The 18th Annual International Code Conference in Phoenix, Arizona attracted approximately 2,000 building and fire professionals from across the country. These pros included code officials, inspectors, contractors, builders, plans examiners, architects, engineers, plumbers, and fire service personnel; all looking for the latest innovations in products and technology to make jobs more efficient and buildings safer.
The International Code Council (ICC) is a member-focused association dedicated to helping the building safety community and construction industry provide safe, sustainable, and affordable construction through the development of codes and standards used in the design, build, and compliance process. Through public/private sector collaboration, the Code Council provides support to government by developing codes that allow for safe and sustainable construction. As a result, government does not take on the high cost of developing its own codes but benefits from code uniformity that encourages local, affordable, construction growth.
Municipalities are dealing with shrinking budgets, but have the ever expanding responsibility of protecting their citizens’ building structures and regulating community standards. This can be a tall order for departments which may not have the same personnel they had a few years ago because of overall cutbacks.
The question is what can municipalities do to change things around and provide the same support of safety to their communities? Consider the following:
- Easily Deployed Technology: Federal, state, and local governments are turning to the “Cloud” or subscription based software. The capital outlay is minimal and budgeting is easier. A big attraction of this methodology is it does not require staff for technology support. Backups, security, and server infrastructure are all handled outside the organization. The organization simply needs to maintain their Internet connection. Another added bonus is the ability to access the system from anywhere. Imagine inspectors being able to document their results in real time on a tablet or smart phone device, providing better service to citizens and businesses.
- Citizen Communication: Communities are becoming more and more technology driven. Citizens are beginning to demand it from the communities in which they live. On-line Citizen Portals provide easy ways for citizens to apply for permits, complain about a neighborhood violation, or praise a civil servant. The Citizen Portals are self-service and push out information to the community.
- Automation: How long does it take to create a permit? How many people are involved? Can the approval process be refined? With a new system, workflow can be created via email or task lists which allow instant approvals. Documents can be attached and viewed. All information about the property or permit can be centralized. The inspection process can also be streamlined with data and information at the inspectors’ finger tips.
Intriguing? Many of the ICC attendees found exactly this type of information to help them do their jobs effectively and provide real answers to their city councils and citizens. Want to learn more? Check out Mitchell Humphrey’s software solutions and its technology based on Microsoft Dynamic CRM at FastTrackGov.com.
For more information about the ICC and attending next year’s Conference in Portland, Oregon, check http://www.iccsafe.org.
Wednesday, December 7th at 10 am (CDT) • Wednesday, December 14th at 1 pm (CDT)