By Derek Porter
zedIT Solutions Inc.
Regardless of size, investing thousands to potentially even hundreds of thousands of dollars in a new technology is not an easy justification for any government. Yet, there is undeniable value to be found in new technology investments and never is this more apparent in government permitting and licensing software.
Governments are all too aware that there are opportunities for disconnects across multiple departments when it comes to manual permitting and licensing processes. Combine cumbersome processes with unpredictable volume and it can be difficult on staff to keep up with demand. Any delays in processing applications can cost building professionals money and slow down development in the community.
A permitting and licensing software solution can address many of these issues by offering governments the flexibility to define and manage the sequence of tasks to enhance existing processes. Turnaround times can be significantly improved by moving traditional counter services to the web and 24-hour self-service online access can be granted to citizens.
That all being said, one of the more appealing advantages of utilizing such a solution is seeing the permitting and licensing software expense translate into additional profits for a town or city. Take the below case study as example:
Albuquerque, New Mexico – Air Quality Division
Albuquerque’s Air Quality Division had to rely on a slow and inefficient city central accounting system to process payments, and a tremendous backup of pending applications prevented the issuance of permits in a timely manner. They had over 100 pending permits and lacked internal communication about their statuses.
Some leaders inside the agency were hesitant about utilizing a new technology, fearing that their air quality permits were too distinctive use a software’s template as a foundation. As it turned out 90% of the agency’s documents would in fact fit the template.
After moving forward with the solution customers no longer needed to wait a month for a payment to be processed. The solution has enabled the city to setup a standardized collection workflow that automatically generates follow-up letters, mails post-inspection notifications, and interfaces with a contracted collections vendor.
Users of the solution could now run reports to quickly show the processing status of permits, the workloads of employees, and overall productivity. The pending permit count decreased by 50%, and 100% of permits are now issued within the regulated timeframe. The transparency that the solution delivers has provided division managers and department leadership the tools to increase revenue, lower pending permit counts, track performance and recognize jobs well done.
Result: Air Quality Division issues 100% of permits within regulated timeframe, collects $60,000 in back fees
When evaluating your next technology solution you will inevitably consider a variety of tangible and intangible benefits. However, imagine the persuasive power you will hold within your government if you can illustrate to your colleagues and superiors exactly how additional revenue can be generated by investing in a specific technology. Work in collaboration with your software vendors to “crunch the numbers” and develop a solid business case that cannot be ignored. A new technology can be seen as simply a good and convenient tool when it can make processes run faster, but a solution becomes great and necessary when it can bring in additional profits to your town or city.
Derek is a Public Sector Account Manager working for zedIT Solutions Inc., an IT professional services firm with offices and customers across the Globe. Derek’s primary objective is to help government agencies realize the promise of technology by taking the time to understand his client’ needs and collaborate with zedIT consultants to deliver meaningful solutions that align with each customers’ definition of value.