Riverside’s Plan Review Process to Become “Business Ready”

Monday, January 14th, 2013

On January 8th, the Riverside City Council approved ProjectDox, a new software program that enables business owners, developers, contractors and even residents to complete the entire process of plan submittal and review on-line.

As part of the City Manager’s Economic Development Action Plan Business First program approved in early 2012, key City departments have been working together to identify and implement strategic changes to expand the City’ s “readiness” for facilitating new business and investment as the economy continues to improve.

image source: www.avolvesoftware.com

After researching potential opportunities for increased efficiencies and improved communication, an electronic plan submittal and review process management system was determined to be the most effective solution; both benefitting businesses and increasing efficiency in internal project development processes.

The new on-line process will provide substantial savings to customers. In addition to reduced or eliminated printing costs, plans will no longer need to be hand-delivered to City Hall resulting in saved fuel expenses.

Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey said, “….that ProjectDox will streamline processes and save developers and residents money is just one more example of how city leaders are taking action to ensure we maintain our presence as an ‘Intelligent Community’.”

As is done in most cities and counties, customers are currently required to submit multiple paper copies of plans to the CDD, Building and Safety Division.  Plans are then routed within the Community Development Department and to the Fire, Public Utilities, and Public Works Departments, for review and approval.  If revisions are needed customers are required to submit new paper plans that reflect any required changes. Department distribution and review begins anew with each resubmittal.

image source: www.avolvesoftware.com

An electronic plan submittal and review process system will eliminate the need for paper submittals initially and throughout review. Customers will have remote access to the system and be able to submit and receive feedback from the City, all without leaving their office.  Alerts for correction would be conveyed immediately, thus reducing time and expense associated with pick- up and delivery of comments and corrections respectively. Any location with Internet access could be used to access the system, allowing customers greater personal flexibility.  A transition to electronic submittal and review would help set Riverside apart from other governmental entities, and through more efficient and convenient practices, foster better business relationships.

“I am extremely proud of the results of a collaborative leadership team” stated City Manager Scott Barber, “this cutting-edge method of doing business is a prime example our commitment to helping Riverside businesses create jobs for our community.”

ProjectDox is a product of Avolve Software Corporation.  Some highlights of the new software program include:

      • It is a stand-alone solution while other systems require a full back office or core system to be installed;
      • It can handle over 250 file types while other solutions handle one file type, typically PDF;
      • Avolve/ProjectDox is a proven large customer solution. Customers include the Cities of Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL. Portland, ME; Las Vegas, NV; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA and Portland, OR;
      • ProjectDox works with all departments in an agency because it is not limited to PDF files.
      • ProjectDox contains a workflow engine that tracks the process;
      • Any computer with a browser can use ProjectDox without the need for additional software.  Other programs require Adobe software on each station;
      • ProjectDox can automatically convert file formats to accommodate the needs of departments such as PDF to CAD.   Other solutions require manual conversions;
      • Enterprise Licensing, single cost for an unlimited number of users;
      • Additional departments can begin using ProjectDox without performance degradation;
      • ProjectDox includes GIS integration and a viewer with single click access to the building plans and reviews for a specific address; and
      • ProjectDox is able to integrate with Permits Plus or any potential permit software replacement or upgrade.

City staff expects the transition to the new software to be complete before the end of 2013.