Instead of Hiring More Staff, Get Better SoftwareAugust 2, 2023
Oftentimes, when governments are experiencing a building boom, their first instinct is to hire more staff. Though that instinct can be right, sometimes there is a better option: upgrading their software.
Hiring more staff can be an expensive, and often temporary solution. There are additional costs when it comes to salary, training, and retention, and what happens when the busy times keep coming? There is only so much room in the budget to keep hiring additional staff.
Another option is to improve processes from start to finish. Hiring more staff cannot fix the issue if processes are poor – additional team members would only serve as a band-aid solution.
It’s best for local governments to consider how their workflow can become more efficient, sustainable, and simple – the right online community development software can be the answer.
Traditionally, keeping track of building and land use permits, business licenses, code violations, and planning applications has been tedious and time-consuming. Staff have to use multiple systems to manage all their information which leads to errors and disjointed communication.
But what if they could use one software for everything? That’s where true efficiency lies.
Instead of needing to take inspection notes in the field and either file them back at the office or reinput them on an on-premises system, inspectors could start and finish their inspection in the field. Those time savings alone could free up their time to avoid having to hire more staff.
Another major consideration is front-counter and administrative work that often burdens governments. Applicants come into the office to submit their (usually incomplete) applications or ask a question, and it takes time away from more valuable projects. Staff have to hunt down missing pieces from applications before they can even review building permits, which slows them down even more.
Hiring more staff would not help cut down on in-person visits or ensure applications are submitted complete, but the right software can. Applicants can be forced to complete every part of their application before departments need to review it, which saves everyone valuable time and significantly cuts down on in-person visits.
One of the most compelling advantages of improving operations instead of hiring more staff is making government staff feel valued. By eliminating manual processes, reducing paperwork, and optimizing resources, online software allows departments to achieve more with the staff they already have by making their jobs easier.
An important note to consider is that online software is scalable, but more staff is not. If a community continues to grow and demand keeps rising, more staff will need to be hired in the future.
Software can adapt to the unique needs of each government and agency to ensure a tailored experience that can keep up with continued development. Some software providers, like Cloudpermit, even offer an unlimited user license agreement so departments can add as many users as they need without any additional costs. This allows building, planning, and code enforcement departments to seamlessly scale alongside their software.