The city’s challenge: Find an efficient way to handle electronic plan reviews
North Ridgeville, a community with steady new home development year over year, needed a more efficient way to handle plan reviews. The application process was paper-intensive, leading to multiple printed plan sets and confusion as to whether versions were the most up-to-date.
Working with authorized OnBase provider Kiriworks, North Ridgeville began using OnBase enterprise content management (ECM) and its Electronic Plan Review solution to scan and index documents and reduce its paper dependency.
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“Contractors love it because they don’t have to come running into the Building Department several times a week,” said Teila Lovell, assistant chief building official, master plan examiner, and building inspector with the city of North Ridgeville. “They don’t have to print off multiple sets of drawings to submit for review, and the subcontractors love it because they have up-to-date, clean drawings to work from.”
5 ways Electronic Plan Review changed the way North Ridgeville works
OnBase by Hyland's Electronic Plan Review solution is helping North Ridgeville in more ways than one:
- Reducing paper files: “The amount of space that OnBase saved us just in the past couple of years by scanning house drawings is enormous,” said Lovell. “There’s no way we can physically put another file cabinet into our space.”
- Simplifying document submittal: The web portal makes it easy and fast for developers and contractors to upload plans and applications. No more dropping off piles of paper at the Building Department.
- Advancing community safety: The North Ridgeville police and fire departments no longer have to visit the Building Department to view residential and commercial building drawings. By viewing them through OnBase, they have the structural information they need to respond quicker when they need access to a building.
- Allowing users to personalize features: Electronic Plan Review lets users create a library of standard comments used in the review process. Different font sizes, colors and markup tools let users highlight important changes they want other parties to see. Lovell has been able to create original documents – including a checklist for inspectors – and upload them as part of the plan sets.
- Providing unlimited possibilities for future application: “I haven’t even begun to delve into what OnBase can do for us yet. I’m still scratching the surface,” said Lovell. Future plans include using OnBase ECM and Electronic Plan Review to schedule inspections, accept credit card payments for permits and allow residents to submit building applications online for smaller home projects.