The coronavirus pandemic brought to light the need for online management for permitting requests. Many municipalities lacked the best permit software to enable this process and had to put in place some temporary processes.

As the daily workloads and expectations for local government start to normalize, it’s time to evaluate or review online permit processes. In this post, we’ll review why online permitting is important and how it’s here to stay long after the pandemic eases.

Why Permitting Software Matters

Thanks to modern advances, paper management processes are becoming a thing of the past for almost everything. Why is that? One of the biggest reasons for this change is automation and self-service are enormous time-savers. Here are the top reasons why having the best permitting software matters.

  • Saving staff time through automation and workflows
  • Delighting constituents with a self-service portal to submit requests and check request status
  • Enabling remote work through accessing online permitting management

Let’s take a look at each of these government software benefits to get a better idea of what your municipality could experience with the right online tools.

Clerk Office Time-savings

Manually filing paperwork is one of the most time-consuming tasks that the clerk’s office handles. For this reason, digitizing forms, the clerk’s office doesn’t need to route these requests to the appropriate party.

The first person who needs to review the information automatically gets a notification from the software. Once that person has completed their review, the request continues to the next person or sends a notice to the requester informing them that it is approved.

As a result, administrative workers can focus their time elsewhere while your team rests easy knowing that requests are going where they should.

See the powerful all-in-one software solution for yourself by scheduling a demo today.

Self-service Online Portal

Municipalities that use code enforcement software can open a self-service online portal. This will help avoid the need for retyping or the pains of paper forms that are filled out improperly. In addition, the portal can use logic to adjust later parts of the form based on a user’s early inputs. 

For example, requests for new building permits can produce some form fields while permits for other construction projects can produce a completely different form. The user’s experience will be customized to meet their needs, And your team gathers all the necessary information to complete the request. 

Allowing users to input requests and route them to the right parties accordingly saves you internal time moving paper records from one place to another. And constituents can log in and see where their request is at any given time. This will cut down on phone calls to your team inquiring about where the request stands.

Offering users a self-service experience from start to finish will delight them while simplifying your internal processes.

If your existing process is an online form that doesn’t connect to software, it will still mean retyping or copying and pasting the information into request forms. Or it might mean routing requests to a generic inbox. This leaves room for errors and could mean tons of wasted staff time.

Sadly, this is the quick process many municipalities had to put in place when the COVID pandemic escalated so quickly. But the time has come to review these temporary processes to improve them for long-term use.

Remote Work Powered by Municipal Software

According to a Gartner survey, 4 in 5 employers say they’ll allow employees to work remotely in some capacity even after the pandemic ends. And an astounding 47 percent of employers will allow workers to remain remote full time.

But to make remote work possible long-term, digital processes are more important than ever. So users must be able to access permitting requests from anywhere through a web browser and a secure login. COVID brought to light the weaknesses many teams had in requiring in-person team collaboration to manage a permit request.

Also, consider that remote workers aren’t necessarily always in a home office where they’re using a government-issued computer. Enabling true access from anywhere with multi-factor authentication means using a web-based software. 

Choosing the Best Permit Software

In general, consider software-as-a-service (SaaS) products that allow government workers to manage their many needs in one place. Using BMSI means that your permitting team can go from reviewing requests to inputting time-off requests without changing software programs. So not only are they more efficient at their daily permitting work, but they’re also more efficient in administrative tasks. 

BMSI offers government software for accounting, HR, work orders, permitting, tax and utility billing, and payroll. The efficiencies you’ll experience from the software are numerous and you’ll connect your staff like never before – even when they’re working remotely.

See the powerful all-in-one software solution for yourself by scheduling a demo today.