Your community’s economic development needs an online permitting and planning combo

staying-connected

There are a few certainties to local economic development and your ability to attract more businesses to your community. Your neighbors will be competing with you, businesses will want you to respond to them quickly and delays or difficult processes will damage your community’s image as a business-friendly locale.

Once a business decides to locate in your community, how would you describe the experience they will have with your permitting and licensing processes? And, if they are going to build or renovate, perhaps bring a new subdivision to your community, is your plan review process easy and efficient? Is it easy for you, but hard or costly for the business?

The answers to these questions determine the image of your community, the speed of development and ultimately, the revenue and jobs that each business can bring to you.

Make it easy for businesses to choose you

So how can you create a great experience for the businesses you’d like to locate in your community?

Businesses are no different from your constituents. They increasingly do business online, they want to know where their requests are in the process and they want responsive service.

Unfortunately, they demand urgent attention and your staff may be at a historic low.

Typically, it is your permitting and licensing processes that start their experience. Knowing the above, many communities have used solutions like Cityworks to create efficient permitting processes. Abandoning paper-based permit processes means more efficiency for your internal staff while allowing you the option to offer online permitting and licensing.

Internally, Cityworks allows all departments to work together and increases visibility into the required permits and licenses. As a single solution, it makes tracking permits and licenses easier, providing a single authoritative source of information. Should a business call, staff can easily find the information they need to respond because Cityworks keeps it together for you.

Once this phase is over, you can easily move the data kept in this solution to a robust electronic plan review solution. The right solution will offer similar process efficiency, with an online portal that provides a one-stop shop for the businesses that want to set up shop in your community.

Like Cityworks, your electronic plan review solution must provide process transparency, automate routing and timing for review completion, have tools for plan mark-up and even a comparison tool for identifying differences in plan sets. Cityworks permits and licenses become a part of the project file for the review, seamlessly passing key information for review staff.

Is mapping critical for your staff? Both Cityworks and the solution you choose should offer a simple integration to Esri GIS applications so you can ensure that the power of maps can be consulted during each process.

As you compete for jobs for your community, consider the online face that you offer to businesses. With Cityworks and the right electronic plan review, you can create a great experience for potential businesses while giving your staff the tools to ensure that permitting, licensing and plan review happen efficiently and quickly.

As you plan your next IT investments, ask yourself the questions above. It may be that online permitting and plan submission is the best way for your community to hang out a sign that says “open for business.”

Terri Jones

Terri Jones

Wondering what goes into a document management or ECM software deployment in government? Terri Jones, Hyland's government marketing portfolio manager, has your answer. In her 10 plus years in both state and local government, she's managed IT departments, implemented ECM strategies and written legislation and program policies. If that isn't enough to prove her IT expertise in government, she has also designed and implemented data systems and websites to manage compliance and funding in excess of $90 million annually. Have a question for her? Contact her at terri.jones@onbase.com.

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