The City of West Allis
What Jim had to say about his experience…
Benefits of Process Director
“Transparency, communication, keeping applicants informed at every step (through email and text messaging) is part of how the new City of West Allis is doing business.”
“If we only saved five minutes per inspection we would be saving tens of thousands of dollars per year. With building inspections alone we can anticipate saving almost 3,000 hours or 1.78 positions. And, as people retire we won’t be filling those positions which is an additional cost saving.”
About the City of West Allis
West Allis is an industrial and suburban city in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. This full service community employs a staff of 530 people to address the needs to more than 63,000 citizens. The City provides for public safety, housing assistance, water distribution and disposal, public works, recreation and general government.
Business Challenge: Automating Building Permit and Business Application Approval Processes
West Allis is a city on the move, working on ‘turning younger’ and encouraging growth in terms of new residents, as well as new businesses. For those new businesses wanting to call West Allis ‘home,’ there needed to be a way to streamline and accelerate the process of obtaining building permits and new business applications. The goal was to have all the information to flow between departments and eliminate as much paper as possible – making it easier and more efficient for both the businesses and the city.
Like most cities today, West Allis had to contend with shrinking budgets and become more efficient. The best way to achieve that was through technology.
Decision Criteria for an Electronic City Licensing and Permitting Solution
Jim Jandovitz, Director of Information Technology and Communications for the City, and a committee comprised of representatives from various City departments developed a list of criteria for an automated licensing and permitting solution. They included the ability to:
- Easily integrate with the City’s existing financial , task and GIS systems
- Rapidly create web applications and online application forms without coding
- Create graphical workflow and MS Word based electronic forms
- Route new business applications for approval and notify approvers of outstanding tasks
- Include predictive analytics and business activity monitoring
- Ease of use
Jandovitz made a proposal to the Council which approved purchasing a system. He then issued an RFP to six companies. Over the course of three months the responses were reviewed by a committee, which then short-listed to three vendors, conducting demos with each. Process Director was selected because it best met the City’s key criteria.
Solution: Expediting Processes are Changing the Way the City Does Business
Having adopted Process Director, Jandovitz and his committee proceeded to identify a list of 86 applications. At the top of the list: business occupancy permits followed by building inspections.
The first application rolled out within three months – a process much faster than anything they had experienced – and they didn’t need to have programmers to do it, according to Jandovitz.
The City of West Allis is experiencing numerous benefits as a result of implementing Process Director, including:
- The ability to identify bottlenecks in processes
- Allowing Aldermen and other City leaders to base decisions on real data
- Increased efficiency, communication and compliance across city departments
- Significant time and resource savings on building inspections
The City of West Allis is changing its processes and the way it conducts business. Managers are looking at all processes – documenting, examining and refining how they operate – and looking at how they are issuing permits and applications.