Prior to Cityworks, our Building Department handled all operations manually. Almost all work was recorded and tracked on paper and index cards. A few years before our Cityworks implementation, we started using Microsoft Excel and Access to track some work activities. Although this was a better solution, there were still limitations as only one person could edit at a time. We wanted something more efficient.
Last year, the Town decided to put our old work management ways to rest and implement Cityworks PLL in our Building Department. We went live in December 2009. Utilizing Cityworks PLL has yielded several benefits including:
Using less paper, which is more environmentally responsible and cost-conscious.
More efficient processes now that we have the ability to look up the status of a permit quickly and easily.
Improved workflow as there is less redundancy in the Building Department as well as with other involved departments.
The ability to run various reports, such as weekly financial reports for our Comptroller’s Office as well as the building permit.
More interaction between the various departments involved in the permitting process.
We will be rolling out a mobile solution for our building inspectors in the next 2-3 months to allow inspections to be added to the case while the inspector is out in the field. The Building Department plans to start tracking customer complaints and problems using service requests. Our Department of Public Works (DPW) will migrate to Cityworks Server within the next few months as well. Relating the permitting case with the appropriate service requests and work orders will be another benefit. We also plan to implement Cityworks PLL in our DPW to track their permits, such as water service permits, sanitary lateral permits, grading permits, and demo permits.
Cityworks has not only increased our efficiency and levels of internal collaboration, it has shown us the importance of reevaluating our business processes to create a better, more efficient system.
By Robert Mateja, GIS Manager, Town of Colonie, New York