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Orlando saves 12,811 staff hours with permit automation

The City of Orlando

Orlando, FL

The City of Orlando has automated its permitting processes. In one year, the city has processed 61,447 permit inquiries across the residential and business projects with a 97% self-service rate. This has resulted in a time savings of over 12,811 hours of staff time per year for the City.

Topics Covered

Small Business
Customer Service
Permitting
Process Improvement

Cost

Initial: 60 Thousand USD

Funding

General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Status

Operational since 2016

Gov Champion

Digital Platforms Team

Problem Addressed

The City of Orlando's permitting processes were hard to navigate and led citizens to submit inquiries and complaints to the city.

Permitting is one of the City of Orlando’s highest volume services, but, according to the Mayor, it receives the most inquiries and the most complaints from the residents of one of Central Florida’s largest and growing communities.

In Orlando, permitting has many factors based on a complex matrix of land-use rules, with two complete sets of land use districts, based on density and nearness to the City’s urban core. For the novice, these regulations were hard to navigate, leading to project delays and lots of frustration.

Improving the user experience and providing end-to-end transparency was a high priority for the Mayor and his staff, and the City’s Digital Platforms team was tasked with finding a solution. The team was given three key requirements. The first was to make it easy for residents and business owners to discover all zoning and permitting requirements without staff intervention. The second was to provide this information via a modern digital experience without disrupting existing departmental operations. Finally, the service had to also be available in Spanish.

Solutions Used

By digitizing workflows and processes using permitting software, Orlando has been able to improve how it delivers services to residents. 

OpenCounter has helped the City of Orlando streamline service delivery to its residents and business community.

The permit discovery portal guides applicants through complex permitting workflows so they can understand the full scope of their projects before they get started and the Permit Issuance tools deployed in 2015 have completely digitized workflows and processes that used to be manual.

"Because of the toolset that OpenCounter provides, we are constantly chipping away at turn-around times across all permitting services." Says Matt Broffman, "For example, with our tree permits, there is not a single piece of paper involved in that entire process, including the person going into the field to inspect the tree and approve it. We know that, at scale, every kind of turnaround between the city and an applicant for a permit can be dramatically shortened."

In the past year, the City of Orlando has serviced 61,447 permit inquiries across residential and business projects with a 97% self-service rate. This effort has resulted in a time savings of over 12,811 hours of staff time per year for the City.

Outcomes

1

The City of Orlando has serviced 61,447 permit inquiries across the residential and business projects with a 97% self-service rate in the last year.

2

Time savings of over 12,811 hours of staff time per year for the City.

3

Average completion time per inquiry is under 8 minutes.

4

OpenCounter also has a 10% higher trust score than any other digital service provided by the City of Orlando – a great indicator of overall high user satisfaction.

Something Unique

The City of Orlando is going through a digital transformation process across 300 plus city services. OpenCounter’s ability to quickly automate permit discovery without being disruptive to the underlying departmental processes has enabled it to be a key part of this digitization program.

Who Should Consider

Local governments that are seeking to improve resident and business satisfaction with permitting processes.

Last Updated

Mar 25th, 2022
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