How We Designed a Powerful, Flexible and Customizable Inspection Engine in CX2

When we were designing CX2, we met with well over 30 municipalities. Each municipality provided valuable insight as to how they currently complete their municipality inspections. These inspections most commonly were grouped by Building, Fire, Safety, Signs and Code Enforcement, however, this varied from municipality to municipality. With so many possible inspection types available, we decided to think outside the box and designed a system that would allow each municipality the flexibility to create ANY type of inspection they need.

Inspection Categories

In CX2, we provide the ability for each municipality to create as many inspection categories as they desire. Each category will then be used to group individual inspection types called ‘inspection designs’. As an example, a municipality could create an inspection category of “Building” then assign specific inspection designs such as foundation, electrical, framing etc. to this category.  Offering each municipality the ability to customize their own inspection designs provides the flexibility to organize inspections.  Municipality inspections can be organized based on each internal inspection criteria as needed. Municipalities are not being forced into using the same inspection types as other municipalities.

Inspection Categories

Inspection Designs

In CX2, we wanted to provide a very flexible municipality inspection engine that would allow each municipality to customize their inspection processes. Each municipality can create as many inspection designs as they would like. As an example, you may create a footing inspection, electrical inspection, framing inspection, or even a food truck inspection. Basically, you can create any type of inspection you desire.

Inspection Designs

Form Designs to Inspections

Each form design in CX2 can be assigned to one or many categories of inspection. This provides flexibility, as well as convenience when assigning inspections that should be requested for a specific type of form. We allow for the following two Form Designs:

  1. Inspection Category: This provides flexibility allowing a user to select any inspection type, in any order. This is the most flexible option, allowing the end user to request what inspection they need at any time, in any order.
  2. Inspection Sequence: This forces a sequence of inspection designs that must “Pass” before being able to select the next inspection. The user is only provided with 1 type of inspection to request, as defined by the sequence. Once they “Pass” an inspection, the next inspection design is then made available for request.

Form Designs to Inspections

Inspection Fields

In CX2, we wanted to provide the complete flexibility for municipalities to create inspections however it sees fit. This means having inspections very general, like Pass/Fail and Comments, or to have a very detailed inspection with targeted questions. The municipality has complete control over each inspection design and the fields that are collected.

Form Designs for Municipality Inspections

Scheduling Options

After speaking with over 30 municipalities, we feel confident our inspection scheduling options will meet most municipality’s inspection needs. First and foremost, customers are able to schedule inspections directly from submitted forms. This is done 100% online, with no interaction required from municipality staff. Each inspection request is routed to an assignment dashboard. This dashboard makes assigning inspections quick and easy. Here are a few of the options available for inspection scheduling in CX2:

  • Set Municipality Hours – Each municipality specifies operating hours. Inspections will only be permitted to be requested for days/times that the municipality is open.
  • Set Municipality Holidays – Each municipality defines a list of holidays. Inspections will not be permitted to be requested for days designated as holidays.
  • Require Fees Paid – This option only allows the user to request an inspection if all their form fees are paid in full. This option is commonly requested to encourage prompt payment of permit/inspection fees before an inspection request is available.
  • Call in Only – Inspections set to this option will prompt the user with a custom message requiring them to call in for an inspection. This means that the inspection may only be scheduled by municipality employees.
  • Schedule by Date or by Date and Time – This setting controls whether the user requests an inspection by a specified date, or if the request should be scheduled for a specified date and time.
  • Max Days in Advance – This option controls how far out into the future the user may request an inspection. As an example, you may only want to allow requests for the next 7 days.
  • Limit Total Number per Day – Limits the total number of times an inspection can be requested per day.
  • Limit Total Number per Hour – Limits the total number of times that an inspection can be requested per hour.
  • Allow Same Day Inspections – This option would permit a user to schedule an inspection for the same day as requested. This option also allows for the assignment of a fee and an associated accounting code for same day inspections.
  • Allow Cancellations – Requestor can cancel their current inspection request.  A fee and associated accounting codes can also be applied for cancellations.
  • Allow Same Day Cancellations – Requestor can cancel their current inspection request scheduled for the same day.  A fee and associated accounting code can be applied for same day cancellations.

Inspection Outcomes

Each inspection design may have its own set of inspection outcomes. An inspection outcome can be simply “Pass” or “Fail” or could be some other value of your choosing. These outcomes are used by the inspectors when conducting the inspection. These outcomes can do things like trigger automatic notifications, automatic re-inspect, as well as the assignment of fees.

Municipality Inspection Outcomes

Some of the outcome settings can be seen below:

Municipality Inspection Outcome Options

Inspection Fees & Fee Escalation

Each inspection outcome may also assess a fee when selected. These fees can then escalate based on the number of occurrences of that specific inspection having that outcome. As an example, if an inspection fails you may want to assess a $75 fee for the first failure. For the second failure, you want to assess a fee of $250, and for the third+ a fee of $500 each. CX2 can do this on a per inspection outcome basis allowing for complete flexibility on fee assessment based on inspection outcomes.

Municipality Inspection Fees and Fee Escalation

Tracking Violations and Code Sets

CX2 provides the ability to define specific code sets. These code sets can be used to track inspection violations and allow for the inspector to specifically cite a local, state, or federal code. As an example, a municipality can create a local city ordinance code set to be used for property maintenance. This code set could then be assigned to all their code enforcement inspections. The inspector can then quickly cite city ordinances while conducting an inspection. Each municipality may create as many code sets as they like or use globally defined code sets made available to all CX2 municipalities.

Tracking Violations and Code Sets for Municipalities

Adding a violation is quick and easy. CX2 provides the ability to attach images directly to the violation.

Tracking Violations and Code Sets for Municipalities

The inspector may add as many images as they would like. This includes selecting images from devices such as mobile phones and tablets. Images can also be commented on and marked up as needed on all devices.

Tracking Violations and Code Sets for Muncipalities

Requesting Inspections

CivicXpress makes requesting an inspection as easy as possible. The process of requesting an inspection can be completed by municipality customers, or by internal municipality employees. The process involves simply navigating to the form the user would like to request an inspection for, then clicking on the “Request Inspection” button on the Inspections tab.

Requesting Inspections for Municipalities

Once a user clicks on “Request Inspection”, they will simply select an inspection available. Based on the settings, the user will then select an appropriate date/time. The request is then sent to your “Schedule Inspections” dashboard, where a staff member can quickly assign inspections to municipality inspectors.

Requesting Municipality Inspections

The requested inspection is displayed with a status of “Requested” until the municipality assigns the inspection. All inspections for a specific form can be quickly accessed from the form itself, with no need to jump around to other areas of the application.

Requesting Inspections

Assigning Inspections

After an inspection has been requested, a municipality employee assigns the inspection(s) to any municipality inspector. The assignment process is as easy as selecting the requests and the inspector, then clicking on the “Assign” button. It’s that easy.

Assigning Municipality Inspections

Conducting Inspections

Conducting an inspection in CX2 is quick and easy. An inspector navigates to the “Inspections” dashboard as seen below:

Conducting Municipality Inspections Online

The inspector simply clicks on the “Today” tile to see any inspections that are assigned for that given day.

Conducting Inspections

The inspector clicks on the “Inspect” icon and quickly complete the inspections. This includes completing any inspection fields, adding violations, images and ultimately updating the inspection outcome. All this functionality can be completed easily from any device with internet access and a modern web browser.

Conducting Municipality Inspections Tool

Inspection Summary

CivicXpress provides a very powerful and flexible inspection engine for municipalities that can be customized to accomplish everything inspection-related.

End of story, whether you are conducting building, safety, fire, property maintenance, or any other types of inspections, CX2 is can be quickly setup to meet your needs!