Many cities and local governments talk about construction projects in progress and how they will create jobs. Unfortunately, only a fraction of the projects mentioned will ever be started or even reviewed. Did you know it can take 90 days in some cities to review plans -and sometimes even much longer? The mayor of Chicago said it took more than 45 days for the building right on just his house. Electronic plan review enables local government departments to review and share building plans internally, and with customers. Implementing an electronic plan review system, by far, one of the most important steps government departments can take in streamlining business process management for engineering drawings and documents ..
The money and resources saved by reducing paper, long-term storage and space utilization costs, and the use of fossil fuels, by government personnel is enough to pay for electronic plan review software implementation and staff training. Significant time and money savings is also realized by businesses and citizens as multiple printings and several trips to and from department offices are eliminated by using the Internet to submit / resubmit plans and retiree reviews notices electronically.
Also, the lack of cross-departmental visibility and coordination with respect to plan review can lead to fragmented and even contradictory information that hinders timely and accurate review and approvals. Electronic plan review, by using automated business process workflows and intelligent electronic forms, guides the review process and maintains an audit trail of all activity, leading to greater efficiency and accountability among the review departments and staff.
Local Governments may make the claim that with their current economic slumber, implementing an electronic plan review system is just not a priority, regardless of how well it compliments their economic development strategy. However, transitioning to a digital system from a manual process will be less disruptive when there is less activity, and the advantages of streamlining the business process still outweigh the cumulative costs of manual processes – especially in terms of driving economic development.
When it comes to the core issues for developing a sustainable economic plan, cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles are focused on job creation, attracting and retaining business, and building green-friendly communities. Electronically reviewing building plans automatically reduces the use of paper and streamlines the review process by up to 50%. Approving building permits for construction projects will take days instead of months which will lead to healthier business relationships and jobs.
Cities that are already leveraging electronic plan review use it primarily for commercial construction projects because of the impact these projects have on local government relations and the communities they support. Also, that same technology can be extended to any small-medium sized projects that require drawings.
Ways Electronic Plan Review Can Stimulate Economic Development:
- With ePlan, you start and end the review process with a digital asset (electronic file), instead of a physical one. While it is true that many regulations require a physical asset (paper, microfiche) still exist, long-term paperless mandates are within reach with ePlan.
- Your customers will not have to print multiple sets of blueprints for you to use – they will love you for that. Using less paper helps the environment.
- Customers will not have to drive or ship paper to your offices – you'll both love that. Very good for the budget, traffic and air quality.
- Digital assets are far superior to physical paper when it comes to storage costs, distribution costs, accessibility and re-usability. They can be sent and received at network speeds anywhere in the world and in mission-critical scenarios. This can not be done with paper.
- ePlan technology uses the same security protocols as the online banking industry, so you and your customers can be sure that all systems, files and intellectual property are safe during submission, review, re-submission and approval.
- You'll have an unpreceded level of visibility and control over the review process. You can analyze reports that identify weak areas and bottlenecks so you can make improvements and be certain of the results.
- Customers will not have to call you and bug your staff about review status – all the quakeholders can know immediately the status of the review by logging into the project. When tasks are complete, ePlan technology can notify automatically via email to anywhere. Everyone will love that.