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How Cities Can Streamline the License and Permit Process

The move to digital solutions is often touted as more efficient and easier for both citizens and government employees. When making the switch, the City of Rancho Cordova, California found that to be true, even drawing hard data on how much time their departments saved.

Finding the Best Solution for All

Rancho Cordova is a diverse and steadily growing community. The city's ability to ensure organizational efficiency and responsiveness in community development and business licensing processes are key priorities. However, the city was using outdated software that relied heavily on paper-based processes and manual data entry, as well as was confusing to citizens, resulting in incorrect submittals.

"We had our legacy system for over 10 years. It was not user-friendly, and it was problematic for staff," says Kelly Whitman, Planning Technician II. "We knew we needed change, so we decided to find something that was more well-suited for our community and our staff."

The city adopted a new enterprise permitting, planning, code management, and licensing solution that easily allows citizens to connect and engage online. Rancho Cordova was the first city in the nation to launch a unique tool as part of the Enterprise Permitting & Licensing system called Decision Engine. Decision Engine is a user-friendly digital guide that helps citizens navigate the online permitting and licensing process.

Connecting the Community

With 50% of its population under the age of 35, being the second largest employment center in the Sacramento region, and having a projected population buildout of over 183,000, the system supports the Rancho Cordova community now and into the future. Citizens can access services 24/7, experience a more user-friendly process, and have the certainty they're selecting the right application.

Since the system's launch in March 2020, the system has more than 5,000 registered users and 32,000 page views. Thirty-eight percent of licenses are now being purchased online, and there has been a 76% reduction in incorrect licenses. With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting and in-person services being forced to reduce during the launch, the system could not have come at a better time.

"Our residents and business community are thrilled that they now can go online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and access services from the comfort of their own home or office," says Jessica Crone, Management Analyst. "By leveraging this technology, the system also supports economic development by streamlining processes for our business community."

Supporting Internal Staff

City staff were part of the process of launching the new system from day one and became invested in the system's success. The new system saves staff time reviewing submittals and increases staff responsiveness to citizens. It has also provided a one-stop shop for staff and outside agencies to share files, make edits, and review important documents. The city won a Tyler Technologies Excellence Award in 2022 for its adoption efforts.

"Our Rancho Cordova community is growing at a rapid pace, and we believe that digital licensing and permitting is here to stay," Whitman said. "The system has been an excellent tool for the City of Rancho Cordova."


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Tyler Technologies (NYSE: TYL) provides integrated software and technology services to the public sector. Tyler's end-to-end solutions empower local, state, and federal government entities to operate more efficiently and connect more transparently with their constituents and with each other. By connecting data and processes across disparate systems, Tyler's solutions are transforming how clients gain actionable insights that solve problems in their communities. Tyler Technologies' client base includes more than 15,000 local government offices in all 50 states, Canada, the Caribbean, Australia, and other international locations.

September 1, 2022