Many government agencies have had to come to a pretty hard realization: their licensing management and enforcement processes are being run by inefficient, out-of-date manual systems. It is not an uncommon problem, and many agencies have made an honest attempt to run things more smoothly and efficiently, only to face a myriad of new problems. Some have developed homegrown licensing management systems while others have repurposed commercially-available software that’s not really built for licensing. Unfortunately, these approaches often don’t provide an efficient solution. Does this sound like you? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Here are some of the most common problems that agencies who use these systems come across:
Just a Database:
While it might seem more efficient since it is on a computer rather than paper, a database isn’t much more streamlined than a manual system. Valuable history is often lost because overall processing is mostly non-automated. Staff will merely summarize the final decision, and all the valuable data points that led to that decision are lost. Plus, you still have to file all paper records away for future reference, essentially giving yourself more work rather than less.
A properly-automated system would not only record your final decision but every step of the process needed to get to that solution. And, of course, paper records would be a thing of the past, as everything will be cataloged by the system.
Intermittent process automation:
Some automation is better than no automation, right? Not necessarily. If a few discontinuous steps in your processes are automated, you’re stuck switching from system to paper and often exporting data to a spreadsheet to complete simple tasks. By contrast, a fully-automated process removes the paper trail entirely and does away with any need for spreadsheets.
Whether you use a homegrown system or a retrofitted commercial system, you are likely setting up several different, disconnected processes that all have to be checked separately. With network, database, and document security to be concerned with, it is easy for a homegrown system to grow vulnerable to attacks, data breaches, and data loss from the latest threats. If everything is run through the same, efficient software, however, it becomes easier to protect against threats and reduce data loss.
Partial or missing history:
The truth is, it’s hard to keep track of everything you do, especially with a manual system. Most homegrown systems keep limited or no historical audit trails, making it hard to pinpoint the sequence of events of your processes. This makes it a nightmare to prepare for administrative hearings. How can you know what to say about your current state when you don’t have a record of how you got there? This problem is nullified by a well-automated system, which makes it easy to record and access everything your organization does.
Despite your best efforts, some data always falls through the cracks. Most agencies know they have missing data, but few realize they potentially have serious integrity issues, such as: invalid SSNs and addresses, 999-999-9999 phone numbers, ownerless licenses, and people with multiple SSNs. It is hard to check for these problems when using an inefficient homegrown or commercial system, especially if it doesn’t keep an accurate historical record of your agency’s activity or information.
Again, having a system that is not only fully-automated but also handles all data and processes through one source makes all this information readily accessible, allowing you to spot and address integrity issues more easily.
As you can see from the list of problems above, homegrown and commercial systems can be counter-intuitive and even dangerous. You need a software product that solves all these issues with total process and workflow automation and built-in checks, balances, and regulatory expertise. Something that runs all processes through the same, intuitive system that is accessible to everyone; removes the need for paper altogether; keeps a record of everything; makes that data readily accessible for inspections, Sunset Reviews, and administrative hearings; and makes reporting on your data easy and affordable. This software should make your work faster and help you efficiently allocate resources and time. Fortunately, such a system does exist.
If you would like to know how Gov2Biz can help your agency automate, modernize, and streamline your licensing and enforcement processes, feel free to get in touch, and we’ll show you what we can do. We’ve experienced many of these problems first-hand and made our software to address them all. Automation is the future, and it is our pleasure to help you get there.