Calytera Blog
Snohomish County: Improving Citizen Services with Amanda
January 15, 2020
By Calytera

Snohomish County, in northwestern Washington State, is the state’s third-most populous county and birthplace of the Boeing 747 and 787 aircrafts. While part of the greater Seattle-Tacoma metro area, Snohomish County remains an economically and geographically diverse place. Areas near the southern border with King County are home to both high-tech companies and residents who work in technology and service industries in the Seattle area. Meanwhile, Snohomish County has more people employed in manufacturing than any other county in the state, and agriculture continues to power local economies in the northern and western parts of the county.

All of this means the county has seen significant growth in population and development in recent decades. To manage this and attract more growth to keep the community prosperous, the county turned to technology. For 25 years, the Snohomish County Planning & Development Services Department has relied on Calytera’s Amanda platform for managing its land use approvals, building permits, and inspection operations.

Snohomish County’s Planning and Development Services Department processes 9,000 to 10,000 permits annually. Efficiently managing that workload requires the power and flexibility of an enterprise case management platform. Amanda helps enable this efficiency, which enables the county to provide great service to their residents. Other county departments, such as the Assessor’s Office and Public Works, have access to building information and data captured in Amanda allowing them to better manage various citizen-facing functions. For example, county assessors can access building plans to help them make tax value decisions while eliminating the assessor’s need for paper copies of the plans.

Many years ago, the Planning and Development Services Department improved citizen services by using Amanda to manage citizen questions submitted through an online form called “Ask a Permit Tech.” The team uses Amanda to manage incoming questions as a workflow, allowing each question to be assigned to an employee with the requisite knowledge to answer. The questions received and the county responses are maintained in Amanda, which serves as a reference later if a permit is applied for using that information.

Snohomish County is also using valuable insights from Amanda’s powerful analytics tool to determine the effectiveness of and to further improve their online permit process. Dashboards have been created for management and staff to see permit and inspection volumes, performance metrics, processing times, and outcomes using the Yellowfin Analytics built into Amanda.

Earlier this year the county upgraded to the latest and greatest version of the platform — Amanda 7. The team reports that they have found Amanda 7 very flexible, and the move has allowed them to improve their permit processing due to the additional software features. The interface is easy to use, and staff are able to more easily search for permits, build reports, and retrieve historical information.