Case Study: Seattle Parks and Recreation

Seattle is a seaport city on the west coast of the United States. It is the seat of King County, Washington.
Seattle is a seaport city on the west coast of the United States. It is the seat of King County, Washington.
Why Seattle Parks and Recreation is Advancing with Enterprise Asset Management

Every city has a distinct personality, forged from its history, topography and many generations of citizens. For the city of Seattle, Washington, the backbone of its unique personality stems from its Department of Parks and Recreation.

Managing the City’s 6,200-acre park system of 400+ parks and natural areas, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) provides countless opportunities for Seattleites of all ages to “play, learn, contemplate and build community.” The park system makes up about 11% of the City’s total land area and includes 25 miles of boulevards and 120 miles of trails, as well as athletic fields, children’s play areas, gardens and facilities, like community centers, swimming pools, environmental learning centers and much more.

Addressing the Need for a Solution

One of SPR’s primary roles is to manage and maintain the thousands of assets existing within the City’s extensive park system. SPR had both work order and asset management systems in place for years within different divisions, but these systems were not integrated. Non-integrated systems can lead to duplicate work, inefficient data collection and more.

Pam Banks, Asset Management and Work Order (AMWO) Project Manager for Seattle Parks and Recreation, believed that an integrated asset management software system would benefit SPR in many ways, including improved efficiencies, maintenance tracking, and data quality.

During the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, SPR had clear requirements for an asset management software solution. These requirements included:

  • Being easy to navigate for staff
  • Meeting reporting needs
  • Integrating with certain systems already in place
  • Being configurable
Why AssetWorks EAM was the Right Solution for Seattle Parks and Recreation

After the RFP process, SPR concluded that AssetWorks Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software solution would be the best fit for the department. AssetWorks EAM is a comprehensive asset management system designed to handle all aspects of public infrastructure management, including complex networks of linear and boundary-based assets.

“AssetWorks EAM looked like it was the most manageable and the easiest to use from both an end-user’s and a system administrator’s perspective,” said Banks.

From the RFP process onward, Banks was impressed with the AssetWorks team’s attention to detail and genuine interest in their clients’ success.

“The AssetWorks team that came out to give the product demonstration was very well-prepared,” continued Banks, “That was one of the things that stood out for me during the RFP process.”

“They really were attune with what we were looking for,” continued Banks, “That attention to detail is really important and AssetWorks should be really proud of that.”

AssetWorks’ attention to detail doesn’t stop after the product demonstration and implementation processes. When reaching out to established AssetWorks software customers, the stellar reputation of the AssetWorks Support Team became clear to Banks.

“The folks we did reference checks with spoke very highly of the support that AssetWorks provided post-implementation when there were important questions on how to do certain tasks,” Banks said.

“Almost everybody we spoke to said that AssetWorks Support was excellent, which is one of the things we really value,” she continued.

One System for Thousands of Assets

With AssetWorks EAM, Seattle Parks and Recreation can rely on one system to manage their many assets.

“We’ve already loaded close to 20,000 assets in the database,” said Banks, “But, when all is said and done we’ll have closer to 40,000 or more.”

With that many assets across a widespread area, SPR needed a way to improve their paper-based system of collecting data in the field. With EAM, workers can track their hours and tasks on tablets in the field.

“Having technology that’s usable out in the field is really important,” said Banks.

The types of assets SPR are including in its initial deployment are its physical, maintainable assets, such as buildings, properties and systems.

SPR constructed four basic rules for determining whether or not an asset should be included in the asset management software system. The rules state that the asset in question must fit at least one of the following categories:

  1. It is maintained or owned by SPR
  2. It is $5,000 or more in value
  3. SPR is mandated to report on it
  4. It is revenue-producing

These four rules ensure that the assets being managed in EAM collect data that is useful for the Parks department.

Moving Forward

Seattle is gearing up to implement the Capital Planning Module, one of AssetWorks’ newest products, in early 2017.  Banks believes that this module will really help Seattle manage the inventory of assets from cradle to grave – from capital project initiation, to acceptance of new assets, to eventual decommission as needed.

The relationship between Seattle Parks and Recreation and AssetWorks is only just beginning. While looking towards the future with EAM, Banks expects not only ongoing advancements in enterprise asset management technology, but also ongoing, excellent support from the AssetWorks team, from technical support staff and project managers to executives!

“I feel like I have access to the project manager, the professional services director, or even the COO if I have a need! Knowing that I can rely on any number of resources within the organization from support to Rob [Hallett, COO of AssetWorks] assures me that AssetWorks cares about its product and our success”, said Banks.

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