The City of Wooster’s public storefront allows constituents to go online to complete permit and license
applications, in addition to asking questions and submitting City improvement suggestions.
The Transformative Power of the ePermitting Portal
“More often than not, what you see on a typical local government website is all the permits listed out, which is a huge step just to get them online,” says Ralley. “But they’re organized by the department that’s doing the backend processing, not by how the customer would think to find that information. As a local government entity we need to provide a good customer experience, not just for the plumber who submits a 100 permits a year, but also for the average resident who may be navigating the system for the first time.”
OpenGov PLC Means an Easy Implementation and Lighter Workload
Seeing Wooster’s success inspired confidence in Upper Arlington. Before deciding to invest in OpenGov permitting software, Ralley asked the folks in Wooster if they would have changed anything in their contract. The response?
“They said they had purchased a number of forms to be set up by OpenGov staff, but they found that after one form they didn’t need that service,” says Ralley. “That in fact, OpenGov PLC is simple enough that they were able to do it themselves.”
Schedule a demo to see what online permitting could look like in your community
Like Wooster, Upper Arlington tested OpenGov PLC in a “pilot environment”, and were equally pleased to find how easy it was to create new forms and workflows. “The initial win we saw almost immediately was as we were setting up forms, they became about half the length they were before,” says Ralley. “The number of fields declines significantly, and as a result it becomes a much better applicant experience.”
Leedham and his team in Hudson were also able to hit the ground running using the software’s easy drag-and-drop interface.
“The software has been so easy to configure in comparison with our legacy system, which was very cumbersome. With the drag-and-drop design of OpenGov PLC it’s so easy to make workflows. It’s just more advanced technology. The tool sets that are available now in comparison with the the technology that was developed 10 years ago–it’s night and day difference.”
Paul Leedham, Chief Innovation Officer, City of Hudson, Ohio
These Ohio communities also saw the opportunity to provide better digital feedback to their citizens while lightening their internal workload.
“There’s a visual feedback mechanism built into the software that allows customers to see exactly who’s reviewing their permit, how long it’s been, and how much longer it might be,” explains Ralley. “We’re very excited about that, because a lot of our daily workload is phone calls for people to set up an inspection or inquire about the status of their permit. We think the nature of our work is going to change significantly when implementing this new product.”