Is Your Agency Prepared?
The American Rescue Plan Act has passed, and right on its heels is the president’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, which is currently in negotiations for adjustments and ultimately, approval. The bill was created by the new administration in the wake of the COVID pandemic, which contributed to the economic downturn and massive job losses in the US.
At the heart of the Plan, an estimated $2 trillion will be designated to fund massive projects across the country to rebuild the infrastructure in America. The massive influx of projects is intended to improve the lives of Americans and create an estimated 19 million jobs for Americans at prevailing wages. To say this is a large undertaking unquestionably understates the scope of this plan. A portion of the plan proposes to build, rebuild, and remediate roads, highways, rail, facilities, and buildings and to replace 100% of lead-lined pipes. The plan proposes to modernize 20,000 miles of highways and main streets, fix the 10 most economically critical bridges, and fix the 10,000 bridges most in need of repair.
Sound like a lot of projects? It is!
And remember, these projects will create more than new jobs and infrastructure improvements. The president’s plan is intended to create nationwide investments in rebuilding the country on a level not seen for nearly five decades. They will create a massive influx of work for public sector agencies across the country that are involved in the planning, permitting, review, and approvals of the projects. In light of the good news of the coming changes, more than ever, agencies need to be prepared.
Preparation starts with efficiency
Agencies will need to review the likelihood of the projects in the area under their purview. Additionally, agencies may need to augment their staff. But no matter how many staff the agency has to manage the additional projects, if the agency isn’t operating at optimal efficiency, it will quickly fall behind in the workload, and cause unnecessary delays to the projects.
Ok, but when?
The Plan is expected to be passed into law this Summer. So, the time to start preparing and planning is now. By waiting until the additional workload comes in, the agency will start at a disadvantage, and then be forced to scramble to keep up or catch up.
Agencies should start by reviewing their plan review process. Does it promote or hinder efficiency? Does your agency rely on time- and space-consuming paper plans? Is it able to accept plan sets online? And do plan review participants need to be physically in the office to perform their tasks? Does it have the ability to allow multiple tasks to be performed simultaneously, and how do project participants and reviewers communicate with applicants?
If your agency isn’t using a cloud-based electronic plan intake and review solution, chances are its efficiency is not at a level to allow the agency to keep up with current demands, and it’s certain that the coming influx of projects will take much longer than necessary.
How e-PlanREVIEW® and goPost™ Public Portal prepare agencies
Using e-PlanREVIEW (EPR) and goPost Public Portal for intake and review solution will streamline workflows, and eliminate the steps that represent unproductive, time-consuming lags to the process.
Starting with intake, the process is faster and smoother than ever before. Whether using EPR as a standalone solution with goPost Public Portal or as the plan review component integrated into a permitting/back-office platform, there is no need for applicants to come in with bulky paper plan sets. This removes the restrictions agencies have previously experienced that limited intake to only as many intakes per day as appointments can be accommodated. Applicants submit plans online, with no appointment necessary, and no need to hand off paper plan sets to counter staff. PDF SCOUT, built into EPR vets all incoming documents to ensure that all criteria are met and files are suitable for review.
Cloud-based EPR allows multiple project participants to collaborate simultaneously – at any time, from anywhere, and any device with a secure internet connection. And automatic notifications alert each reviewer when a task is ready for them. The downtime between each step with paper plan reviews is mitigated exponentially, allowing for faster turnaround times in the full plan review cycle.
Comments and recommendations are easily identified, tracked, and addressed with EPR’s best-in-class reporting, standardized comments library, robust markup tools, flexible viewing options, and partial submittal capabilities. And communications are quickly and easily accommodated with EPR’s patented REVIEWSession feature. Reviewers and applicants can have direct communications sessions to discuss specific recommendations and responses, allowing issues to be resolved quickly and satisfactorily.
The efficiencies agencies and applicants gain from cloud-based e-PlanREVIEW can be the difference between effectively managing projects to be conducted on time and within budget or falling further behind at each step.
Ready to see how your agency can take the first step toward maximized efficiency?
Are you ready to take the first step in setting your agency up to succeed today and into the future? Take e-PlanREVIEW for a self-guided test drive or request a demo today at www.eplansoft.com/request-a-demo/.