Maintaining High Service During Growth

June 28, 2021 by Meredith Trimble

Maintaining High Service During Growth

Like many cities across the country, Temecula, California, continues to grow and mature. Sustained population growth can be exciting and positive, as new energy and desire for engagement translate into informed, vibrant communities. Growth can also impact public services, including increased community development activity, increased permitting transaction, and new expectations for higher levels of customer service.

Temecula embraced these opportunities as well as the accompanying challenges with award-winning innovation. The city earned a 2021 Tyler Excellence Award for its implementation of a true enterprise-wide system for land management services and processes. The system removed silos, enhanced citizen engagement and customer service, and helped leaders better manage public sector infrastructure and assets.

“Utilizing new technologies to achieve efficiencies and improved processes sends a message to the community that the City of Temecula is committed to delivering the highest quality services,” stated Michael Naggar, mayor 2019, City of Temecula.

The enterprise community development platform created meaningful connections by linking the city’s building permits, plans, code cases, and licenses. It also enabled two-way engagement between government and its constituents. These connections optimize staff processes and facilitate better resident services in distinct ways.

  • Civic Engagement
    Through its citizen self-service portal, Temecula provides residents with 24-hour access to city services including permitting, plan submittal, and business licensing. Better connecting and communicating with the city helps everyone. Permit technicians no longer have to track down approvals that are already in the system, and residents experience same or next-day turnaround. Total processing time per permit has dropped by 30 minutes, and residents now spend only 15 minutes per permit transaction.

  • Value to City Staff
    Eliminating department silos, duplicate data entry, and redundant processing allow staff to take on an increased workload equivalent to an extra FTE without adding staff. Breaking down departmental silos also increased visibility across the city with links between building permits, plans, code cases, business licenses, and citizen engagement. Using virtual routing contributed to a 75% reduction in paper consumption for the office.

Strategically implementing new technologies enhances service quality and results in new efficiencies and improved outcomes. Temecula’s journey in adopting an enterprise system is an instructive example for other jurisdictions. Even when lean staff resources are coupled with increased customer service demands, innovation can transform operations and service for the better.

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