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  • SWIS - Development and Implementati... METRO Portland, OR
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SWIS - Development and Implementation

The Oregon Metro (Metro), the elected regional government for the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area, partnered with Windsor to develop and implement a single integrated software solution that supports the various tracking, financial, regulatory, and due-diligence related activities associated with the flow and disposal of solid waste generated throughout the Portland metropolitan area. These solid waste management activities are a critical component of the overall mission and revenue of Metro, and the unique system of governance of these activities that has been put in place by Metro presents some intriguing information systems challenges.

The information systems environment that previously supported these business processes, known as SWIS (Solid Waste Information System) was a collection of MS Access and Excel documents that had evolved over many years in an uncontrolled, organic fashion, and was considered by Metro to be an inefficient model from both a technical and business process perspective. In 2009, Metro embarked upon a series of process improvement exercises coupled with a structured analysis and end-user requirements gathering effort to help focus on standardizing the approach to managing and supporting monthly fee and tax collection activities, contract compliance activities, license and franchise compliance, and numerous associated due diligence and planning tasks.

Through the execution of these processes, Metro was able to determine the available options for improvement of the SWIS systems environment. The results of these efforts were the development of an ideal (or “To-Be”) system environment for the SWIS. Metro envisioned a new SWIS solution that is underpinned by single database encompassing all of the data required to support the Solid Waste management processes performed by Metro staff. The new SWIS solution is both secure and web-based, allowing external users (regulated or reporting entities) to authenticate and report their activities and volumes. Internal Metro staff will use the system in a trusted manner to review, analyze, and report upon submitted data, and perform financial/due diligence activities.

The SWIS solution achieved the following goals:

  • Provide better support for cradle-to-grave tracking of municipal solid waste generated in the Portland, OR area.
  • Reduce the time required to collect and consolidate the data from the regulated and/or reporting entities (e.g., garbage collectors and haulers, transfer stations, materials recycling facilities, and landfills).
  • Improve data quality due to validation being performed when the regulated entities submit their data.
  • Improve integration with other systems involved in the Municipal Solid Waste Management process such as payment processing, accounts receivable, and weigh-scale solutions..
  • Provide more time for Metro to perform due diligence activities, such as analyzing the data and ensure that fees and taxes have been appropriately assessed, as well as more time for planning to ensure that yearly contractual obligations will be met.
  • Provide for a single central location for data that will make analysis and reporting simpler (i.e., one version of the data, instead of it being propagated in many databases, and spreadsheets).



Interested in learning more?

Kevin Lyons

Contact Kevin Lyons
Windsor Solutions
(503) 675-7833 ext. 212