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Local government agencies: Take control of licensing & permitting

With all the technology available today, it’s very common to know exactly where things are at any given time. Whether it’s a package coming in the mail, an Uber, or a delivery pizza, mobile apps and digital tracking make it possible to pinpoint statuses at the touch of a button. And despite the fact that this experience is commonplace today, it still not available when tracking the status of a regulated license or permit. After the initial submission, there’s no visibility in the progress or status of a license or permit application it until it’s approved or rejected by local government agencies.

Regulation is rising in importance but hasn’t changed processes

A large percentage of today’s workforce has to endure the slow process of applying for and receiving a license or permit. Today, 30% of US workers need some sort of occupational license, which is 25% higher than the 1950s[i]. A similar trend exists in the European Union – roughly 5,500 professions need a license to practice[ii]. In both cases, the process of getting a license is painfully manual. Professionals have to identify the right forms, fill in the information, drop them off in person and then…wait. While waiting, it’s impossible for applicants to know if they forgot a key piece of documentation which could result in delay or rejection.

It’s also a headache for those who handle the paperwork itself. Not only do regulatory agency employees have to manually route the paper work to the right place and then back, they have to stay in compliance with constantly changing regulations. And without any way to easily track or report on current or expired licenses, the regulatory agencies are not able to properly meet their mandates to safeguard the public. Even though the current process works, it’s not efficient or enjoyable for either party.

While regulation processes haven’t changed, expectations have

The dominance of mobile devices over the past ten years has completely changed market expectations. Lines and “in-person” chores used to be the norm, but thanks to online shopping, mobile apps and two-day shipping, consumers expect to be able to get things done at home. Most commercial industries provide some kind of 24/7, omnichannel access to consumers; where they can see their order history, price adjustments, receipts, and generate reports of some kind or another. They also maintain product reviews, so consumers can compare and contrast products offered by one company over another. This trend of convenience is not lost on consumers – research shows that 85% of US citizens expect public-sector organizations to do the same[iii].

This impacts local government agencies both externally and internally. Externally, they are expected to provide access to information. They need to give visibility in to where applicants are in the process as well as giving the public access to the businesses that are approved and have a history of compliance. They also need to improve internally, because their employees have the same consumer expectations. Employees waste significant time managing and distributing paperwork, which if digitized, could be done automatically. They also spend time tracking renewal notifications, keeping up with constant changes in compliance requirements and generating reports that guide decision making. The amount of time spent on these manual tasks could be put to far greater use, especially since budgets usually shrink and responsibilities typically expand. As the gap between the services offered and the services expected continues to expand, it will result in more frustration and lower approval ratings.

Transform your licensing and permitting processes

It’s time for an evolution in the licensing process – one that empowers local government agencies to provide effective, trackable services while continuing to oversee professional compliance and protect the public. Applying for and receiving a license or permit shouldn’t involve waiting in the dark.

Adoxio’s Regulate 365, built on Microsoft Cloud Technology, is a rich content management and automation system that bring the benefit of cloud to the licensing and permitting process.  With a 24/7 portal, businesses will fill out and track their licenses from start to finish. With all information in the same platform, consumers can easily view, learn about and compare businesses and make an informed decision. Regulate 365 also automates many back-end functions, making it easier to follow up with businesses as compliance changes, gather reports on activities and gain insights in to business patterns.

To learn more about Regulate 365 and other transformational cloud solutions, go to Microsoft AppSource.

[i] https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2015/01/27/nearly-30-percent-of-workers-in-the-u-s-need-a-license-to-perform-their-job-it-is-time-to-examine-occupational-licensing-practices/s

[ii] https://euobserver.com/opinion/132763 

[iii] https://www.accenture.com/t20161102T223245__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/PDF-35/Accenture-Digital-Citizen-Experience-Pulse-Survey-Highlight-Final.pdf