifting towards permit software that take tedious manual workflows and reimagine them into seamless processes.
From permit application to payment, digital solutions streamline the permitting process for both administrative teams and citizens, improving both the experience of the applicant and operations.
To emphasize the benefits, in this article we’re taking a look at why local governments should transition their permitting processes to a paperless one.
Why Local Governments Should Transition to Permit Software
One of the biggest disadvantages of the paper permitting process is the tedious degree of back-and-forth required between the municipality and the citizen. Whether the permit application is submitted by mail or in person, the workflow is often a disjointed and highly laborious effort for the citizen.
Transitioning the process to digital eliminates this. Citizens simply visit your website and submit all supporting application documents. Your team can then manage fees and send timely updates all from a single platform. This lessens the work needed by the citizen to submit their application and creates more efficient operations on the back-end for staff.
A Better Citizen Experience
When you switch to permit software, you optimize the user experience for the applicant. Citizens feel empowered to submit from the comfort of their homes and are provided real-time transparency on their application status.
Less is left to assumption and the citizen can experience a seamless journey from submission to final payment.
While paper permitting applications can be shared internally, it isn’t efficient and a lot can get lost in the shuffle. Especially if you’re using multiple systems to track citizen applications and working with external personnel including contractors and inspectors.
Using PSD Citywide’s Permit software, selected departments can access the permitting portal to review, approve/deny, add comments, and store building permit applications. The workflow is simplified with all applications being consolidated into a single system. Further, no information is lost and multiple stakeholders in the approval process can collaborate in one system to ensure a faster and more streamlined review process of all applications..
Saved Time and Resources
Digital permitting reduces the amount of time needed to submit an application and allows local governments to connect with citizens in real-time. Administrative and public works teams can approve, deny, or request an edit to an existing application without the need to mail back forms or return them in person. While this saves your team time, it also reduces effort from the applicant which commonly leads to improved satisfaction.
Making the transition to digital processes, not only benefits operational performance and citizen experience but also the environment.
A Government Printing Report researched and published by Lexmark and O’Keeffe & Company stated that federal employees print around “30 pages every work day, totaling 7,200 pages printed per employee, per year.”
As organizations shift globally toward a more environmentally conscious mindset, and local citizens demand more efforts by the government to reduce the amount of waste and pollution, digital permitting becomes yet another way in which a community can demonstrate their commitment to a more sustainable future.
Permit Software Streamlines Inspection Management
Rather than waiting for your team to submit paperwork, you can empower inspectors and contractors to provide insight, in real-time, on the go.
Using PSD Citywide’s permit software, permit and inspection management is simplified using an iOS or Android device. Whether your inspector wants to view the daily schedule, access all past inspection information, pass or fail a permit in the field, or attach photos and notes, they can do so in real-time from their mobile device.
Teams in the office can then review these updates immediately to move the permit process forward or request more information.
Collect Actionable Data
With manual paper processes, data is most often manually entered into a system and stored in various locations and formats which makes it difficult to collect or understand. Further, manually analyzing that data leaves room for error.
With a fully-digitized experience like PSD Citywide’s Permitting software, key data is extracted from your permitting submissions and consolidated for teams to view on their terms. With just a few clicks, you can generate standard, out-of-the-box reports, and more customized ones, for greater insight into applications and degree of efficiency. This ensures you’re making data-driven decisions that are both accurate and timely.
Final Thoughts on Transitioning to Permit Software
With a global shift towards driving efficiency and accuracy for employees constantly trying to do more with less, shifting towards a paperless permitting solution is being viewed as a critical transition for municipalities.
Whatever your pain point is for your current permitting process, be it; the desire for more accurate data, greater transparency, or more efficient operations, making the transition to permit software, can help you overcome it and move your city forward.