Macon-Bibb County, GA
Prominent national software provider
Located in central Georgia, Bibb County has a consolidated city-county government following a merger of the county with its county seat and largest city, Macon, in 2014. The county has grown rapidly in recent years, and local officials found themselves in need of a more efficient solution for processing zoning permits than the software they had been using.
With a population of more than 150,000, Macon-Bibb County often receives hundreds of zoning permit requests per week. For several years the city relied on software from a well-known national government software provider. However, as the Zoning department operated short-staffed, the software increasingly became a liability rather than a helpful tool. The Zoning Director, Randi Doveton, described it as, “a nightmare, and incredibly cumbersome. What we were using was more of a building code program which did not provide good delivery, and was certainly not user friendly at all. It worked because we found workarounds.”
With the competitor's software, Macon-Bibb officials found it extremely difficult to share information with other departments, search records, create reports, and send notices to permit applicants, all of which slowed the zoning process and created additional unnecessary work.
With a staff shortage, increasing incoming zoning permit applications, and software that created more headaches than it solved, Macon-Bibb decided to switch to GovPilot’s zoning permitting software in June 2019.
Since then, Macon-Bibb staff have utilized GovPilot to great effect. According to the county’s Zoning Director, GovPilot is much more user friendly than the previous software, and from an administrator’s point of view, GovPilot makes it easy to run reports, extract data, check statuses, send out notices, and quickly generate a time stamped audit trail when necessary.
The director also reports GovPilot being easy to learn for new employees, which has been a great help as the government continues to fill vacant roles. “February  was our highest intake from revenue in the history of our zoning department since 1957”, said Director Doveton. “Despite being short-staffed, GovPilot has helped us keep our heads above water.”
Today, the county receives approximately 75% of zoning permits through the GovPilot platform, and 25% via email PDF or mailed paperwork from “old-school folks”. According to Doveton, because GovPilot’s end-to-end digital process captures all information necessary, it often takes just hours to process a zoning permit application through GovPilot, whereas it can take several days to process applications received via emailed PDFs or mailed forms because of the manual data entry required.