Search for a Valuable Digital Experience
With more Canadians becoming increasingly comfortable conducting business transactions online, municipalities are responding with an expanded roster of online services and experiences.
The Town of Tillsonburg, Ontario, for example, recently adopted Cloudpermit, a cloud-based, end-to-end e-permitting solution to provide a higher level of service to its 17,380 residents.
“Tillsonburg is experiencing a building boom,” says Mayor Stephen Molnar. “We welcome this growth and investment, and are committed to delivering a high level of customer service to our residents, as well as the building and development community. We want to further streamline the opportunity for stakeholders to connect and do business with us, while always retaining the priority of personal connections when required."
Make Processes Easier and Faster Without Sacrificing Communication
“It was important for us to give our community a more convenient way to apply for a permit, track permit status, schedule inspections and receive permit information,” explains Geno Vanhaelewyn, Tillsonburg’s Chief Building Official. “By moving these processes online, Tillsonburg has eliminated the need for applicants and builders to travel to the municipal office, saving them time and money.”
However, an e-permitting solution has delivered benefits beyond efficiency.
“Cloudpermit has also improved our communication significantly as all parties can see the permit lifecycle online and know exactly where their project stands at any given time,” says Vanhaelewyn.
Encourage Positive Experiences for Builders
“Since adopting Cloudpermit, we’ve received a lot of positive feedback from our builders,” says Vanhaelewyn. “They appreciate how simple and straight forward the interface is, and how user-friendly it is.”
What’s more, Vanhaelewyn believes the switch to e-permitting has further strengthened the town’s reputation as a progressive and innovative municipality.
“One of our key builders told us that our cloud-based system is much easier to use than what other municipalities offer,” he says. “That’s exactly the message we hoped to deliver with this project – that Tillsonburg is open for business and an easy town to build in.”
Facilitate an Improved Customer Experience
E-permitting software offers varying levels of front- and back-end functionality. For the Town of Tillsonburg, it was important to find a solution that performed well on both sides of the virtual counter.
“Obviously we wanted a solution that would work well for us as local government staff,” Vanhaelewyn explains. “But we were determined to find a solution that delivered just as much – if not more – value for our customers. The software had to be easy to use for everyone.”
Vanhaelewyn was pleased when he discovered Cloudpermit could successfully meet both challenges.
Intuitive and Advanced Functions Support Lasting Success
Tillsonburg introduced Cloudpermit to the public in January of this year.
“We took a soft launch approach – just to make sure everything was working properly,” says Vanhaelewyn. “But we’ve had great results so far. Every person in our five-member building department is happy with it, and we’re getting really positive feedback from our customers as well.”
“It’s been great to start the year with a software that enables mobile inspections and creates opportunities for us to deliver faster processes for our customers,” he concludes. “I’m confident that Cloudpermit is going to continue to position us for success long into the future.”
Originally published in the OBOA (Ontario Building Officials Association) Journal, Issue 129.