Cutting costs is an important exercise in governments big and small. Budgets rarely grow and additional funds are rarely allocated. So how can you put money back into your department from the inside? The answer is modernization.
Government is slow to adapt to changes in technology — many town and city halls still only allow people to pay bills and fees either in person or through the mail by check. These practices take a lot of time and generate a lot of paper, neither of which is cost or time effective.
One way governments can more effectively use their existing funds is by investing in modernization software that will save time and money down the line.
In a recent analysis, McKinsey & Company projects that governments worldwide can save $3.5 trillion per year in physical savings and productivity gains from transitioning to digital tools.
In the UK a push to digitize government operations saw a savings of £3.56 billion from 2012-2015 with many more measures implemented in the years that followed.
You don’t have to install envelope-stuffing robots to get a noticeable savings. It’s all about doing what you are currently doing in a more efficient way. For basic government functions this means digitalization.
The place to start when modernizing the government is taking the most basic functions and automating, or partially automating them. This means things like licensing processes and communications. Instead of manually keeping track of license reminders and renewals software can do that for you allowing you to approve requests and send reminders with little more than a click.
Communication is a key part of modernization. Sending physical mailers to each resident many times every year is expensive, time consuming and not as effective as it has been in the past. Many towns have begun utilizing email to cut costs and time for those who are more respondent to digital communication. Say half of your residents would rather receive email reminders – that would save you 50% on your annual mail costs and loads of valuable time!
According to Pew Research, more than 81 percent of Americans now have and use a smartphone. Why send direct mail when people are already glued to their phones?
Modernization also makes record keeping more accurate and less time consuming. Instead of filling out paper forms that must be copied or printed government services are being put online. When services are put online you eliminate the paper cost as well as the time it takes for a human to review and file the document. A simple online record keeping process can be twice as efficient – you will never misplace a file and the information can be updated in seconds.
This may seem like a no-brainer but many cities and towns still only process forms through the mail or in person.
Could your budget benefit from digitalization?
Municipalities don’t have to sit by and watch licensing laws be ignored!
Switching from your generic municipal software to something modern and comprehensive can boost licensing significantly. Switching to NEXT Pet Licensing System can allow you to offer different kinds of payments, allow residents to license online and through a mobile app and allow departments to all access the information securely wherever they are. Boost compliance, revenue and cut down on the time spent processing applications!