Magazine article Public Management

Streamlining Multiple Processes: Code Enforcement, Building Permit, Customer Service, and Trade License Software Solutions

Magazine article Public Management

Streamlining Multiple Processes: Code Enforcement, Building Permit, Customer Service, and Trade License Software Solutions

Article excerpt

In Anchorage, Alaska, local officials have focused on streamlining the city's processes to better serve residents and the construction industry. An evaluation of its systems across various departments uncovered duplicated effort, inconsistencies, and slow customer service. Invariably, callers were transferred from one office to another.

As a result, officials sought an IT system with one common database that all departments share and that links all of their processes. They favored a system that lets anyone call one number to get a problem resolved with the first contact or receive appropriate information without being transferred.

Now an employee taking a call from a person who is complaining about, say, a junk car, simply enters a complaint code in the system, where any complaint links to a property with an assigned tax code ID. Each department then can access that common database to get needed information. This system increases efficiency and cuts costs.

Anchorage officials looked for a software solution that integrates with other applications and lets each user program and configure it. The system also needed to accommodate a mobile environment, and it had to provide the lowest total cost of ownership with a quick return on investment. With these guidelines in mind, the municipal team tapped a community development and regulation software solution.

Today, all 65 Anchorage employees and code enforcement officers from eight departments operate from standard business processes to resolve code violations. …

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