As 2024 is getting underway, communities across the country are getting ready to deliver better services for their residents and businesses than ever before. So, what does it take to meet your community’s challenges and build close connections with citizens and businesses? Commitment to customer service and a dedicated workforce are two key components. But it is simply impossible to deliver outstanding service without the support of tailor-made technology.
Why Communities Need Technology
Just a decade ago, millions of Americans remained offline, internet use has gradually increased across the country. Today, more than 311 million Americans are regularly online. Nine out of ten of those users access the internet from a mobile phone. That means that online resources and mobile phones have become two of the best ways for organizations to connect with their audiences.
Regionally, connectivity and signal strength influence how popular these services have become, but it is safe to say that we have moved away from paper-based processes and toward online-based services in our personal and professional lives.
For most, these changes have made day-to-day activities easier. Online-based services save time, they are often more accessible than in-person services, and they allow organizations to spend their time and resources elsewhere. Municipalities across the US are discovering the benefits that come with embracing state-of-the-art technology that was built with their needs in mind.
Benefits of FastTrackGov® (FTG) and Financial Management Software (FMS)
Traditionally, municipality services like licensing and permitting have relied on residents and business owners visiting their local government offices several times. Some processes required in-person appointments. Others relied on forms being filled out and returned to the municipality alongside additional documentation.
If there was any missing information, applicants needed to visit the municipality more than once. Processes could be delayed because of scheduling difficulties and other issues. While not impossible, those paper-based processes were rather time-consuming for both sides.
Community development software products like FastTrackGov (FTG) and Financial Management Software (FMS) make it easier for municipalities, citizens, and businesses to connect and get more done in less time.
How Software Transforms Municipalities
Mitchell Humphrey’s software products have transformed municipalities in six key areas:
- Community Development
- Operations Management
- Neighborhood Resources
- Safeguarding Residents and Businesses
- Financial Management
- People Management
1. Community Development
Property management and construction permitting are two very critical tasks for municipalities. Both processes also require municipal employees to handle a large amount of information and store it safely for years.
If done paper-based, these processes are not only time-consuming, but they also require a substantial amount of space either in a database or a physical archive to store information. Keeping this type of data accessible for the future can be tricky. The documents are also in danger of being misplaced, lost, or damaged over time.
Community development software like FTG allows your team to save all relevant property-related information in one place and access this data from one central dashboard. By having planning and land use data available online, the risk of documents getting lost or becoming damaged is much smaller.
When it comes to construction permits, FTG streamlines the entire process by allowing contractors to connect to municipality employees without having to wait for an appointment. Checking the status of an application and delivering additional information or documentation can all be done through the FTG platform, which also accommodates back-office tasks related to public works.
2. Operations Management
Most municipalities handle a sizable inventory of rental properties and vehicles for hire. Keeping on top of administration requirements can be time-consuming for employees. Handing over some of the more repetitive and mundane tasks as well as data storage and tracking needs to software frees up employees’ time for other tasks.
FTG allows municipalities to schedule requirements like license renewals and send automatic reminders to landlords. There is no need for individual employees to maintain their own tracking system. Instead, the software takes care of that. Landlords benefit from not missing critical dates and avoiding fines.
The municipality’s finance team will also notice an increase in productivity. Rather than spending time creating and sending invoices, the team can automate many of those tasks and simply finalize what the software has created.
3. Neighborhood Resources
There are plenty of times when residents and businesses need to connect with their municipality. Here are just a few examples: pet licensing, hospitality taxes, and veterinary services. Municipalities also deal with citizen complaints or requests of different types.
Traditionally, those interactions required at least one visit to the municipality office. Many of those visits required appointments during office hours. In our modern world, that is simply no longer convenient or efficient. Allowing residents to access services like filing complaints or requesting information online benefits both sides. Residents can voice their concerns when it is convenient for them, and municipalities receive notification of potential problems as soon as possible.
Administrative tasks become more streamlined and less time-consuming as a result. Licensing is one of the most common reasons for municipalities and citizens to connect. This is an extremely varied area, with requirements depending on the type of license businesses or residents are applying for. At the same time, these applications are ideally suited to online processing.
Online processing allows applicants to complete their data when it suits them and submit required documents without the need for multiple appointments. Municipality employees can review applications in real time and quickly send requests for any missing information or automatically issue invoices.
4. Safeguarding Residents and Businesses
Code enforcement and safeguarding environmental health in your community are two key requirements for code inspectors. Previously, documenting their findings and liaising with the team back in the office would be time-consuming and could lead to delays as well as lost information.
With community development software, inspectors can record their findings directly in the relevant database from their smartphones. There is no need for lost time in the field or missed appointments. They can also issue letters and other notices right on site, speeding up the code enforcement process without working harder.
Leadership teams benefit from easy access to meaningful reports, allowing them to evaluate citizen satisfaction, spot opportunities for increasing revenue potential, and minimize potential errors.
5. Financial Management
Whether it comes to procurement or budgeting, handling finances responsibly is an important responsibility of any municipality. Mitchell Humphrey’s Financial Management Software makes it easy for communities to keep track of their spending and income and ensure that bookkeeping and accounting are always up to date.
The FMS package is available on its own or as a module that can be integrated with FTG. The software offers comprehensive financial management capabilities, including accounts payable, procurement, grant accounting, inventory activities, and more.
6. People Management
Your municipality’s employees, citizens, and business owners are the most vital aspect of all the processes we mentioned above. Ensuring you are using their time efficiently is critical to effectively running your town or city. Customized software helps your human resources team do that.
Whether you need to monitor attendance and ensure that employees start and finish work on time, administer payroll, or complete other HR functions, our team has got you covered.
The Mitchell Humphrey Approach – How We Work With Your Team
With so many benefits, it may seem strange that not all municipalities are taking advantage of digital operations yet. One of the things stopping communities from committing to digital transformation is a fear of disruption or leaving part of the community behind by adopting new technologies.
To alleviate this fear and help your team transition smoothly and easily, we have developed the Mitchell Humphrey approach. In this section, we will tell you more about what that means and how it can help your team.
- Customized software to meet your needs: We understand that no two communities are ever the same. That is why our FTG and FMS products can be tailored and adapted to your needs. To achieve that, we start by listening to your team and customizing our tools to become your tools.
- Made for municipalities: We specialize in creating software for municipalities. No matter how small or large your community is, you will always be our priority, and our products will always be tailored to you.
- Modular approach: Your municipality can choose to transition one software module at a time or opt for full implementation. We are happy to discuss the benefits of either approach before we start to ensure you can make an informed decision.
- Digital transition at your pace: We will work with your team to create a project plan, including requirements, budgets, and milestones. Based on that document, every stakeholder can easily monitor progress, and we can adapt our plan as needed.
- Thorough training: Not all your employees will be digital savvy or well-accustomed to computers and software. For that reason, we offer in-depth, on-site training with our expert team to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the system when you go live.
- Continued support: Our goal is to build a long-term relationship with our clients. As technology develops and your needs change, our team is here to help you adapt. We’re also only ever a phone call away when your team has questions or needs any other support.
- Ongoing development: Our clients’ needs change constantly. To keep our finger on the pulse, we founded the Mitchell Humphrey User Group (MHUG), an independent organization made up of our users that provides feedback and helps us to better meet your needs.
How Your Community Can Start Working Smarter Today
Are you ready to embrace your community’s digital future?
Getting started could not be easier. We offer a comprehensive demo that allows your team to start seeing what our products could do for you.
To take advantage of all the benefits Mitchell Humphrey & Co.’s software has to offer, schedule a demo today online. If you’d rather talk, call us at (314) 991-2440.