Case Study: City of Edmonton

Case Study

The City of Edmonton faced a unique challenge. A transformative technology solution was needed to streamline permitting & licensing operations & services, but project constraints limited the time to fully define every possible business requirement. The solution? A flexible business rules engine capable of configuring data and workflows to meet both the City’s current AND emerging business needs.

“We’ve had excellent feedback from internal and external users. We now have contractors using POSSE to monitor their jobs. Staff productivity gains based on new business processes using POSSE made us an award-winning organization.”

Larry Benowski
General Manager, Planning and Development 

The Challenge

In 1993, the Planning & Development Department for the City of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, had a significant problem. During an audit of the department, it was discovered that current business processes were insufficient, and needed to be completely reengineered.

Some of the problems uncovered were: 

Over 31 % of inspection visits were unproductive because the inspector could not gain access to the work site or the work was not ready for inspection.
Management had no ability to confirm the accuracy of inspection records. Information was either non-existent or incomplete.
Redundant work was being done by various areas of the department.
Inspections were inconsistent, discretionary and not thorough.
Routine permissions took months to process.
Some permits and inspections were difficult to track.
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“The software is configurable and adapts to meet the business requirements. We consistently have a number of projects underway at any given time that are expanding the use of the system to other business areas. We use POSSE as part of our ERP landscape and it is, by far, the best value for the City.”

Tim Beauchamp
Enterprise Architect


The Solution

Computronix was hired to implement a solution to these problems, and did so by creating POSSE, a highly flexible and configurable business rules engine. POSSE allows end users to easily configure and adjust data and workflows to meet their unique business needs.  

Inspectors were able to increase their time in the field by 40%. By confirming that customers are available at the job site and the right inspection had been scheduled, the number of wasted inspections decreased from 31 % to under 3%. Because of these efficiency improvements, the number of inspectors the city required was reduced by 50%.
It used to take at least half an hour to identify a parcel of land using microfiche; now it took seconds. To produce mailing labels and letters for legal notifications used to take up to 8 hours per application; now it took 5 minutes in POSSE. Complex fee calculations, which used to be hand-calculated, were now calculated automatically. This eliminated lost revenues due to calculation errors.
Performance measures that would take days and even weeks to calculate were now available instantaneously. Management could track revenues daily to compare to their budgets, and created a base of statistics used to define the levels of service to the public. POSSE was also able to adapt to new changes and improvements suggested by staff, making it easy for business users to modify their own business processes within POSSE.
Because of its ability to streamline and automate workflow, other departments rapidly adopted POSSE. Using POSSE as the foundation for automating processes and replacing other legacy systems saved the City of Edmonton hundreds of thousands of dollars by re-using POSSE code. POSSE now has over 3700 users across all city departments of Edmonton’s government for hundreds of different applications, and the city is continually finding new and inventive uses for POSSE.
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“The documents and one-on-one training provided to CoE staff proved effective and allowed internal staff to set up the other environments with minimal guidance from the vendor. Immediate acknowledgement and actions on City requests.”

Mariana Anda
Project Manager, PMO

The Results

More Inspection Time Spent in the Field
0 %
Reduction in Inspectors Required
0 %
Wasted Inspections Reduced By
0 %

Is your agency making do with underperforming software?

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