City of Youngstown’s Demolition Disarray
The demolition process in the City of Youngstown was vague, spread across multiple divisions, known in detail by few staff members, and virtually impossible to track. With an administration demanding accountability and transparency, and a federal government requiring fastidious reporting, the current system in place was simply incompetent. The sheer volume of blighted homes often left staff overwhelmed. As a result, bottlenecks in the process flow were all too common. Repeatedly city officials were left unable to accurately answer the numerous public inquiries regarding vacant and dilapidated structures. Questions concerning a property’s status or asbestos results were unanswerable without the meticulous process of tracking down a paper file’s status and/or whereabouts. A traceable and uniform system of data across all divisions was sorely missing.
To address these challenges, the City of Youngstown turned to Empyra®, choosing to implement the company’s OneFlow for Asset & Property Management platform. OneFlow is a cloud based web-channel tailored to organize and automate the city’s demolition process. In early 2012, the process was transitioned from hard-copy, hand delivered forms and reports, to an all-in-one online step-by-step interface that is accessible from any internet connected browser.
OneFlow’s business rules were setup as to which services, forms and communications are appropriate at each stage of the property process. This ensures each phase is completed in the desired sequence and documentation is produced at each step, verifying compliance with any funding source requirements and state regulations. Authorized stakeholders now simply log on and are notified of exactly which property process steps are currently awaiting his or her action. The staff member or partner is then able to complete their respective workload – moving the property efficiently along the pipeline. The respective parcel is then automatically moved to the next responsible party to receive the subsequent action in the defined property process.