In June of 2013 Topeka’s Development Services Division first implemented Cityworks Server PLL. Within the division, Server PLL is used to administer and manage a variety of services and activities including the creation and tracking of applications, reviews, and issuances of 76 different permit types and 57 license types. Users can also schedule inspection personnel, including inspections by other city departments, and track inspection statuses and results. Server PLL is further used for issuing occupancy certificates, and creating and tracking daily receipts and monthly billings.
Fran Hug, special projects and interim division manager in the Development Services Division, remarks, “Server PLL has streamlined the issuance of certain permits, which has resulted in reduced staff time being put toward permitting projects.” Workflows of the permitting process and the status of individual reviews are simpler and easier to view. “The configurability of workflows to meet specific needs,” Hug says, “has been very beneficial as is the reporting flexibility with the use of Crystal Reports to insert reports into the software for use by all users. With recent employment of temporary staffing, the ease and flexibility of use of PLL have been demonstrated to be real pluses. Within two days our part-time staff assistant was up and running the system, servicing all walk-in customers like he’d been using PLL since we implemented it in 2013.”
The system provides up-to-date information related to staff responsibilities and “to-do” tasks for individuals throughout the workday. Cityworks also offers a means to track valuable statistical data to benefit the city, the United States Department of Commerce, utility companies, building and trades associations, and Topeka’s home county, Shawnee County.
The division has seen the benefits of implementing a program that is seamlessly integrated with GIS. By using Server PLL, division staff is able to take advantage of their GIS better than ever before: “The GIS-centric nature of Server PLL facilitates and expedites updates to property data linked to our permits on the map,” says David Lundry, field services manager in the Development Services Division. “Many of the other divisions within the city need to know the ‘what and where’ of permits issued, and GIS is crucial to communicating both.”
Several other divisions, including Engineering, Planning, and Utilities, are already using Server PLL to enhance their performance.
In the future, there is much in store for Cityworks at Topeka. The city is planning an expansion of its use of Server PLL and AMS for comprehensive project development. Development Services will soon have in-field access to Cityworks for locating and reporting inspection activities. The city clerk’s office will utilize Cityworks to manage licenses and process permits. Within the Planning Department, the software will be used to facilitate zoning and platting procedures, enforce zoning regulations, and manage code enforcement cases. The Topeka Fire Department is anticipating an integration of PLL and GIS for locating, tracking, and planning responses to emergency events. The city plans to implement the PLL Online Access feature, providing citizens access to the city’s permitting process through the city website.
“Server PLL is a powerful solution that is elevating work management practices all over the country,” said Brian Haslam, president and CEO of Cityworks – Azteca Systems. “The program needs only to be used for a short time for an organization to see significant benefits. Thus, we continually see clients implement the system and soon after expand it into additional areas. As exhibited at Topeka, the use of Server PLL in conjunction with Server AMS makes for a stellar enterprise system.”