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OpenForms Use Case: Online Permit Forms

Buildings. Businesses. Food trucks.

We are talking about permits, and they can be complex, frustrating and time-consuming for both customers and staff. It’s not surprising that so many permits get rejected on the first go-round.

Creating a better process with online permit forms

A better permitting process begins with customers having clear guidance about what information is mandatory, plus ongoing assistance to ensure the application is completed correctly. OpenForms uses conditional logic to improve accuracy and speed of form field data entry, such as name and address autofill, residence validation via integration with other internal systems, and more.

The online experience also lets customers save and return to the form later, and auto-calculate any fees. Getting the permit form right the first time saves frustration for customers and review time and effort for staff. Less rejections means fewer customer call-backs and that makes everyone happy.

Business permitting forms

Successfully improving the permit approvals process

The Better Approvals Project – an initiative of the Victorian State Government – seeks to improve the small business approvals process through implementing a range of reforms identified by small business owners and regulators. Or put simply, cut the time it takes for a business to get their permits.

To realise these reforms across so many Victorian Councils, within the project window, the Small Business Victoria (SMB) team had to quickly arm Cities with the skills and technology they needed to drive change.

Given the broad complexity of business permitting, alongside the local needs and processes of each Council, the team was challenged to find a forms platform that powerful enough to handle business permitting, whilst delivering a modern user experience for both end customers and city staff.

With OpenForms, the SMB team was able to simplify, digitise, track and improve the entire permitting application process for participating Councils, in a fraction of the time it would have taken to re-invent these processes in enterprise CRM systems.

Intelligent flows helped applicants understand which permits they require, apply for multiple permits if needed within one form and process, and finalise the entire process including payment over multiple sittings if needed.

And beyond the initial engagement, SMB confidently handed the keys to OpenForms to the subject matter experts in Council, who took charge on continuing to iterate and improve the permitting process with OpenForms.

Between the process change and technology change, the average processing time for multi-permit applications dropped from 199 days to 53 days – a 73% reduction. Health permits from 74 days to 17 days. Planning permits from 111 days to 52 days.

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