Permit technicians and building department managers who are keen to keep up with multifaceted permit review and approval processes are turning to new technologies to automate and streamline what are otherwise very manual, time-intensive tasks. As populations grow, scaling permit review processes is becoming an even more urgent matter.
Cities and counties across the country process thousands of building permits – a regulated process that ensures minimum building standards are met for the safety of citizens. Whether the application is for a city skyscraper, or a residential remodel, permit techs have the complex mission of intaking permit applications and associated files and then processing everything in an orderly and timely fashion.
Most agencies are now accepting electronic permit application packages, which may include information submitted via web-forms, on form-fillable PDF files, and with digital drawings and records. While this process is more efficient than paper, those responsible for processing the permit applications are finding that without a digital permit file management strategy the transition to electronic files does not necessary reduce the amount of time and effort needed to manage and route building permit documents. Even though files are digital, each permit package must be organized, routed to a number of people across multiple departments for review, passed through approvals, tracked throughout, and finally maintained as records.
Bluebeam eases collaboration
Bluebeam review has become widely hailed among permit techs and those who process permit applications for collaboration and review of permit files. It eliminates the need to send files back and forth via email and offers real-time collaboration. That said, just how effectively files are handled before entering a Bluebeam session, and once the session is complete, has remained a challenge for those without a comprehensive digital strategy for permit file management.
End-to-end permit review file management with Document Locator and Bluebeam
Document Locator, with Bluebeam integration, is an end-to-end solution for permit reviews that automates the management of files and communications. Even more, it adds comprehensive reporting and tracking tools to help permit techs and managers maintain a clear focus on the status of application records.
How Document Locator permit file management works
- Permit Techs are notified electronically when new permit files arrive via the city or county website.
- The permit files are automatically named and saved in their proper filing location.
- Once reviewed by Permit Techs, a digital workflow sends the files to Bluebeam and automatically opens a review session.
- Email notifications are sent by the system to appropriate reviewers with a link to join the Bluebeam Revu Session.
- When reviews are completed, the Bluebeam session is closed and permit files are automatically brought back into the permit file management system. Version history records every change.
Reporting tracks the status of permit reviews
Not only does Document Locator automate the time-consuming tasks of building permit reviews, it also provides comprehensive logging and reporting tools that allow permit techs and managers to easily track the status of reviews. These reporting tools include:
- A permitting review status report with a breakdown of ongoing activity such as number and percentage of tasks complete, as well as a list of departments that have yet to complete their tasks.
- A review history report with a list of reviewers and their completion date and comments.
- A full running log of the markup activity for each document that clearly indicates who performed each markup and when they performed it.
Automation Improves Permit Application Processing
Reducing complexity and increasing application processing efficiency is an absolute necessity as populations increase. Moving further into the digital age, cities and states will begin to adopt digital, automated solutions to help solve increasing demands. Document Locator, with Bluebeam integration, is a good example of how agencies can easily and affordably transition to a more streamlined and effective way of handling an ever-increasing amount of building permit applications.