FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Queen Creek, AZ: e-PlanREVIEW® (EPR) fit the Town of Queen Creek, Arizona’s need to simplify community growth efficiently and effectively by migrating their electronic plan review process to the cloud. The Town went live with EPR integrated with Accela Civic Platform on July 29, 2019 and since then are experiencing a more robust and economical customer and staff experience for the Town which led to the acceptance of The Ultimate Citizen Experience Trendsetter’s Award from Accela.
e-PlanSoft™ initially provided services to the Town as part of a 2017 contract through Carahsoft Technology Corp., a software procurement vendor. The initial purchase was for e-PlanCheck (ePC), a legacy software and included implementation services and licenses for an on-premise software solution in a stand-alone environment. The Town then signed a direct agreement with e-PlanSoft for the next generation of plan review software, e-PlanREVIEW® (EPR), moving them to a cloud-hosted solution that supports direct integration to the Accela Civic Platform. This direct integration will resolve four main priorities the Town was faced with:
- Streamline internal application and review process automations
- Move away from the excessive amounts of paper to innovate technology
- Break down the barrier of sharing information
- Improve the customer experience
Prior to EPR, the Town’s system presented challenges for both internal staff and their customers. The old review process included logistical challenges for the staff, with limited tracking functions, and the time-consuming processing of paper plans and processing electronic submittals which required duplicating information across systems. When EPR was chosen as a solution to streamline these processes, the Town developed an inter-disciplinary team that oversaw the implementation of EPR from start to finish, which is now live today. The major result from this effort was that customers experience an expedited process and the staff is able to track projects through the single Accela dashboard instead of checking each projects status manually in two separate systems.
“The ultimate improvement to our service delivery was the roll out of the online application and electronic plan review,” said Gail Barney, Mayor of the Town of Queen Creek. “We opted for an all-at-once approach, converting application types from paper to electronic overnight. This meant that all processes function the same, so applicants aren’t confused about how to do business with Queen Creek, and they aren’t limited by travel time or office hours.”
Recognized as one of the fastest growing communities in the valley, the Town of Queen Creek has seen a significant positive impact since their initial implementation of ePC to the newest implementation of EPR.
“The Town of Queen Creek is always looking for opportunities for innovation that improve the customer experience and streamline internal processes,” Brett Burningham, Development Services Director, shared. “This final implementation is a major milestone for the Development Services Department and the Town. We are grateful to have our efforts recognized by Accela with the Trendsetter award.”
With all plans being submitted electronically, the physically taxing process of routing and tracking paper plans that included over-sized work spaces and dedicated storage areas is no more. There are currently more than 250 employees aiding a population of 52,000 residents. Today, office staff can handle more requests with fewer resources. And it’s not just the back office enjoying the benefits of the new implemented systems, applicants can now easily access the online portal, Development Nexus, to submit planning and building proposals and applications saving them time and money. Additionally, old storage space is now available to be used for additional personnel, and for collaborative meeting areas.
The easy sharing of information with applicants was the final challenge that the Town wanted to address with the use of EPR. e-PlanREVIEW® is versatile with its integration capabilities with other platforms and systems due to its RESTful OpenAPI and the use of Velosimo’s services for API integration to the Accela Civic Platform. Currently EPR directly integrates with Accela Civic Platform, which was a desired feature for the Town of Queen Creek when upgrading from ePC. The Accela Civic Platform provides customers with the ability to submit payments, request plan review, process applications, and track the status of projects all from their PC, mobile phone, or tablet at their convenience. This was the primary solution to providing a seamless experience for applicants and staff in terms information sharing.
With the new building efforts that have been underway due to the Town’s strategic growth, a need for e-PlanREVIEW® will continue to grow. For example, from 2018 to 2019, the Town experienced the highest number of single-family housing permit submitted, at 1,300+, since 2005.
As a result of the EPR and Accela implementation, the Town of Queen Creek saved money on maintenance costs, streamlined workflows that helped better align staff and customer journeys to overcome organizational silos, dedicated paper storage areas have been eliminated, data integration helped eliminate out-of-date and habitual tasks, and the use of AI technology helped automate routine, repetitive and replicable activities to deliver consistent experiences and lastly, applicants no longer have to drive multiple times a week to make payments or check in on development projects that can now all be accessed through one main online platform.
About Queen Creek:
Founded in 1989, the Town of Queen Creek honors the past and embraces the future in being the best place to live and do business. With a growing population of 52,000, Queen Creek strives to ensure a high quality of life, promote a strong sense of community, protect residents, and provide world-class public service. The Town offers an extensive trail system, three community parks, a dog park, exciting events, and a robust recreation program.
Public Information Officer
Town of Queen Creek
e-PlanSoft™ develops cloud-based electronic document review software that assists governmental agencies, construction and manufacturing industries, developers and owners for their plan review, design review, product review, construction and asset review management in real-time.