As more permitting agencies move towards electronic plan review, it is understandable that they may not want to give up the traditional process they are accustomed to all at once. This change does not have to be abrupt. There is a solution for providing a steady transition, giving applicants and plan checkers alike, a plan review option other than the binary all paper or all electronic.
Many Cities and Counties across the country are neither equipped nor ready to flip a switch and process all plan reviews electronically. To efficiently and effectively manage this transition, e-PlanCheck®(EPC) provides a hybrid solution to allow agencies to intake and markup paper plans, while recording the comments in the system electronically.
Documenting comments with e-PlanCheck enables plan reviewers to leverage the features, benefits and security of electronic plan review built on a database for digital as well as paper submittals. Plan checkers commenting in EPC still have the opportunity to make use of the Standard Comment Library, a feature where they can insert or select frequently used comments which have been uploaded in the system. Users can search the Standard Comment Library by project type, discipline, category, words, phrases and more, and even save favorites and often used searches.
One of the disadvantages of paper review is the inability to easily track comments and plan review activities. Creating comments in e-PlanCheck provides a precise audit trail denoting which user owns the comment and when it was made. With concurrent plan reviews, you can see user comments being made in real time, all managed in one location. Comments are automatically versioned with new submittals, and can be closed and reopened as changes are made to the plan set.
Combining comments from different pages, notes and files can be a tedious task. Comments can be lost in the process and left out of the corrections letter. With e-PlanCheck, corrections letters can be created with one click, saving time and ensuring that all the comments are organized and available for the applicant to review.
When the right tools are applied to combine paper plan reviews with electronic comment management, a hybrid system can be exceedingly practical, providing a multitude of benefits to agency employees as well as citizen applicants.