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Mineral Wells, TX, goes from paper to pixels in <4 months

In the midst of a building boom and flooded with paper permitting applications, the city of Mineral Wells, Texas, was eager to retool its pen-and-paper processes. The Building Department wanted a digital solution to reduce office visits, clear staff inboxes, and save time.

Despite best efforts, the city’s old system pitted staff against a constant stream of over-the-counter requests, manual data entry, and paper records. City Building Official Michael Dunn said the “archaic” processes prompted the city to act.

“We thought there’s gotta be a better, faster, easier way to do things…and there was!” Dunn said.

Before its digital overhaul with Camino’s permitting system, officials said they encountered numerous challenges stemming from their manual, paper-based permitting system. Christy Davis, the city’s Permit Compliance Coordinator, said the issues led to delays and inefficiencies in handling increased construction activities. The absence of digital records also complicated things.

Davis said the pain points were felt hardest by large out-of-state contractors who didn’t have the option to submit documents online.

“The contractors would either email their documents to me or come to the office, and they would literally be sitting there with me while I inputted all the information into our computer so that I could calculate the permitting fees.”

Davis and Dunn noted the issues with the old system centered primarily around the following challenges:

  • Lack of an Online Portal
    • Customers didn’t have the option to apply for a permit or submit documents online.
  • Tedious Data Entry
    • Admin staff had to manually input information from paper applications into the system, which prolonged processing times.
  • Lack of Digital Records
    • Stacks on stacks of paper records made it challenging – and time-consuming – for staff to find information.
  • Slow Processing Times
    • Because everything had to be done on paper and manually entered into the system, staff found it difficult to keep up with surges in demand.
  • Dependency on Physical Submissions
    • Contractors were required to submit applications in person, which caused frustration.

Recognizing that there had to be a more efficient way, Mineral Wells took a decisive step and partnered with Camino. Davis and Dunn said Camino not only tackled the city’s persistent challenges but positioned it well for future growth.

Implementation & Improvements

Mineral Wells experienced numerous benefits upon implementing Camino, which took less than four months and launched in March 2023. Dunn said the collaborative effort between the city and Camino’s support team ensured a smooth transition. “The customer service and overall experience was [and continues to be] excellent,” he said.

“Before [Camino], I’d receive [paper] applications and then [have to] put all that data into our system,” Davis said. “But now it’s all online which really fast tracks everything [so] I’m not having to deal with that paper trail as much.”

The city now issues simple permits 50% faster due in part to contractors being able to submit applications online (and because they don’t require extensive plan reviews).

“The process needed to be brought into the twenty- first century,” Dunn said.

“To have an actual person to touch base with [at Camino] and get immediate action is so great because that’s so rare these days. With our old software, we couldn’t get any feedback from customer service.”

Christy Davis
Permit Compliance Coordinator, Mineral Wells, TX

Camino empowers Governments to achieve more. We build software for permitting and licensing that provides the best possible citizen experience while being the easiest to implement and operate. We have a passion for user clarity and efficiency, customer service excellence and building innovative technology that simplifies and automates Government’s most complex workflows.

Camino’s Permit Guide, Application Portal and System of Record products are rapidly improving how hundreds of communities grow and thrive.

Contact us today to learn more.