MADISON, Wis. – The Department of Safety and Professional Services is concluding the first phase of a multi-year, agency-wide platform conversion for customer-facing operations. This is another major milestone for the agency’s construction division, which was in the middle of the major technology infrastructure update when it also redesigned its plan review systems to improve processing times up to 70 percent.
The department has been migrating customer groups to the new interface called the Electronic Safety and Licensing Application, or eSLA, since 2018. On April 12, commercial building and elevator customers will join the groups that have already transitioned to using eSLA for transactions with the department.
The modern technology has several advantages over the legacy systems currently in place, including the following:
- Customers on the mobile-responsive eSLA have increased self-service options, including online applications and credit card payments.
- User dashboards can help customers monitor and update current applications and view previous submissions.
- The system automates portions of the application process, which reduces manual data entry, fee calculation, and check handling. This allows staff members to focus on more complex tasks and customer service.
- Application information is automatically categorized and stored. This improves consistency and accessibility for staff across the agency, whether they are plan reviewers working in a DSPS office or are inspectors on a job site.
- Improved data visualizations and reporting will better inform division management and decisions.
“Modernizing our infrastructure is critical if we are going to serve our customers well and make the most of the resources we have,” said DSPS Secretary-designee Dawn Crim. “We will be able to offer better customer service, and we will be working with greater efficiency and with more information. This is a big step forward.”
Planning for eSLA began years before in an effort to finally marry the legacy systems that existed when DSPS was created out of a merger of the former Department of Commerce and Department of Regulation and Licensing in 2011. The agency worked with Deloitte to develop and roll out the new system in multiple phases across several years. Deloitte and DSPS used feedback from early customer groups to refine the eSLA interface and functionality and to identify and develop tools and training resources, including videos and user guides.
“These kinds of agency-wide efforts that span divisions, administrations, and many years always require flexibility and adaptability,” Crim said. “We appreciate our customers’ patience as we make these improvements. We are also grateful for customers who shared feedback, because that direct user information has helped us make improvements that will benefit all our customers.”
To prepare for the transition, the department will not accept plans for elevator or commercial building projects for a one-week period (April 5–April 11) prior to opening eSLA to commercial building and elevator customers on April 12. Existing account information will migrate from the previous platform to eSLA, but all customers must complete registration on eSLA in order to link existing information from the old system to the customer’s eSLA account. New customers will need to create an account before submitting plans. The eSLA Customer Portal Login video provides a quick walkthrough of the process.
To help customers prepare for the transition, DSPS is offering a live, hour-long training webinar at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 2, 2021. Registration is currently open. The webinar will be recorded and available on demand, along with other resources, from the DSPS website.
The Department of Safety and Professional Services issues more than 240 unique licenses, administers dozens of boards and councils that regulate professions, enforces state building codes, runs the state fire prevention program, and maintains the award-winning Wisconsin Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which is a key tool in the multi-faceted public health campaign to stem excessive opioid prescribing. A fee-based agency, the Department of Safety and Professional Services is self-sustaining and receives no general fund tax dollars for its day-to-day operations. With five offices and 250 employees throughout Wisconsin, DSPS collaborates with constituents and stakeholders across a wide range of industries to promote safety and advance the economy.