3 Features to Look for in Permitting Software for Governments

Netflix offers some great insights for local government permitting operations. Hear us out.

The company was founded in 1998 with 30 employees and a library of 925 DVDs. (You may have more DVDs than that sitting in boxes in your basement.) At the time, they were up against a $16 billion home video sales and rental industry. So how is it that they are now one of the world’s leading companies, while Blockbuster and the likes have long since disappeared?

The simple answer? They embraced change. From DVD rentals to streaming to content production, the Netflix game plan has always incorporated—and even led—changing trends. Just like the streaming service, it’s time for your permitting operations to embrace change and make the move to a modern permitting software for governments.


Choosing a Permitting Software for Governments

If you’re just starting to explore your online permitting options, you may feel overwhelmed by the choices. So, let’s break it down. Here are three important features to look for in permitting software for governments. Don’t choose a software system without them.

For even more help figuring out which solution has the features your organization needs, check out our expanded “Buyer’s Guide to Modern Permitting Software.”


1. Application Portal Available Online

More than just accepting payments, the modern permitting software you choose should also allow your residents to complete applications online, saving time, money, and paper for both you and your community. Plus, when constituents can apply for permits and licenses at home using a secure, convenient digital portal, they can apply at a time and day that works best for them, improving their overall experience.

Ask Vendors These Questions:

  • What are the best practices for sharing requirements with customers?
  • How do other communities use the portal?
  • What capabilities do you have for accepting online payments?


2. Intelligent, Collaborative Approval Workflows

When your team adopts an intelligent workflow, it speeds up the entire inspection and permit approval process. It increases visibility and efficiency across your team around the application review process for managers, department staff, and customers. Cranberry Township, PA, serves as a great example. Adopting a collaborative workflow that reduced the need for back-and-forth discussions across departments led to a 50% decrease in permit processing time for the fast-growing community. 

Ask Vendors These Questions:

  • What would be the process for changing a workflow, fee schedule, or issued documents down the road?
  • Our workflows are conditional—how does the software account for this? Can we conduct approval steps in parallel?
  • Do you offer task-based notifications?


3. Dynamic Mobile Inspections

Take more than the application process online. The top permitting software for local governments also offers virtual inspections. This feature leads to faster inspections through mobile capabilities, intelligent routing, and online scheduling. 

Ask Vendors These Questions:

  • Can inspectors add photos and data from the field in real-time?
  • How do these features help inspectors out in the field?
  • What internal communications features does the platform facilitate between inspectors and applicants?


Improve Workflows with Permitting Software for Governments

If you’re sitting through a sales call and don’t hear one of these features, run! There are options out there that check all the boxes in filling your needs for permitting software for governments. For more, check out our expanded “The Buyer’s Guide to Modern Permitting Software.”

Category: Permitting, Licensing, & Code Enforcement

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