Three Key Features to Look for When Choosing Municipal Permitting Software

PSD Citywide

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The municipal permitting process has come a long way. What was once strictly a pen and paper transaction, municipal permitting software now enables residents to submit permit applications completely online. 

The COVID-19 pandemic only escalated the need for municipalities to implement online permitting capabilities for their residents. No longer a matter of if or when municipalities should transition to online permitting, but instead considering, “which permitting software is best for my organization?”

So, what makes scalable municipal permitting software stand out from the competition? And, how can municipalities determine the best software solution that meets both the needs of their residents and optimizes the operations of their staff? 

This article highlights three advanced features that will transform the permitting process to not only be accessible online, but streamlines and optimizes the entire municipal permitting process.

Three Key Features to Look for When Choosing Municipal Permitting Software

1. Creating and Processing Multiple Permit Types

Most permitting software is built to process building permits, however, municipalities have to manage numerous permit application types submitted by residents. 

A key feature to keep top of mind is a solution that allows municipalities to create as many permit types as they need, such as road closures, fireworks, food trucks, business licenses, and more. For each new permit type added, municipalities can create tailored inspection rules required for each permit type for a customized process that meets all reporting requirements.

In addition to creating and processing multiple permit types, a leading technical solution should provide a dashboard feature that allows organizations to see an overview of all current and past permits managed by the municipality. It should also provide the ability to highlight the most common permit types and gain other insights of value to the municipality.

2. Managing the Entire Permitting Process From a Single Solution

Beyond simply accepting permit applications online, municipalities need a solution that saves time and allows them to manage the entire permitting process – from submission, to inspections, to approval, to payment.

Using a scalable solution, municipalities can customize permit applications to ensure that residents only have to complete one application, ensuring that all required documents, information, and visualizations are included when the application is submitted. This streamlines the submission process for residents and reduces the amount of staff time required to track down additional information.

Citywide Permitting, for example, allows organizations to create and organize permit inspections within the software and have full control over inspections for each permit type, creating specific tasks required for each inspection. Tasks can be assigned to the appropriate inspector who can then manage, track, and add notes to each of their tasks in the Citywide Permits mobile application when in the field. 

Once inspections are completed and permits are approved, users can create customized reports that can be emailed directly to applicants indicating the permit’s approval and include specific permit information, such as dates, contact information, e-signatures, permit numbers, and more. This ensures complete transparency on permit status while reducing the work needed from your administrative team. 

3. Cross-Departmental Reporting Capabilities

Reporting is a key functionality of an online permitting solution, providing insights and extracting trends not attainable via paper. 

When selecting your solution, look for one with robust features like the ability to consolidate reporting requirements between Public Works and the Finance departments. An ideal solution will allow you to effortlessly create reports, filter them based on organizational requirements, and send them to the desired team.

Optimize your Municipal Permitting Software to Streamline your Processes

Municipalities have varying needs and objectives;  so when selecting a permitting solution, choose one that works with you and aligns with your organizational objectives. Having the ability to customize your solution will allow your organization to streamline the permitting process, saving both your residents and staff valuable time. 

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