Community development agencies across North America are striving to streamline their planning approval processes to increase the speed-to-market for much needed affordable housing stocks. Unfortunately, for many agencies, poorly integrated ePlans software is hampering these efforts.
Unlike POSSE PLS, the majority of ePlan solutions are not fully integrated within the larger Permitting and Licensing System. Instead, many systems ‘bolt on’ third-party ePlans software to their existing permitting system resulting in a compromised solution with the following systemic integration issues:
- Data remains siloed in separate systems impeding the ability of the agency to achieve a ‘single source of truth.’
- File/Plan management is cumbersome with manual processes, duplicate steps, and the need to navigate between applications resulting in frustrating inefficiencies.
- Document version control is often a manual process creating agency workflows fraught with duplication of effort at best and the potential for error at worst.
- Automated information flow between the public portal and internal system is nonexistent, reducing transparency while simultaneously increasing the burden on staff to communicate plan status updates and related feedback to the applicant.
The net result of these integration issues is an ePlans system that unnecessarily extends review, revision and approval timelines for development plans and related permit issuance. The knock-on effect for builders and developers is a longer, more frustrating process to achieve plan approvals, one that directly impedes their abilities to bring housing inventory to market more quickly and more affordably.
Increasing ePlans Efficiency with Integrated Automation
In contrast to poorly integrated solutions, POSSE PLS features a dedicated ePlans module seamlessly integrated with your permitting/licensing workflows AND the industry-leading markup tools. A complete product solution for your electronic plan review process, the POSSE PLS ePlans Module contains:
- Robust workflow capabilities to move your ePlans through submission, review, and approval quickly and easily.
- An automation-assisted public portal empowers developers to submit electronic plans, action feedback, and receive notifications for further submissions and/or revisions.
- Designed to facilitate seamless collaboration amongst all plan contributors, reviewers and external stakeholders, the POSSE PLS ePlans module offers a powerful toolkit to facilitate transparent cooperation.
In your quest for improved planning efficiency, this fully-integrated ePlans solution will equip your agency to succeed across four critical operational areas:
The POSSE PLS ePlans Module fully automates document file management, versioning, and storage, with a breadth of convenient, productivity focused features:
- Document upload automatically categorizes each document type and page (including drawings, site-plans, blueprints, and more).
- Powerful slipsheeting features means additional documents can be submitted for review even AFTER a review has already started.
- Supplemental documents are tagged and alerted in the Staff Portal, notifying all parties of the need to upload, review and/or approve new planning documentation.
- The POSSE ePlans Viewer enables users to view all plan documents within the tool rather than external applications such as Acrobat, facilitating a seamless transition between the ePlans module and POSSE PLS.
- The system’s internal file structure facilitates automated version control of all documents and files, ensuring that public portal, back-office, and external users are always accessing the current document(s) of record.
With its introduction of ‘The Complex Document,’ the POSSE PLS ePlans Module facilitates a transparent, automation-assisted process designed to facilitate efficient and effective collaboration throughout your plan review and markup processes. Core features include:
- Document and Markup processes are seamlessly integrated within your existing POSSE PLS plan review workflows.
- Plan Reviewers can easily toggle between both different planning projects and tasks as well as document comparisons and overlays.
- The Takeoffs feature enables the designation of markup task groups for easy retrieval and filing.
- Changemarks enables tracked markup including a comprehensive markup history.
- The POSSE PLS ePlans module automatically tracks whether someone has ‘looked at’ or marked up a file—both internally or via the public portal.
- Comments/Changemarks are tracked by user and associated by department to facilitate easy reporting and transparency of review assignments and progress to date.
- The module supports image inserts for those markup scenarios where, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
Planning Process Automation
Leveraging the award-winning workflow automation capabilities of the POSSE Platform, the POSSE PLS ePlans Module systemizes your common planning processes accurately and efficiently, progressing all stakeholders towards timely plan approval.
- Globally accessible documents and checklist-oriented workflows prompt users to keep plan reviews progressing logically and error-free, with automatic notifications facilitating quick responses from all stakeholders.
- Seamless integration between the ePlans Module and POSSE PLS facilitates a ‘single source of truth’ for planning documents, report data, and review commentary, affording full transparency for all parties to the planning process.
- The POSSE PLS ePlans Module facilitates singular, partial, or bulk approval of all plan elements, in conjunction with building permit issuance.
- The batch stamp feature equips staff to define your own stamps, stamp all plan pages in the same location, and consolidate them in a single pdf file for convenient distribution.
Public Portal / Staff Portal Information Flow
For plan submitters and permit and/or license applicants, the seamless integration between POSSE PLS and the ePlans Module is virtually undetectable to the naked eye. Utilizing the workflow automation capabilities of the POSSE Platform, end users are guided through an intuitive, mobile-friendly user experience—one optimized to help them achieve their planning objective in the fewest steps and shortest time possible. The core benefits of this integrated information exchange include:
- All plan documents, statuses, review commentary, and outstanding tasks, are seamlessly updated in real-time between the staff and public portal.
- Process automation guides an efficient plan review process, communicating review notes to all pertinent stakeholders, updating plan status (e.g., pass/fail), prompting corrections as required, and compiling final reports as needed for designated stakeholder groups.
- Both the public and staff portals utilize current design best-practices and strong visual cues to ensure every step of the digital journey, from initial plan submission to ongoing review and final approval, is clearly communicated and simple to execute.
- Throughout the review phase, your integrated ePlans Module maintains a comprehensive and easily filtered markup history for all planning participants, eliminating the information silos that plague poorly integrated permitting systems bolted onto third party ePlans software solutions.
- The POSSE PLS ePlans Module supports over 250 document types with GIS location information mapped directly to project files to enable more informed decisions.
Schedule Your POSSE ePlans Demo Today
Community development and land management agencies across North America are increasingly focused on getting development plans approved more quickly and efficiently to speed the supply of affordable housing in their communities. A properly integrated ePlans module is instrumental to these efforts, empowering all planning participants to work together collaboratively and efficiently to progress plans promptly. If your city or region is struggling with a poorly integrated ePlans solution contributing to planning and permitting delays, contact us today for a no obligation demonstration of the POSSE PLS ePlans Module.