Top 11 Features to Consider for Stormwater Software Subscriptions

Top 11 Features to Consider for Stormwater Software Subscriptions

There are several storm water inspections software players but few contenders that offer you a real cost saving solution while delivering NPDES CGP construction inspection compliance.  

Here are the specifics of what you are looking for so you don’t end up buying a ‘75 Pinto or worse, ending up with a ‘75 Pinto when you thought you were buying a tesla. Note, most offer a SaaS model in our industry – Software as a Service – which are typically subscription based. 

11. Software Pricing Option: First and foremost – the software that you are looking to buy must have pricing options.  If they don’t, get out.  Many only offer one price with no options at all. There are many companies out there designed to get as many “users” to pay their ongoing subscriptions that ultimately become inflexible, binding, and costly.  A true SWPPP app will account for your unique needs and will offer options.

10. Pay Per Option Pricing Specific to Stormwater Inspections:  Building upon #1, why should you or anyone else pay for what you aren’t using? Our industry is sophisticated enough at this point to be able to provide low cost options for different levels of access and feature sets that fit their roles. C’mon. It’s 2021.  And we just survived a pandemic! So whether you are simply managing stormwater inspections, or you would also like to include management of SWPPP Plans, NOIs, SWPPP maps, annual reports and more – only pay for what you need. 

9. Flexible, No Risk Terms: When looking for software, do not mess around with minimum contracts, setup fees, and invoices that must be paid before you are stormwater compliant and smiling :). Have a consent decree to manage?  It will take some time to work processes out to make sure you are getting what you need. Our rich service based technology world has more to offer you rather than feeling like you are settling for something that may not really save you time, achieve compliance, or help you much at all.

8. Data Guarantee for Ultimate NPDES SWPPP Compliance: If you have no access or data once you stop using the stormwater software you are considering, then run fast. All too often, people don’t want to “switch” to something better because they are stuck with what they have, including their data. If this is the case with you, that should be an indicator to cut bait now so things don’t get more difficult. This is 2021. Not 1998. Data is cheap these days and you may be involved in more of a scam than a solution if your data isn’t yours regardless of when it was compiled and how long you were a customer.  Make sure also to look for unlimited data storage

7. Unlimited User Access for All Stormwater Software Users:  Looking for SWPPP software or a SW3P app that allows others to benefit from and utilize certain features in order to achieve compliance? Beware. Most app platforms and software available lure new customers into thinking they have the solution they need while later realizing that they have to pay for others to join in. Not cool. NPDES Stormwater regulations often require corrective action completions including signatures from different people.  In these cases, you don’t want to have to pay for multiple users.  Instead,  be on the lookout for stormwater inspections software and construction inspection apps that have unlimited users

6. Exact Form Delivery-SWPPP Construction Inspections, MS4 Inspections Template, etc: Do you work in an industry, state or municipality that requires an EXACT SWPPP inspection form? In the past, it was assumed that a stormwater inspection software platform couldn’t accommodate specific NPDES, CGP, MS4 or state forms including exact output.  Today’s storm water inspections technology makes this possible.

5. Mobile Friendly Input Regardless of NPDES CGP or MS4 Forms: While there may be many storm water software platforms that say they can provide you with an exact match of the SWPPP Inspection  form you need, they often are bulky and not user friendly… think navigating around a screen or with a mouse to different areas of a form for input – it’s no bueno. What you need is mobile friendly input that is responsive to whatever device you are using (phone, tablet, pc, IOS, Android) while delivering the custom form output: that may be required, especially for storm water inspections at construction sites. Boom. You are welcome.

4. The Ability to Quickly Update Your NPDES Stormwater Inspection Templates (Forms):  How many times have you had to tweak a stormwater inspection form? Whether it’s something you have noticed that needs a change, or a client request, or a permit regulations change-whatever the reason, SWPPP template forms often need to be amended.  Most stormwater software platforms require you to submit for a form change and often take a lot of time to make the change. Because our stormwater industry is ever changing and requires accuracy and meeting deadlines, a platform that allows you to make the necessary updates on each storm water inspection form in real time will serve you well. 

3. Accurate Storm Water (Rain Event and Precipitation History) Data: If you are talking with someone about their “stormwater inspections software” but they don’t provide accurate or any stormwater data, well then, you know what to do!  It’s amazing how many NPDES “stormwater inspections software” companies exist that don’t even provide “stormwater information”.  Isn’t that the main point of Storm Water Inspections Software? That is crazy. Maybe worse is how many companies provide “stormwater data”, but it isn’t accurate or specific to your sites or locations! What good is a precipitation reading from a local airport that is 5 miles away? You need the most accurate precipitation data to trigger rain events and forecast data for planning and management. Would you like rainfall accuracy within 1 meter of your location? It’s out there :).

2.  DIY- Self Signup – Manage it yourself.  Need to setup a site right now or to change a notification or the title of the site or an inspection? Or need others to receive varied notifications at different intervals  Need to let someone in and out of the software for security purposes or full control?  If you have to rely on anyone outside of your company, including your stormwater inspection software to do this for you, you are treading water. Today’s technology provides better platforms that let you do as much or as little as you want  You need the flexibility to not only have ready access to support, but to do it yourself to respond to day to day situations that will certainly arise.

1. Storm Water Inspections Compliance Background and Experience:  Whoever developed the stormwater inspection management software must have a background in stormwater inspections compliance.  Unfortunately, we see it time and time again- some company claims that they have the software you need to manage your stormwater inspections but it turns out that they don’t have any background in the  stormwater industry, and therefore really don’t have a clue and aren’t speaking your language. Think of it this way – they don’t know and NOI from an NOT, a SWPPP from an SPCC, a BMP from a DMR, or a CGP from an MSGP! Run from these pretenders. Get to know the product and team you are considering in order to determine if they have the chops to deliver on your stormwater specific needs :).  It takes more than some fancy coding and software to be stormwater compliant. You know this and so should the software company you ultimately choose!