The Challenge

Obtaining a high volume of commercial building permits across the nation while minimizing delays

For many architectural firms, landing a client with storefronts located across the country is a major achievement. Not only do these clients present the opportunity to work on larger projects in terms of volume and scale, but they’re also a great way to diversify a firm’s portfolio and establish long-term, consistent relationships.

When one such architectural firm partnered with a major retail eye care store chain, all of this was on their mind. But there was one significant concern: a nationwide client meant they would need building permits in hundreds of different locations across the U.S.

In the case of this particular client, the problem was two-fold. Timing is everything in the retail world and those projects run on tight schedules. So it wasn’t just the volume of permits the architectural firm would need to acquire that presented a challenge; it was the fact that they would have to do so while minimizing building permit delays as much as possible.

The architectural firm had three viable options. First, they could choose to handle the permitting themselves—but every municipality has different requirements and a different review process. Aside from the hours of research this would have required, the risk of an application (or several) getting lost in the shuffle was very real.

The second option was to hire local permit expediters to handle the permits for each individual location—however, that would have required contracting with hundreds of professionals and juggling hundreds of points of contact.

The third option was to partner with a nationwide permit expediter who could handle all permit applications for all locations, minimize delays, and offer a single point of contact throughout the entire process. So, the architectural firm chose to partner with Scout Services.

The Solution

A Nationwide Permit Expediter Who Could Minimize Building Permit Delays and Keep Projects on Schedule

Once the architectural firm partnered with Scout Services, the team at Scout immediately devised a strategy for obtaining all building permits for the retail eye care store chain on schedule. This required collaborating with the architectural firm and the firm’s client to find a workflow that would work for everyone involved.

To do this, Scout devised a three-staged process:


Stage One: Identify the Work Sites

Stage one relies on timely communication between all three parties. Once the architectural firm knows the locations of their client’s upcoming projects, they pass this information to Scout. The permitting experts at Scout then complete the due diligence research to identify all necessary permit information and requirements. Then, Scout supplies the architectural firm with a comprehensive breakdown of this information, including realistic timelines.

This empowers the architectural firm to set realistic expectations for their client and to construct feasible construction schedule’s with their client’s corporate team.


Stage Two:

2-4 months out from construction, Scout assists the architectural firm in completing all necessary permit paperwork and gathering all the items needed for application submission. Once this is done, Scout takes on the role of tracker and advocate. This involves tracking the permit through every step of the review process until permit approval.

During this, the architectural firm conducts weekly calls with their team. Using information and updates provided by the experts at Scout, as well as a real-time permit tracker, the firm is able to keep their client apprised of the status of their permits at all times.


Stage Three: Permit Approval

Once a permit is approved, the architectural firm designates a general contractor (GC) to oversee the project. The team at Scout continues to assist the firm by submitting the required GC information to the municipality and facilitating any final payments that need to be made. For Scout, the job is not complete until the permit is in the firm’s hands. Oftentimes, this also means Scout assists with any revisions that are made after the initial permits are issued.

The Results

A Continuous Process that Minimizes Building Permit Delays and Strengthens the Firm-Client Relationship

Both the architectural firm and the retinal eye care store chain put their trust in Scout Services to obtain all building permits in a timely manner.

Thanks to that, the firm and their client are able to confidently build construction schedules and set store opening dates without concerns over building permit delays. The architectural firm also regained the time and resources they were devoting to permitting before Scout was able to step in, allowing them to focus on more critical aspects of their business (such as the architectural design).

The final result? An ongoing working relationship that has won the architectural firm more business from a client who trusts them to get the job done.

Avoid Building Permit Delays and Get Your Time Back with Nationwide Permit Expediters

Scout Services is the leading provider of permit expediting services for commercial projects across the United States. With our team of experienced professionals, our database of over 7,700 municipalities, and our expertise in review systems nationwide, we can help you obtain your permits without commercial building permits without delay. Whether your project is confined to a single location or spans across state lines, send us the details today and we can get started within 24 business hours.