Manual Paper and single-use software
The capital of New Jersey - a GovPilot customer since 2016 - sought to streamline city services that traditionally had seen high demand over the years but whose delivery was slowed by inefficient paper and single-use software processes. Trenton partnered with GovPilot to transition several processes to a unified, digital platform to enhance constituent experience and increase the government’s efficiency and productivity across a number of departments. Critically, the city sought to digitize and streamline its constituent concerns and inspection processes.
Trenton employs ten inspectors and two clerks who conduct and file a minimum of 400 - 700 building and code enforcement inspections per month depending on the time of year.
Prior to partnering with GovPilot, Trenton relied on a paper process to track incoming email and phone citizen concerns which was time consuming and often resulted in complaints going unresolved. The city also utilized a single-use software platform to process property related permit applications.
The ten person inspection team handles a minimum of 6,000 inspections per year and, prior to deploying GovPilot’s GovInspect app, had done so using clip boards and paper forms. This information would then be manually entered into a laptop in their car or back at the office on their desktop.The paper-based inspection process meant that inspectors were only able to spend four hours per day conducting inspections, and had to spend an additional one to two hours filing paperwork.
With an inspection calendar assigned on paper forms, individual inspections averaging 30-45 minutes and the added driving and data entry time, the inspection process in Trenton was inefficient, time consuming, and unsustainable.
Realizing the inefficiencies in the inspection processes, and acknowledging the frustration of staff and residents in terms of service accessibility, Trenton officials set out to digitize critical services and operations. The onset of COVID-19 has further confirmed to officials the importance of digital transformation in Trenton.
Trenton and the city’s inspectors replaced their paper-based inspection process with GovInspect, GovPilot’s fully digital, cloud-based inspection application which enables inspections to be scheduled and conducted end-to-end on a mobile device. In doing so, inspectors, staff, and constituents can access up to the minute results. The app enables inspectors to attach pictures to a properties file in order to make issues visible department wide and confirm resolution of issues following a re-inspection by uploading before and after images.
Trenton also deployed GovPilot’s Report-a-Concern process which is available to citizens on the city’s website and through the GovAlert mobile app, to enable them to report non-emergency concerns with officials such as potholes, broken street lights, etc. In December, 2020 Trenton received 4,142 alerts through Report-a-Concern, with each automatically routed to the appropriate department, and tracked so that citizens and officials can track progress of each concern’s resolution.