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What century is your building department in? (POLL)

Does your Building Department use software for the permit process?

  • NO We do not use software at all and use nothing but paper

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • YES We use a combination of computer and paper

    Votes: 4 28.6%
  • YES We use permitting software but not for all aspects of the permitting process

    Votes: 6 42.9%
  • YES We use permitting software from soup to nuts including inspections and plan review

    Votes: 4 28.6%

  • Total voters
    14

Joe.B

Registered User
Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
407
Location
Myrtletown Ca
Yeah I think we are just too small of a city for it. The couple of times we met with their rep I had to reiterate things like "no, I'm the only inspector" or "no there aren't going to be more than 5-6 registered users" and the like. It seemed to me like he was used to working with departments with at least double digit users.
 

jar546

Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
Messages
8,574
Location
Palm Beach County Florida
Yeah I think we are just too small of a city for it. The couple of times we met with their rep I had to reiterate things like "no, I'm the only inspector" or "no there aren't going to be more than 5-6 registered users" and the like. It seemed to me like he was used to working with departments with at least double digit users.
You are never too small of a city to justify doing things electronically, especially the improved record keeping. Life is actually easier.
 

tmurray

Registered User
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
2,176
Location
NB, Canada
I would have to agree with Jar, I have a two inspector department and went with an electronic permit management system 10 years ago. We have slowly moved more and more electronic to the point we are at now where the only paper I deal with are paper submission from Boomers.
 

steveray

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 25, 2009
Messages
8,802
Location
West of the river CT
It surprises me that the ICC has not developed its own marketable software system for building departments.

Being they have resources and a very strong knowledge base behind them.

Just a thought
They have.....

 

Joe.B

Registered User
Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
407
Location
Myrtletown Ca
The pandemic forced us to accept electronic submittals and I'm glad for it, we should have all along. We just don't have any modern software to connect the dots. Electronic submittals come in emails as attachments or links and we do our intake in our 90's style access program, then back to emails to distribute plans/links to various departments for review, then we get emails back with comments which we then log in the database. Once we have all comments we create a consolidated correction list in word, then email that back to the customer. It works and really isn't much different than the way we did paper submittals. The new software we we supposed to get was advertised as a "all in one" program that did all of that and there was an online portal for customers. Program not as advertised so we are just making do with what we have. Really it's not bad, just outdated.
 

steveray

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 25, 2009
Messages
8,802
Location
West of the river CT
I've never really looked into it, but I believe Municity has the ability to do "everything" I have a peer using some form of Municity and he is not in love, which seems to be the opinion of most software...
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
452
Location
Lincoln
Once upon a time, we used a combination of Permits Plus (which I think went extinct) and ProjectDox. For twelve years, Permits Plus allowed us to enter code review comments and track the status of the permit application and inspections. ProjectDox allowed permit applicants (architects, developers, contractors, etc.) to upload their PDF plans and ProjectDox is still used by our Planning Department to review site plans. Ten years ago, we were in Utopia and life was perfect. Then we switched to Accela which has a great marketing department. As a matter of fact, I think the entire company is one big marketing department with only one technical person who knows how to make their software work. Our department of fifty people paid $1,190,000 for the software. That's $23,800 per seat. No, I am not joking or exaggerating. Accela was installed and then we cried. But several years later - after paying hourly fees to Accela - it works perfectly as advertised.
 
Last edited:

Beniah Naylor

Sawhorse
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
145
Location
Manhattan, Kansas
Our department uses Filemaker, which is a standard database software that has been around for a long time, and my boss custom-made the database to do everything we need to do. Which is nice because if something doesn't work right, we can fix it in house.

Probably not a solution that is feasible for everybody... It took a lot of work to get to this point...
 

tbz

Silver Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
827
Location
PA/NJ - Borderlands
Our department uses Filemaker, which is a standard database software that has been around for a long time, and my boss custom-made the database to do everything we need to do. Which is nice because if something doesn't work right, we can fix it in house.

Probably not a solution that is feasible for everybody... It took a lot of work to get to this point...
Who maintains it after he departs?
 

tmurray

Registered User
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
2,176
Location
NB, Canada
Who maintains it after he departs?
This was my concern as well. Too often we get complacent that everything works right now, not realizing that a single change could completely cripple us.

Business continuity planning remains one of the most critical functions of any manager to ensure that their employees are prepared to meet challenges as they arise.
 

Joe.B

Registered User
Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
407
Location
Myrtletown Ca
The city I work for had a BO for a long time, I think he worked for the city for 25+ and at least 15 of those as BO. He "built" the current Access program that we use, sounds similar to FileMaker. He didn't train anybody else and his retirement caused a cascade of failures and 7-8 years later we are still picking up the pieces. For the software we did hire a local consultant who knows how to repair/maintain/improve our software when needed.
 

tbz

Silver Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
827
Location
PA/NJ - Borderlands
We're screwed...

He has trained a few of our people, I think we could muddle through... but it would suck.
I had built more than a few DBase programs first in Visual basic and then Foxpro, and then access, the issue becomes as operating systems change, if the base programing language goes away and is replaced or needs to be upgraded in a manner that does not cascade the old logic into the formatting, well it becomes a really big issue.
And as the operating systems push more towards cloud based programs, you are going to see a big issue with the older programs.
 

jar546

Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
Messages
8,574
Location
Palm Beach County Florida
It surprises me that the ICC has not developed its own marketable software system for building departments.

Being they have resources and a very strong knowledge base behind them.

Just a thought
The ICC acquired a company that had been in business since 1962 and developed municipal software. It is now available.
 

sbeckman

Registered User
Joined
Nov 10, 2021
Messages
1
Location
City of Venice
wont let me vote. we are 100% Trakit and project docs. Set up well and working great! I have used others that were not set up well and were not great. Set-up makes all the difference.
 

fatboy

Administrator
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
6,406
Location
Northern CO
wont let me vote. we are 100% Trakit and project docs. Set up well and working great! I have used others that were not set up well and were not great. Set-up makes all the difference.
We found the same thing, the initial set up makes it easy, or a living hell. Fortunately, we ended up more on the well set up. We also now have a full time business manager that knows it inside and out. And yes, if he left, we would be in a tough spot. I know enough to be dangerous.

As said, could muddle through probably till we got another person trained up, through trial and error.
 
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