A driver running over a pothole makes a mental note to call the county later and report the problem. And, as usual, life tends to take over and the call goes unmade. Glynn County in southeastern Georgia wanted to make it easier for its residents to complain, in order to deliver excellent service.
“Our motivation to develop a mobile app was more proactive than reactive. We have challenged ourselves internally in raising the bar in serving our citizens,” said Candice Temple, Public Information Officer, Glynn County, in an interview with Mobile Enterprise.
With 425 square miles to cover, the county relies on its constituency who serve as “multiple eyes” for the region. Previously, to report a concern, a citizen would call customer service where designated personnel would enter work orders into a central database, Hansen. Alternatively, they could fill out a request form online. Neither however was particularly convenient to the person on the go.
Working with BlueDot, a mobile field services solutions firm, Glynn County selected Infor, a provider of business application software, to create its own mobile app: Glynn Connect.
Temple explained that the county did not want to use a pre-developed app. Instead, they analyzed what other municipalities and government agencies had in place, created a criteria list of what needed to be accomplished, and determined what was going to work for Glynn County.
Pinpointing the Problem
With Glynn Connect, available for Android phones and iOS, users are able to give an exact location of a problem, at the moment it is discovered. Whether it’s road repair, or safety hazards, the request is entered directly into Hansen. Temple noted that very little additional training was required due to this integration aspect.
The app makes it easy for an end-user to simply click from drop down menu to register a complaint. One of the most commonly used categories is animals and mosquitoes. Glynn County is a coastal community where mosquitoes are a year-round battle. With the West Nile Virus a grave public health concern, reports of mosquito infestations helps the Control Division determine where the county is having the most problems and prioritize resources.
Likewise, the app makes it easier to report building and construction code violations for the betterment of the community. The end-user is also able to attach a photo of the problem in question, whether it is illegal trash, foreclosed properties falling into disarray or unsightly vehicles sitting on four cylinder blocks, all of which cause eyesores for the neighborhood.
Marketing through social media, traditional media and public information sources, the county is getting the word out to its citizens about the app. QR codes are also displayed at local businesses. Glynn County is still determining the cost benefits of the app deployment, as it has only been 14-weeks. However, “You’re not always motivated by a return on investment,” Temple said. “Our goal is to be more efficient and delivering excellent service.”