There's a Simpler Way to Manage City Growth
- Industry: Local Government
- Tyler Client Since: 2016
- Number of Employees: 2,022 full time, 988 part time, 1,490 volunteers
- Population: 316,943
- Location: Nevada
- Tyler Products/Solutions: Enterprise Permitting & Licensing, Enforcement Mobile, Data & Insights
- $250,000 + saved each year since implementing mobile inspections
- 24-hour decrease in citizen wait time for consecutive inspections
- 36% increase in online permitting applications after launching Civic Access
Henderson Leverages Tech to Transform Population Growth Into Economic Vitality
The City of Henderson is known for growth. Not only is it the second-largest municipality in Nevada, but it also ranks among the fastest-growing cities in the United States, home to nearly 317,000 people. The city’s reputation for major growth doesn’t only apply to population, however — Henderson is a shining example of a modern city that leverages technology to ensure the community and its citizens have ample opportunity to thrive.
Rather than shy away from the increased citizen demands that naturally arise from population growth, Henderson has taken a proactive approach. “City Council has placed economic vitality as a top priority,” said Christopher Barnes, Development Services Center manager. “The city is committed to creating an environment that is attractive to businesses and employees by creating desirable neighborhoods and access to employment opportunities.”
Adapting to Increased Workloads and Customer Demands
Henderson’s prioritization of economic vitality led to new partnerships with key players like Amazon, Haas Automation, Inc., and Google, to name a few. While these relationships brought substantial development to the community, they also significantly increased workloads, which made maintaining high service levels a challenge.
As a result of this booming development, “the demand for quick plan review and electronic processes were a necessity,” said Barnes. “We needed technology that would transform the services provided, making the processes more intuitive and efficient for our customers and employees. Demands for transparency and ease of application were at the forefront of our customers’ needs.”
Henderson’s previous permitting and land management software — relying heavily on paper and outdated processes — couldn’t keep up with the new technological demands. Through the RFP process, Henderson identified Tyler’s Enterprise Permitting & Licensing (powered by EnerGov™) civic services software as the best solution for customers and staff to increase workload capacity, automate routine functions, offer ease of access to information, and introduce online permit management.
Starting Right With Consistent Communication and Training
When it came time to implement Enterprise Permitting & Licensing, Henderson staff was well prepared, creating a detailed plan for a seamless transition. This included thorough testing across various environments, iterative integration and automation updates, and consistent communication and collaboration with Tyler, city staff, and customers.
For example, Henderson chose to adopt Enterprise Permitting & Licensing’s Civic Access portal to provide citizens with more efficient online permitting. But they didn’t just flip a switch and expect customers to adjust. “Prior to launching this to the public, we organized several hands-on testing sessions with a handful of our frequent customers. Extensive communication, as well as pre- and post-launch trainings were provided to our customers to show them the benefit and encourage its use,” said Barnes.
The demand for quick plan review and electronic processes were a necessity. We needed technology that would transform the services provided, making the processes more intuitive and efficient for our customers and employees.
Development Services Center Manager
Additionally, Henderson uses Enterprise Permitting & Licensing’s mobile workforce platform for inspections, giving workers the ability to manage inspections right from the field. However, this presented challenges for many seasoned inspectors who were reluctant to switch from pen and paper to a tablet. Again, Henderson realized the important role of steady training and communication. “Over time, through consistent training, team members began to recognize and embrace the benefit and ease of the tools,” Barnes noted.
Empowering Staff and Citizens With Online Permitting
With the community on board, Henderson’s once heavily paper-dependent and inefficient processes were replaced with software that offered task-driven, comprehensive modules and user-friendly, web-based solutions for staff and citizens. But Henderson’s thirst for improvement didn’t end once up and running. The city also chose to join Tyler’s Enterprise Permitting & Licensing Assist program, which provides premium-level services. “Through collaboration with the [Enterprise Permitting & Licensing] Assist team, we were able to look at existing processes to continue streamlining,” said Stephen Guyette, senior information systems analyst.
One of the key ways Henderson increased efficiencies was through improved online permitting with Civic Access. More than 14,000 permits have been submitted online since the launch of Civic Access, reducing valuable customer wait time in the permitting office along with reducing call volume. But Henderson took it even further, building a subcontractor registration tool to automate contractor license verification within the portal. “Over 90% of subcontractor registrations and appliance replacement permit applications are now completed online, saving our customers significant time and money,” said Guyette.
Over 90% of subcontractor registrations and appliance replacement permit applications are now completed online, saving our customers significant time and money.
Senior Information Systems Analyst
By improving permit efficiency, Henderson was able to keep up with increased customer demands without needing to add additional staff.
Increasing Efficiency and Service With Mobile Inspections
Henderson took another huge step forward in efficiency by adding mobile inspection capabilities. By removing paper logs and written notices, the city increased transparency, improved accuracy in inspection records, and streamlined assignments of inspections.
“Managers and supervisors are now able to be proactive to fluctuations in the volume of work and provide accurate reporting on productivity. Historically, inspection reassignment required telephone calls and hand delivering of new inspection logs to field inspectors. Now using a simple dashboard, supervisors have access to see remaining inspections, schedules, and routes, which allows them to make necessary reassignments based on workload, saving trips back to the office,” said Guyette.
On the citizen side, implementing mobile inspections and permit workflow management allowed the city to decrease wait time to schedule consecutive inspections by one business day. This quicker turnaround also meant a reduction in calls to the inspection office to request results and/or schedule inspections.
Creating a Data-Driven Future
Henderson recognizes the critical role data plays in moving the city forward. In the coming year, it plans to integrate Enterprise Permitting & Licensing with Data & Insights, Tyler’s data platform. Currently, the city uses both as standalone products, but with the shared goals of providing transparency, ease of use, automation, and a user-friendly source of public information.
“We use [Data & Insights] to provide reporting on key performance indicators, public safety information, financial statistics, details on traffic and tourism, and much more. Tying [Enterprise Permitting & Licensing] into [Data & Insights] will alleviate the manual process of extracting and importing datasets to create comprehensive visualizations,” Guyette said.
With this integration, Henderson will be able to identify fields that will automatically populate datasets and update regularly, removing hours of labor from dedicated personnel. “This recaptured time will allow us to easily create additional datasets that present value to our community and business practices,” Guyette explained.
The exciting thing about Henderson is that just as its population continues to grow, so does its desire for providing citizens and staff with the most effective, efficient processes. Rather than be reactive to the ever-changing demographics, Henderson continues to take a proactive approach, ensuring the city doesn’t just get bigger, it gets better — from the neighborhoods to the businesses, to the overall sense of community.