City Improves Processes in Pursuit of Bold Vision
Tyler Client Since: 2016
Number of Employees: 3,800
Tyler Product Used: EnerGov, Munis, Brazos, Tyler Content Manager
As the second-largest city in Oklahoma, Tulsa is home to more than 403,000 residents. The city’s government strives to meet the needs of every one of those constituents, and unremittingly seeks to improve its processes. Central to meeting those needs and improving those processes is the city government’s dedication to pursuing a single mission, realizing a single vision, and representing two core values.
- Mission: Build the foundation for economic prosperity, improved health, and enhanced quality of life for the community
- Vision: Be a globally competitive, world-class city
- Values: Represent committed teamwork and high expectations
Because of these efforts, the City of Tulsa implemented new software resulting in a drastic decrease in the number of walk-in customers, a significant increase in the number of completed inspections, and tens of thousands of dollars saved in processes and labor.
Tulsa seeks alignment with its mission, vision, and values through a strategic plan dubbed the Action and Implementation (AIM) Plan. The AIM Plan’s desired outcome is to guide city departments on how to allocate resources and create more detailed action plans to achieve city-wide strategic goals.
For planning and development in particular, the AIM Plan objectives are as follows:
- First Plan Reviews
90 percent conducted within 10 business days
- Commercial Plan Reviews <$1 million
90 percent conducted within 25 business days
- Commercial Plan Reviews >$1 million
90 percent conducted within 35 business days
- Infrastructure Development Plan Reviews
90 percent conducted within 15 business days
- Self-Certification Permits
98 percent issued within two business days
- Regularly Scheduled Inspections
98 percent conducted same day
- Overtime Critical Inspections
100 percent conducted within 24 hour
As part of achieving these outcomes, the city sought a solution that would simplify and streamline processes for code enforcement, inspections, permits, reporting, licensing, financial data, and document storage. Tulsa’s government wanted to automate business licensing processes and provide constituents with an online platform to request, track, and purchase permits.
The City of Tulsa decided to select EnerGov after we ranked it most likely to meet our needs with the majority of scores exceeding the 90th percentile.
“Tulsa needed a solution that would bring the city into a modern era,” said Project Manager Jon Galchik.
Galchik and his team launched a project to find the needed solution. They outlined project objectives with two-fold benefits: making employee lives easier by making their jobs more efficient and ensuring the city’s services have a bigger impact on the lives of citizens.
Potential vendors were given scores from one to one hundred in multiple categories including technical specifications and vendor background. The competition was fierce, and Tulsa did its due diligence to ensure the best vendor was selected for the city’s requirements. The city ultimately decided Tyler Technologies’ EnerGov™ software was best suited to meet its needs.
EnerGov is Tyler’s comprehensive civic services solution. It is specifically designed to automate and centrally connect critical processes including permitting, planning, regulatory management, inspections, code enforcement, and more.
“The City of Tulsa decided to select EnerGov after we ranked it most likely to meet our needs with the majority of scores exceeding the 90th percentile,” said Galchik. “The competitive process began with 18 [potential vendors], then we narrowed it down to six, then three, then two before selecting Tyler. Tulsa required a comprehensive, modern solution like EnerGov to streamline processes and centralize actions in a single system.”
The City of Tulsa went live with EnerGov on April 30, 2018, within budget. Tulsa now rests assured its decision to implement EnerGov was a good one, as the new software has played a major role in helping the city meet its AIM Plan objectives.
Objective 1: Deliver high-quality core services that citizens expect from municipal government
EnerGov allowed Tulsa to deliver excellent administrative support services to citizen-facing departments while simplifying the ways constituents do business with the city through its online capabilities.
“The addition of this online service has dramatically increased our productivity and reduced the number of applications received in-person,” said Galchik. “The City of Tulsa has experienced a 26.5 percent reduction in walk-in customers since EnerGov was deployed.”
Additionally, 45 percent of Tulsa’a applications are now coming in online and the city expects that percentage to continue increasing. This reduction in staff workload has allowed customer service to be significantly enhanced.
Objective 2: Deliver quality world-class services that meet the needs of Tulsans
EnerGov simplified plan reviews for the city with its paperless plan review functionality and its citizen-facing portal. This saved both time and money for the City of Tulsa.
“The review function in EnerGov allows data to flow seamlessly within EnerGov workflows,” Galchik said. “The city estimates it has saved tens of thousands of dollars from the improved processes and labor.”
One of the city’s development services clients vouched for the portal’s ease of use as well, saying, “It’s step-by-step common sense. It’ll walk you through step-by-step how to do it and you shouldn’t need help. It’s straightforward and simple.”
The City of Tulsa has experienced a 26.5 percent reduction in walk-in customers since EnerGov was deployed.
Objective 3: Responsibly manage resources through continuous improvement and collaborative partnerships
EnerGov allows inspectors to remain in the field without the need to return to city hall to complete paperwork, which, Galchik said, was costing them a few hours of field work each day.
“The majority of their work is [now] completed in the field before returning to the office,” he elaborated, “resulting in more timely inspections for the citizens, resulting in a 14 percent increase in inspections in October 2018 over October 2017.”
- Emergency Personnel
EnerGov’s business licensing feature includes alarm permits, which Tulsa uses to feed 911 dispatchers with accurate information on active alarm permits.
“This integration allows the City of Tulsa to dispatch emergency personnel to alarms with valid licenses,” Galchik explained. “The data stored also enables us to track the number of times a location has had a false alarm, allowing us to cancel permits for those who exceed the number of false calls.”
- Health Department and Indian Nations Council of Governments
The City of Tulsa partners with its county health department to eliminate duplicate inspections and with the Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG) to integrate the council into the city’s workflow. Both partnerships are positively impacted by the city’s use of EnerGov for continuous improvement. INCOG in particular provides planning and coordination services to assist in creating solutions to local and regional challenges in areas like land use, transportation, community and economic development, environmental quality, public safety, and services for the elderly.
“Partnering with these entities speeds up the processes of inspections and the flow of data from one entity to another, providing a significant benefit to our peers and the organization,” said Galchik, adding, “INCOG has realized our benefit and they too are pursuing access to EnerGov.” “This integration allows the City of Tulsa to dispatch emergency personnel to alarms with valid licenses,” Galchik explained. “The data stored also enables us to track the number of times a location has had a false alarm, allowing us to cancel permits for those who exceed the number of false calls.”
The City of Tulsa believes a partnership with Tyler and its employees is the best way to strengthen the bonds between the entities.
“During execution, project leadership focused on building a lasting, meaningful relationship with the employees of Tyler Technologies,” said Galchik. “The goal was to integrate the Tyler team into the Tulsa team without barriers and classifications.”
That integration between teams has proven incredibly beneficial.
“The implementation of EnerGov saved tens of thousands of dollars through paper reduction, staff costs, and the removal of the IVR service component,” said Galchik, adding, “There are some things that we would be falling behind on if we didn’t have [EnerGov].”
Something unique about Tulsa’s EnerGov story is the city was internally deploying both EnerGov and Tyler’s Munis® ERP solution at the same time. This provided the city with a much-welcomed opportunity to improve communication and relationships within the organization.
“Admittedly, we struggled with departmental silos, which strained relations at times,” said Galchik. “Both [the EnerGov and Munis] projects required the city to coordinate and communicate efforts across multiple departments.”
Implementation began with what Galchik called a “fun” kickoff meeting where project leads, executives, and other leadership all worked together to define expectations and brief all parties.
They worked on communication, process mapping, and white belt training for Lean Six Sigma, a process improvement methodology. Everyone on Tulsa’s project team is now at least a yellow belt in Lean Six Sigma, and the biggest takeaway from the meeting was the use of Lean Six Sigma to align everyone with a specific process for improvement. The city uses this process improvement methodology to develop benchmarks and make continuous improvements, particularly when it comes to process mapping.
“We used systems-thinking approaches to process mapping so we understood which direction the data needed to flow,” explained Galchik.
The implementation of EnerGov saved tens of thousands of dollars through paper reduction, staff costs, and the removal of the IVR service component.
Financial & Document Storage Integrations
In addition to strengthening internal relations and supporting AIM Plan objectives, another benefit of implementing multiple Tyler products at once is their ability to integrate.
“The City of Tulsa sought to consolidate business workflows within a group of systems,” explained Galchik. “We are working with Tyler to ensure the integration between EnerGov and Munis meets our needs. We use EnerGov for business licensing, permitting, inspections, code enforcement, etc. The integration between the two products allows financial data to flow from EnerGov and into Munis, where it is recorded.”
Included with EnerGov and Munis is Tyler Content Manager™ (TCM), designed to streamline the flow of digital information and easily transform paper forms and documents into electronic images.
“The TCM integration is a welcomed benefit for both systems,” Galchik said.
Before implementing EnerGov and Munis, the City of Tulsa was using several systems to manage documents. Because of the TCM integration built into its new software, Tulsa now uses a single system that pulls documents in from several sources for easier reference. For example, supervisors can now see real-time images at job sites instead of waiting to be back in the office to search for the images in another system.
“Searching the legacy content management system was difficult and often had to be completed by the IT Department or the Clerk’s Office,” said Galchik. “The integration allows quick access to documentation without the need for other departments. TCM’s integration into Munis and EnerGov has saved the City of Tulsa tens of thousands of dollars in labor as we were able to reallocate resources to complete more meaningful tasks that benefit the constituents.”
TCM’s integration into Munis and EnerGov has saved the City of Tulsa tens of thousands of dollars in labor as we were able to reallocate resources to complete more meaningful tasks that benefit the constituents.
In addition to the many benefits listed above, Tulsa is now experiencing real-time insight into all staff and case activity thanks to its EnerGov implementation. This enhances transparency throughout the organization and the community.
The city also reports saving significant amounts of time due to the automatic expiration of permits and licenses and the ease of searching and reporting.
A Connected Community
Tulsa’s city government is pleased with its decision to implement EnerGov, and so are its constituents and contractors.
“The City of Tulsa has received several compliments from constituents on the ease of the system,” said Galchik. “[They] have expressed their satisfaction with the product and have praised its capabilities.”
Galchik said a local architect even thanked the project manager for the implementation of EnerGov. He stated the system greatly improved processes, is easy to use, and the workflow allows permits to flow through effortlessly.
“Overall, contractors and inspectors appreciate the transparency of the system,” Galchik went on to say, “which allows them to see where projects or code violations are in their lifecycle. Contractors can also see who is doing the review. Inspections supervisors state their most significant advantage is the ability to see inspections in real-time, allowing supervisors to address issues immediately.”
The City of Tulsa’s selection of EnerGov has proven beneficial to multiple departments, constituents, contractors, and stakeholders.
“We are delighted to partner with Tyler for several software solutions,” said Galchik. “Our switch to EnerGov ushered our organization into the 21st century. The city is proud to state that we use EnerGov. Our community is a better place as a result of the implementation. Tyler Technologies has made our lives easier. We made an excellent choice!”