Cause for change and the search for new software
The Community Development Department’s system was paper-based for many years, later incorporating a non-permitting-specific software adapted from another department. While this provided a temporary workaround, there was a lack of core functionality, organization, and ease.
“Even with the initial switch to software, a lot of our staff had trouble simply using the system and there was no way to conduct inspections in the field or provide access to the public,” Mike Horney, Kernersville’s Development Services Manager, explains.
Community Development Director Jeff Hatling recognized that Kernersville needed to bring their technology into the 21st Century and tasked Horney with finding new software.
The Department wanted a solution to connect with Esri’s ArcGIS so Horney began his search by comparing Esri business partners. That’s how he came to OpenGov PLC.
“There were five different companies that partnered with ESRI and I reached out to all of them for demos,” Horney recounts. “When I inquired about OpenGov PLC, it was simply a conversation around ‘what do you need?’ and ‘here’s what we can do.’ OpenGov was outstanding to work with from day one.”
At that point, Kernersville took the project to RFP, receiving seven submissions—a mix of different sized companies and price points. Horney says that OpenGov PLC was the best by far and the most cost-effective.
A two month implementation and customization
Kernersville went live with Building and Inspections on OpenGov PLC in November 2018, just two months after beginning work with the implementation team. Compared to the industry standard of year(s) long implementations, Horney and Kernserville were beyond pleased.
Even more than the efficient implementation, Horney found that the biggest benefit to using OpenGov is the way the software allows staff to customize their own workflows.