Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Will the adoption and implementation of government agency electronic plan submission processes affect the volume of wide-format printing?

From the year 2015 I.T. Plan of a major county in the U.S. (Information Technology Projects)

IT-000010 Electronic Plan Submission - Land Development Services

Project Description
The Land Use Information Advisory Council appointed by the Board of Supervisors (BOS) issued several guiding principles that included more robust use of technology facilitate the electronic submission and review of land use applications. The Land Development Services division of DPWES plans implementation of an electronic plan submission and review to enable architects, engineers and construction professionals to submit changes online by marking up or editing drawings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere in the world. The electronic process enables constant communication where clients are able to collaborate with one another for real time editing. Users are also able to track their progress and organize their plans in an inexpensive manner. The ease of use of electronic plan review makes the transition from paper base to digital plan review extremely valuable.

Project Goals
This project will build upon a pilot conducted in FY 2014 to introduce the capability to receive and review building and site plans electronically. It will yield numerous benefits, including enhanced customer service, reduced carbon footprint, cost savings, cost avoidance, and satisfaction of Board-appointed committee recommendations.

Progress to Date
This is a new project in FY 2015. Following successful completion of the pilot, this initiative will continue with adding various plan types, other customers and reviewers until fully deployed.

Project Budget
FY 2015 funding of $600,000 supports an initial pilot and deployment of an electronic plan review process. Given the experience of jurisdictions that have already implemented similar systems, LDS anticipates a smooth expansion of the effort to include all plan types and all plan reviewers.

Return on Investment
In addition to streamlined review and plan submission processes, this project provides significant environmental benefits and financial savings stemming from reduced paper costs and reduced fuel consumption. Once implemented, this project will eliminate/significantly reduce the need to print large paper plans (each over 50 lbs) and deliver them numerous times for county review. Customer savings and improved customer service combined with a streamlined and more collaborative plan review process advance the county’s goal of supporting and enabling further development and redevelopment throughout the county.

Additionally much of the current cost of physical storage (DPWES spends in excess of $59,000 annually to digitize site plans for historical retention) will be eliminated when the electronic plan submission and review project is fully implemented. Other benefits include simplification of the plan submission and review process, staff efficiency, improved record keeping, streamlined review processes, improved accuracy of data transmitted due to a reduction in the number of times plan data needs to be copied and recopied, industry “goodwill” gained by satisfying a long- standing industry demand, and reduction of costs to retrieve historical plan records with a significant reduction of risk that the documents being sought have been inadvertently lost or destroyed.

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