Setting a Solid Foundation for Sustainable Growth in the City of Sterling, Illinois

For the past 11 years, the City of Sterling and Clariti have been working together to deliver seamless community development, public safety and economic prosperity for its residents.

From administering building permits to planning and zoning functions, contractors and administrators can effectively manage community processes with a simplified, intuitive platform.

Setting a Solid Foundation for Sustainable Growth 

Prior to adopting Clariti, Sterling had a two-carbon copy manual system where users had to write out permits, physically distribute them, and then enter them back into Excel to prepare monthly reports -- an ineffective, arduous process.

“There was a lot of paperwork, and it was a pain.”
- Hilda Thielen, Secretary to Director of Community Services, City of Sterling

Now, without reliance on error-prone paper-based processes, and with information consolidated in the cloud, Hilda can manage all permits, complaints, contractor accounts, and building reports within one system, with ease. Centralized data makes it far easier for the city to make end-of-month data synthesis, and ensures that all staff have access to the same information.

“When our teams hold administrative hearings, they can add details or other notes into the system’s records,” said Hilda. “I can also see who my inactive and active contractors are, so when I make reports for electrical contractors and general contractors, it’s a lot easier.”

For the City of Sterling, finding permits is now quick and easy. “When I’m searching for permits, I just switch the internal settings to “parcels” and the system automatically searches through everything,” said Hilda.

“It meets everything we need.”
- Hilda Thielen, Secretary to Director of Community Services, City of Sterling

A Solution Without Barriers is More Critical than Ever

In a society that necessitates social distancing and remote work, visiting the office, filing paperwork, and accessing on-premise files simply isn’t realistic. But for Sterling, the sudden mass shift away from in-office work in early 2020 was of little concern, as their existing online portal system allowed for remote access and service continuity. For Hilda and her team, work could carry on as normal.

“It’s been great being able to access information whenever I need it.”
- Hilda Thielen, Secretary to Director of Community Services, City of Sterling

Hilda’s team at the City of Sterling can configure new workflows, automations, applications or programs themselves, “without the need to step into the office or call someone. Right now, we can’t take people into the office so we can do everything at once without any in-person interaction.”

Goodbye Manual Data Entry, Hello Transparency and Automation

With the Clariti platform, Hilda can see exactly what’s been done each day and what still needs work the following day. 

“Our teams are pretty good about entering relevant information onto the platform and closing out complaints. When they close it, I know they’ve taken care of it.” With insight into task completion, Hilda can make sure that nothing gets dropped, ensuring ownership and transparency across teams and departments. 

Information is also easily accessible to the team and across departments when it’s needed. “When our inspection team runs administrative hearings, they can attach a note to the system to say ‘this person didn’t comply,’ or leave other important information for the case.”

Permitting, too, is made easier for the City of Sterling, with comprehensive and robust data sourcing across every single file. “When I do my permits, I can go back and look at an address and see if there’s a complaint attached to that address when residents are asking. I can plug in the resident name, applicant or contractor, and the platform pulls all of the relevant information right up.” 

Hilda can easily manage the city’s contractors and see the necessary data that comes with maintaining those relationships, from insurance information to permit expiration. “Our contractors can always keep their information updated, and inspectors can enter data on-site or in their vehicles, with real-time access into how many times an inspector has been there.” 

And if an employee needs to send correspondence to residents, they can quickly draft a personalized copy, and instantly generate an automated letter using the Letters Engine. All it takes is a simple click and drop of the information into the form, and the product does the rest, saving staff considerable time.

An Integral Part of Daily Operations

For over a decade, the City of Sterling and Clariti have worked closely together to provide the best permitting experience possible for city staff and citizens, with a combined goal of solving government inefficiencies. As permitting demands grow, the platform will continue to facilitate sustainable growth for the city. 

For Hilda, it’s hard to imagine life without Clariti, as it’s an integral part of her everyday work life: “It’s the first thing I have up in the morning, and the last thing I see when I log out.” 

City of Sterling Seal

City of Sterling, IL,
Community Services

Population

10,000-50,000

Agency Type

City

Department

Community Services

Region

Midwest

Solution

Building Permitting

Planning & Zoning