Case Study

Thurston County, WA

Thurston County Development Services is located in Olympia, Washington, housing a population of 230,000 people. The County wished to replace an outdated, mainframe-run permit tracking system.

The Challenge

Thurston County struggled to replace an outdated “mainframe” permit tracking system. Furthermore, they wanted a solution that allowed them to store information centrally, and in one database for decision makers.

The Solution

Thurston County discovered that AMANDA was the perfect solution for their Building, Planning, Environmental Health, Roads and Transportation Services and the Water and Waste Management departments. AMANDA also integrates with other systems to make sure that the transition and use of AMANDA is seamless.

The Details

Thurston County chose AMANDA, business process automation software, for its flexibility to adjust to Thurston’s unique rules and regulations.

AMANDA offers modules that could be implemented as new needs were uncovered. AMANDA was utilized by 130 users across multiple departments within the County including Building, Planning, Environmental Health, Roads and Transportation Services and Water and Waste Management Departments.

AMANDA allows the Permit Assistance Center (PAC), which serves as the hub of all permit activity for the County, to function as a one-stop-permit-shop. AMANDA provides permit and property information regardless of who owns or maintains the information.

AMANDA’s solution helped the County Government in the following ways:

1. Stores data centrally for the County

Regardless of who owns or controls the data, AMANDA shares the information centrally. This allows anyone with the proper permissions to view and share the information.

2. Integrates and centralizes all updates

In 2006, new fee schedules were adopted by several County permitting departments.  A new base fee was defined for services, plus an hourly billing rate was adopted once the base fees were exhausted.

The IT support staff utilized existing AMANDA software to track time and identify the additional fees due. Instead of updating several systems, they updated just one.

3. Seamlessly connects with third party software

Thurston County integrated Selectron’s Integrated Voice Response and GeoNorth’s iMap system with AMANDA.

The IVR System schedules inspections, allows the inspectors to input results, and provides real time results.

iMap allows County staff to access GIS information directly from AMANDA. Employees were using GIS technology previously. iMap, introduced in February 2007, allows users to use the mapping technology more efficiently, view maps directly alongside other information from AMANDA, and provide a visual context on the property in question. 

4. Made information transparent to the public

In 2006, the department partnered with a third-party vendor to digitize one million pages of property-related, historic information. These documents have now been loaded into AMANDA and made accessible to the staff.

In 2007, Thurston County purchased an enterprise Electronic Document Management System (EDMS). Scanned images are loaded into the EDMS through AMANDA, available to all the departments in the country. Both AMANDA users and non-users are able to view images. The information is made available to the public allowing the department to be more transparent and open to citizens.

5. Future planning with AMANDA is already in progress

In addition to communicating well with citizens, the department seeks to improve communication within the departments as well as outside agencies.

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