Following a trend of municipalities across the U.S. switching over to a variety of paperless processes, the city of Maricopa, Ariz., is working on implementing an electronic system for the submission of building plans.
Online forms submission and retrieval represents some of the most powerful advantages of getting rid of paper-based systems. The hassles of physical storage are functionally eliminated as the plans are stored electronically instead of in file cabinets. Locating plans is often simpler and quicker as well, using search features keyed to document text as well as metadata attached to each file. Specifically for building plans, being able to focus on specific details and zoom into areas of interest is easier than with physically submitted designs.
Local news source InMaricopa reported the plan for conversion to an electronic system is still under consideration but may be gaining momentum from positive attitudes displayed by city officials.
Spurred by other local adoptions
The forms automation process for building plans has already been adopted by other municipalities in the state, including Goodyear, Gilbert and Scottsdale, along with state capital Phoenix. The proposed paperless plan is holistic, meaning that any and all projects could be submitted through the system. If implemented, the electronic method would greatly reduce the amount of paper used by both the local government and builders.
The back-and-forth nature of some building applications was cited by Maricopa Development Services Department Director Robert Goodhue as a reason for the possible switch. Instead of developers having to submit multiple diagrams and ancillary documents with various corrections, the paperless service lets changes be made electronically, further reducing waste. The reduction in the volume of documents also creates time savings for development services workers in the city, as they can focus on specific alterations without having to sort through lots of plans.
Increased e-documentation offered in the area
Besides the electronic transfer of building plans, cities in the area like Phoenix have adopted paperless billing for municipal services. News source AZCentral reported that the city government’s projections for a switch to a paperless billing system for its water services could lead to savings of approximately $110,000 per year.
Increased access and simplified informational exchange are two benefits of paperless billing over the traditional concepts of static documents. Using electronic document storage can help your business avoid all the hassles of having to deal with physical documents.