Garland, Texas

Avtex Helped Garland Streamline the Property Inspection and Billing Process

Overseeing a city of nearly 250,000 residents poses a wide range of challenges. The administrators of Garland, Texas, faced significant difficulty when trying to manage the complexities of the residential and commercial Building Inspection Department. Organizing the incoming and outgoing communication between the city and property owners became a costly and frustrating endeavor.

Timeline
5 months

Avtex Services
Technology Implementation
Technology Innovation
Platform Integration
App Development

Key Benefits
– Tasks that once required multiple touches and hours of labor can now be accomplished with a single click

– Reduced strain on staff members and increased employee morale

– Increased collaboration across departments

-Automated record creation, collating and printing streamlines interactions

Garland administrators began searching for a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution in the hopes of mitigating the strain imposed by the rigorous demands of operating a city inspection and revenue recovery agency. Garland required a solution that offered a great deal of functionality while being easy to use and compatible with existing software applications.

One of Garland’s major goals is to provide a good experience for citizens and property owners. Avtex created a solution that aids in that goal.

George Demou – Avtex

The Challenge

Adding to the challenge was the fact that any CRM solution Garland pursued must be able to address a wide range of factors, including:

  • Routine involvement of multiple departments
  • Unique legal and regulatory concerns
  • Financial transaction support
  • The need for clear communication between the city and citizens

After reviewing a range of available options, Garland turned to Avtex for help designing and deploying a solution that stood up to these requirements, and more.

Results at a Glance

Since deployment, the city of Garland has experienced a significant reduction in the time and energy spent conducting inspections and managing the resulting paperwork.

Key Partner Technologies

The Solution

In order to create the most effective solution possible, the Avtex team spent several weeks with the revenue recovery group to document end user requirements. Leveraging the information gleaned from ride-alongs with rental inspectors and code enforcement officers to interviews with administrative team members, team members were able to create specific use cases and strategies for addressing user pain points.

Using this insight, Avtex team members designed and implemented a comprehensive CRM solution consisting of three main parts:

  • CRM deployment: Leveraging the Microsoft Dynamics platform, Avtex designed and implemented a customized CRM environment. Throughout the planning and deployment process, Avtex worked hand in hand with members of Garland’s IT team and various end users to ensure the solution’s ability to meet the city’s needs. As part of the deployment process, Avtex created specific user profiles, rules and permissions to grant each staff member with the necessary access and power needed to fulfill his or her role on the team.
  • Platform integration: In order to support the sharing of data and record keeping, the Dynamics platform was closely integrated with Microsoft SharePoint. This integration gives the city of Garland the ability to automatically create documentation of all inspections and applicable notices for each case, which is then stored in the case’s SharePoint folder. Additional integrations support the solution and streamline the capture and sharing of information.
  • App development: Custom application development played a key role in supporting inspectors in the field and administrators in office. The integration of two such custom apps, Street Tool and Batch Print, streamline users’ interactions with the CRM ecosystem. Street Tool allows inspectors to drive down any Garland street, note violations and create cases with a single click on a mobile device. Prior to the deployment of Street Tool, inspectors were forced to drive down a street taking notes on a pad of paper before returning to the office to manually log cases. The Batch Print application automatically queues cases for printing and groups them into consolidated PDF files for simple printing and storing. Previously, the clerical staff would have to run a batch print process manually that took almost an hour to run. They then had to sort, fold and stuff envelopes by hand.

In the end, Avtex offered the city of Garland a completely unique, completely effective CRM solution that met all of the identified needs.

The Results

Since deployment, the city of Garland has experienced a significant reduction in the time and energy spent conducting inspections and managing the resulting paperwork.

Garland staff members have greatly benefitted from the solution’s:

  • Efficiency: Tasks that once required multiple touches and hours of labor can now be accomplished with a single click, whether the agent is in the office or on site on an inspection. This efficiency reduces the overall strain placed upon staff members, increases employee morale and improves consistency of data entry and access.
  • Record keeping: With the solution in place, gone are the days of manual record filing and physical searches of data. Moving forward, Garland employees will have the benefit of automated record creation, collating and printing.
  • Reach: The solution’s ability to support staff members across multiple departments enables collaboration and provides the necessary access to vital information.
  • Impact on customers: One of Garland’s major goals is to provide a good experience for citizens and property owners. The solution allows customers and users to benefit from a streamlined experience and avoid unnecessary stress related to the inspection process.

The partnership between Avtex and the city of Garland has quickly become a conversation piece around the state of Texas. Many state and municipal departments view Garland’s solution as the new gold standard in customer relationship management tools.

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