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In a move that supports some of the city’s overarching goals related to redevelopment and revitalization, the City of Garland, Texas, has selected Clariti’s Community Development Software to replace its current system. Trusted Clariti partner, Unisys, will implement the platform.
A first-ring suburb of Dallas, Garland is the fifth largest city in the Dallas/Fort Worth Region, one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States.
Each year, the city processes around 11,000 building permits, conducts roughly 32,000 inspections, and collects between 3-4 million dollars in permitting-related revenue.
Currently, the city’s 15 building department staff rely on a custom-built, on-premise permitting system as well as spreadsheets and other databases to track various elements of the development process. All communication is done via email and phone, and on average, staff serve between 8,000-9,000 walk-in customers every year.
Garland’s Chief Building Official, Brita Van-Horne, says the city’s ability to interface with customers through the existing system is limited, so staff are spending a significant amount of time on the phone or sending emails back and forth with customers. “We average about 52,000 phone calls per year, and I would estimate about as many emails. It’s a good indication of what isn’t happening through an online system or portal.”
Predominantly, Brita explains, it was this lack of an online portal and other reasons centered around improving the customer and staff experience that led the city to purchase Clariti’s Community Development Software. Reducing phone calls to focus on value-add activities, accurate data tracking, and obligations to achieve outlined timelines in the state’s “shot clock” bill also factored in.
“We wanted a system that can help the customer interact with us in the easiest, most efficient way possible,” says Brita. “We also wanted staff to be able to see the bigger picture of what’s going on from one screen and more easily communicate with each other.”
Once live, all teams involved in development will use the new system including building, planning, inspections, code compliance, and engineering.
“We’re thrilled to work with Garland to deliver a modern platform that provides complete transparency into all elements of the development process, and to help the city meet its short and long-term goals of exceptional service delivery and community revitalization,” says Cyrus Symoom, Clariti Co-CEO.
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