As permit and land management agencies across the country struggle with staff reductions, limited funding, and increasingly heavy workloads, the desire to implement time-saving, cost-effective solutions is becoming a necessity. Studies have shown that by providing an electronic plan review solution like e-PlanCheck (EPC), agencies can improve efficiency by as much as 50%.
EPC is a patented document review and markup tool built specifically for plan review agencies with input from real-world users including plan review experts and former building officials. Our web application is designed to streamline the review process and help agencies and industry professionals collaborate more effectively.
Leverage the Power of an Integrated Solution
While great for everyone, EPC is the perfect choice for agencies whose permit and land management software already includes customizable routing and workflow tools. For these agencies, EPC becomes a component integrated into those systems – so there is no need to re-create a separate workflow engine. EPC’s bi-directional API tools are designed to intercept plan review assignments from external permitting applications and return plan review outcome ‘statuses’ back to the calling application programmatically. This complete communication loop prevents information silos from developing.
STEP 01 FILE UPLOAD
The Customer applies for a permit online and uploads plans via a Public Portal
STEP 02 INTAKE MILESTONE
Intake staff ensures the incoming files meet submittal guidelines for the application type. Acceptable documents may proceed.
STEP 03 DISTRIBUTIONS
Back office application workflows create plan review tasks for the incoming plans to department personnel.
EPC receives this application data review documents/resubmittals and task assignments via web services.
STEP 04 EPC PLAN REVIEW
Collaborative plan reviews happen in EPC Comments and review status decisions are returned to the Back Office application as they occur.
STEP 05 COMPLETE REVIEW
Reviewed plans are returned from EPC to the Back Office triggering the workflows for a Completeness check.
STEP 06 NOTIFY APPLICANT
Deliverables are made available to the Applicant for download. The process repeats until plans meet compliance.
|For permit/enterprise applications that do not have these workflow tools, EPC fills the gap by providing its own document distribution module which can be configured in a matter of minutes by agency staff. Documents submitted in PDF format can be automatically assigned to certain departments or even to specific plan review staff for asynchronous review.|
Thanks to a SQL database that tracks and manages document versions over the lifespan of a project, EPC ensures that staff are always reviewing the most recently submitted version of a document. When a revised document is uploaded to EPC, it is linked to the previous version – and any existing comments and markups are automatically carried forward into the new version. Review staff simply open the revised document in EPC and can immediately determine if old issues have been resolved before continuing with their review.
Managing and Securing Reviewer’s Comments
Agencies interested in an electronic plan review tool should consider how well the system protects the code review comments from unauthorized access. EPC has security rules in place to ensure that one plan reviewer cannot change another reviewer’s comments or markups. Additionally, EPC maintains an audit log on every comment, sketch, and electronic stamp to help track user details, document information, page and version number, etc.
Improve Efficiency with a Standard Comment Library
With Standard Comment Library functionality, agencies can import frequently used comments and checklists to EPC for instant availability across all departments. Reviewers can search this library to insert one or many comments – even an entire checklist – directly into their review. Users can even save frequent searches as ‘Favorites’ to share with other team members. These tools improve collaboration, increase efficiency and reduce plan review turn-around times.
‘One Click’ Corrections Reports
In EPC, staff can quickly create targeted corrections reports with ‘one click’, choosing to include information from a single department or every department. Because EPC stores comments in a back end database, there is no need to assemble, merge or combine XML files. Users can filter comments not just by department, but also discipline code, disposition, reviewer id, date range, impact, version, etc. These Corrections Reports are then provided to the applicant as part of the package returned at the end of a review.
Overlay and Side-by-Side Document Comparison
Plan reviewers can find variations between different versions of electronically submitted plans easily using EPC’s overlay and side-by-side comparison tools. Because they are built directly into EPC, reviewers can compare documents while retaining the use of commenting and markup tools as well.
Cost Benefit Analysis
Download our EPC ROI tool here to evaluate the potential cost saving benefits of adopting an electronic plan review tool at your agency.