Case Study

Snohomish County, WA

In 1994, the Planning and Development Service department of Snohomish County Washington, population 655,800 , became one of the first organizations to implement AMANDA, CSDC’s business automation system.

The Challenge

The largest challenge that the department was facing was logistical. Most of the areas are mountainous; remote wireless devices often don’t function reliably. Also, technology was not encrypted and security challenges arose along with difficulties maintaining anonymity for complaint receiving systems.

The Solution

All information connected to a particular project is now available in AMANDA, and easily accessible to any staff member, allowing them to access the information from any location. AMANDA has reduced administrative work. Clerks who used to spend their time typing are now placed in different jobs, improving productivity and efficency. Online anonymous complaints now use AMANDA. All information is encrypted, restricting data to code enforcement officers, supervisors and managers.

The Details

AMANDA has greatly reduced administrative work. Clerks who used to spend their time typing are now placed in different jobs, improving productivity and efficency. 

All information connected to a particular project is now available in AMANDA and easily accessible to any staff member, allowing them to access the information from any location. Citizens are informed and updated about ongoing projects. Tracking permit related payments have been simplified for the department using the AMANDA Cashier module.

The Planning and Development Department has configured AMANDA to allow only code enforcement officers, supervisors and managers to see certain restricted information, as required.  This allows citizens who want to report a neighbor’s infraction to submit requests anonymously.

Future goals of the department in respect to AMANDA:

One of the initial goals of the Planning and Development team is to move forward with online permitting, achieving a higher level of customer service. Single family residential housing is booming in the county with over 3000 customers currently visiting the permitting counter.

Barbara Mock, Business Process and Technology Manager for PDS, sees the department expanding it’s online services to help some of those customers. The manager sees a scope of helping people by providing the zoning information through the internet.

The department also hopes to use AMANDA’s timekeeping module to help re-examine it’s current overly-complicated fee schedule. Without any way of determining how much time it takes to process each permit, it’s been difficult for PDS to establish a better system. The timekeeping module will help track job costing at the individual permit level, allowing management to determine a new overall fee schedule.

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