Plan and document review feature in Accela Automation software boosts efficiency, delivers cost savings to governments and public
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 13, 2012 – Accela, Inc., the leading provider of cloud, web and mobile software applications for e-government, announced that the City of Sacramento’s Community Development Department (CDD) has incorporated Accela’s Electronic Document Review feature as the basis for the city’s new e-plan check solution, launched today, which is designed to digitize the submittal, review and approval process for commercial building plans, and to remove the need to print costly and environmentally unfriendly paper documents. The city estimates that customers will save hundreds of dollars on reproduction costs alone by submitting their plans electronically—initially on disks or flash drives, with online submittal capability via Accela Citizen Access™ software coming in the near future.
CDD serves a population of more than 470,000 and processes more than 13,000 building plans each year. ePlan Check is the latest new service to emerge from the city’s “Sacramento Streamline” initiative, focused on saving time and money for businesses, the public, and the city. Sacramento’s Fire, Utilities, Transportation, and Parks & Recreation departments also intend to utilize the Accela-based ePlan Check capability as integral team members of the general plan checking process, while CDD will extend ePlan Check service for use in residential building plans and Planning Entitlement Submittals later this year.
Electronic Document Review is a fully integrated plan and document review feature within Accela’s enterprise Accela Automation® software and available to current customers at no additional charge. The feature enables government staff to incorporate document review and markups directly into the existing Accela Automation processes that automate, organize, and track reviews. It also provides end-to-end management of and access to electronic documents across department teams, helping boost compliance with local regulations and codes.
As an existing Accela customer, Sacramento was able to augment its investment in Accela Automation without the need to purchase a standalone plan review software package —thereby improving the city’s ease of integration, shortening deployment time, and benefiting civic budgets.
“Sacramento is a city with a consistent commitment to technology innovation and customer service,” said Chief Building Official Ryan DeVore, “and our work with Accela has been a true public-private partnership. With Accela technology as an underpinning, we feel that our ePlan Check model could be applied to building and planning departments across the country.”
“In only a few months since we announced Electronic Document Review, dozens of governments have expressed their interest in deploying this technology,” said Darrell Lewis, Vice President of Product Management at Accela. “By automating the increasingly complex steps involved in the management of development projects, Electronic Design Review can help local government initiatives like Sacramento Streamline to become reality, making communities of all sizes more economically competitive and vibrant.”
BENEFITS TO SACRAMENTO BUSINESSES AND RESIDENTS
The extensibility and flexibility of Electronic Document Review provides governments of all sizes with the ability to easily structure an online plan review process based on their unique requirements and regulation, while incorporating Accela Automation’s existing document management, workflow, and task assignment capabilities. This empowers departments to easily prioritize, process and issue unlimited types of permits based on their unique regulations, requirements, and internal procedures.
CDD workers and the public users of ePlan Check will enjoy numerous benefits from the capabilities of Electronic Document Review.
- The International Code Council’s eCodes Premium Subscription is incorporated into Electronic Document Review, allowing users to directly access and reference eCodes digital code products. Electronic Document Review even allows copying and pasting from the ICC eCodes directory to the review documents within Accela Automation to further streamline the review and approval process while improving accuracy.
- Tight integration with Adobe Acrobat X Pro provides easy review and markup of documents in industry-standard PDF format. The feature also supports current EDMS connectors to third-party document management solutions, greatly facilitating inter-team collaboration by making documents – and their comments and markups – available for review to all agency and public users. This capability accelerates document transfer and handling while also protecting the accuracy and integrity of edited documents.
- Document Tracking and Assignments capability allows users to save documents—such as building plans, architectural drawings, or business licenses—within the Accela Automation enterprise environment. Workers may also track their documents every step of the way, or assign new tasks or deadlines using Accela Automation’s powerful workflow.
- Document Uploads and Comment/Markup Review supports submission of multiple documents via Accela Automation or Accela Citizen Access, Accela’s public-facing solution for online application, payment, and tracking. Industry professionals may review their marked-up documents from their home or office and provide any required re-submissions. Government inspectors or other field-based staff can use the Accela Mobile Office™ solution to view approved documents in real-time wherever they are working.
Electronic Document Review requires no new licensing fees, although services fees for installation and post-deployment support may apply. Additional information can be found at www.accela.com/electronic-document-review.