Case Study

Vancouver, BC

Vancouver, British Columbia is Canada’s third largest city. The advanced labor force of the city, trade links to the Pacific Rim and the tourism industry gives the city a strong economy and an ever-growing volume of licensing transactions.

The Challenge

The city manages 200 types of licenses and issues over 95,000 licenses per year. The licensing department collects over $11 million annually. An operation of this scale requires a robust and scalable solution that is configurable enough to manage all license types.

The Solution

The City of Vancouver chose Amanda to handle its wide range of licensing-related needs. Amanda enabled the City to automate and manage licensing workflows and process renewals in batches to conserve resources. And the City developed public-facing web pages to allow citizens to renew their licenses online.

The Details

The City of Vancouver chose Amanda to help them manage their growing and diverse types of licenses. Using Amanda, the department manages 200 types of licenses, issues over 95,000 licenses per year, and collects $11 million annually.

Vancouver issues licenses for all types of occupations, including attorneys, health care professionals, buskers, social escorts and home-based professionals such as seamstresses. They also use Amanda for business (e.g., financial institutions, restaurants), vehicle (e.g., taxis, tow trucks) and animal licensing.

They use Amanda to generate reports on outstanding accounts to help inspectors with collect fees. Amanda provides statistics on the amount of fees collected by the inspectors each year and it keeps a record of the number of accounts before each renewal season. The City of Vancouver wanted to make sure that companies whose licenses have been revoked once do not open again under a different license. They managed this problem by configuring Amanda to require a legal company name for most license applications. Before issuing these licenses, the system makes sure that clerks verify their articles of incorporation in a government registry. A service charge is applied to recover this cost. With the help of Amanda, Vancouver easily identifies those who abuse the system by tracking the parent company’s license.

Amanda simplifies staff efforts in managing license renewals.  To manage the large volume of licenses, the City of Vancouver processes renewals in batches.  The batch jobs create new licenses every renewal cycle and the fees are carried over, or the renewal is withheld, until the fees have been paid.  A single renewal notice can be sent for all licenses owned by the same owner. Renewal forms contain barcodes, so that licensing clerks can retrieve all renewing licenses by scanning the code. Vancouver recently adopted a staggered renewal process for some license types. The staff can now have licenses expire at an interval that is convenient for them. This has improved renewal rates and saved costs.

The City of Vancouver also built a web portal to allow citizens to renew licenses online. As a result of implementing online license renewals, the department’s workload has been greatly reduced enabling them to use their resources elsewhere.

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