DigEplan planning office

As the digital revolution takes hold of cities and municipalities, planning departments must be careful that investments are made wisely. Functionality duplication often occurs between government platform vendors and ad-on systems that leads to complexity and the doubling of costs.

Each country, city, jurisdiction, or municipality are at varying levels of maturity in terms of digital transformation of (city wide) services. Leading market solution leaders, such as Infor, Accela, Dataport, BCT Corsa, and Verseon, have developed solutions to make areas or cities more productive, deliver better cost-effective services, and improve the life of citizens with digital services that breakdown the traditional barriers.

Wherever you are on your journey to digital government or not, one of the hot topics is electronic permitting processes. This has significant impact on citizen services, internal efficiency and green initiatives. The plan review sits within this process and whether the authority is still using paper or moved to an electronic system, there is plenty of opportunity to make a sizable difference.

Electronic plan review – an efficient and greener process
ePlan check or plan review, which can come in many different guises, enables planning departments to look after our planet. I am a firm believer in prioritising the reduction and use of paper in our cities, providing users with the tools and solutions that drive greener ways of working.

I have had the opportunity to visit and spend time with numerous cities over the last couple of years. The transformation from having a paper-based permitting process, to electronic permitting has resulted in a dramatic impact on service levels, productivity of staff, and the elimination of paper in the submission, review, and correspondence processes.

The complexity of the back office in a typical city where permitting for planning and building applications are still using paper-based processes.

Paper based plans Plan reviews

But moving to an electronic plan review is not the only consideration. Once the city-wide digital transformation has been taken, the government platform vendors enable the integration of plan check solutions.

Avoid system and cost duplication
Additional add-on processes, can optimise your planning process, but analyse the offering to ensure the applications are complementary, not competitive to the features already in the solution.

We too often see the scope of applications, from add-on vendors, encroaching on the government platform vendors. This impacts on the financial, complexity and duplication of functionality on the end state of your overall solution.

The common examples of function duplication, include workflows, user management and logins, document management, submissions portals and correspondence, data management, as well as audit trails and governance.

This ultimately means that you are paying twice for functionality that already exists in your government vendors platform. You are doubling up on your ICT overhead for administering workflows, users and data. Therefore, the costs of these duplicative add-on applications are disproportionate to the investment of your overall government platform.

On top, when duplicate functionality for electronic permitting is integrated, there is considerable hidden time and cost for the set-up and running of these overlapping systems.

Interested in seeing how DigEplan integrates effectively to your government vendor system? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to show you a demo.