Here at the town of Gilbert, we have about 250,000 residents, and that includes 90,000 customers on our utility billing system, which keeps us pretty busy. And we also service the permitting and business licensing, and the town of Gilbert just continues to grow so those permits continue to roll in. We’re always issuing business licenses. So that just keeps us very busy.
When we first started with GovOS, we had a particular idea in mind in how to use it. And over the years that has just evolved, and we’ve expanded the uses to it. After we got a demo, we decided that it would be perfect fit for our autopay process.
Because initially, we had customers that would fill out a form on paper and attach a check and have to email or bring it into us. And then looking at what we could do with the GovOS product, we could create a form online where customers could fill it out at home, we would get it immediately and be able to process it. And because we were eliminating that paper, and we could upload the information electronically, we estimated we would save about $4,200 a month just in staff time.
After we initially started with the autopay forms, you know, that was a significant savings, but as we went on, we just focused on what our customers would like, and they wanted to see more forms online. They didn’t wanna print out something, fill it out, and send it in. That was how we continued from that point on is just looking at how we could make things easier for those customers.
In 2020, we kind of shifted how we were using some of the forms and began to use them more internally than externally because we had so many staff that stopped coming into the office. So we didn’t have that paperwork that we were just handing from person person or desk to desk, and it might be a week or two before somebody showed up to grab their mail.
A lot of internal forms were implemented that the staff could just fill out, submit a request, and it would automatically go to that other department. That just made everything very efficient because we have all of the information there, we have those required fields so nothing got missed where it did on the paper sometimes. The overall process in a lot of our different things were improved because we did that.
If customer service had not supplemented the GovOS product, we would have lots of paper forms still floating around, and our customers would not be happy with having to fill out the paper forms and submit them in. It would take longer, and I would need more staff to process all of that. So because we started this back in 2016, we were way ahead of everybody else when COVID hit, and all the sudden everybody wanted to put their forms online. I’m just really grateful that we started the product when we did.