Washington Processes Lease Applications Faster

by Barbara Leigh Shields

From the land along the Columbia River to the coastlines of the San Juan Islands, the state of Washington’s waterfronts offer peace and beauty. More than two and a half million acres of these resplendent aquatic lands are owned and carefully managed by the State of Washington. The state leases these properties for various ventures such as marinas, harbors, and aquaculture farms. To keep track of its leases, the state relies on two cloud services: Salesforce, the predominant online customer relationship management (CRM) system, and Esri, which hosts the popular ArcGIS Online GIS platform.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources (WADNR) Aquatics Land Division processes more than 1,000 lease and lease renewal applications each year. Processing an application involves extensive environmental, title, and land-use reviews. The review process ensures that the proposed land use is in harmony with its location.  

Prior to implementing the CRM/GIS solution, the division’s review procedures were costly and labor-intensive. Workflows were entirely manual, paper-based processes. The new solution increased efficiency and decreased the staff’s workload.

The Salesforce cloud service makes the department’s lease data searchable and accessible. Connecting the data with Esri ArcGIS Online gives the data geographic context. The GIS supports lease application reviews and transactions in the office and the field. 

Esri developed a connector between Salesforce and the Esri ArcGIS platform, dubbed Esri Maps for Salesforce. The user does not need to toggle between the two services’ platforms. Now, from within Salesforce, users can access ArcGIS Online to see lease application information via a map interface. Clicking a dot on the map accesses information in the department’s SAP financial system along with data from the leases database.

Once WADNR implemented Esri Maps for Salesforce, the information flow within the department became significantly faster. The capability to access ArcGIS seamlessly while working in SalesForce has reduced the time it takes reviewers to process applications.

WADNR employees predominantly use Esri Maps for Salesforce to connect to information when they are working with a client outside the office. Wherever they are in the field, they can access lease information needed for a review. Staff members are better prepared because they understand issues before meeting with a client. While talking with prospective customers, staff members can access the information they need via their mobile devices. In addition, because maps are more easily interpreted than tables, employees can help clients better understand property issues as well as more easily resolve conflicts about land use. 

Cloud services makes the lease management solution easy to launch and maintain. WADNR does not need to buy hardware or software licenses; rather, it pays for subscriptions. Web service providers are responsible for keeping the systems current via updates to their platforms.

By using iPads and iPhones to connect to Salesforce, an employee quickly sees a map that shows a particular site’s history as well as surrounding land-use information. The user chooses either a common map view or an aerial imagery view. Clicking on a dot on the map provides access to information in the department’s SAP financial system along with data from the record for leases database.

Another goal was to improve reports for executives and quickly provide them with answers to specific questions. Because staff had been doing the work manually, they had various ways to store information, thereby making it very difficult to create an overview of all the properties and their lease activities. To take advantage of the Salesforce/Esri solution, staff had to standardize their workflows. Consequently, errors have been significantly reduced. Moreover, users can cross-reference data to make sure it’s accurate.

Now executives keep track of productivity and project status by configuring their own dashboards and seeing information in a single view that includes a map. The dashboards show land use, leaseholder information, application status, and more. By monitoring these details, executives are improving the department’s productivity.

In Salesforce, click the Esri map link within a specific project. Use the Esri plug in on the Salesforce.com platform.

Quickly access a lease authorization map without having to toggle between Salesforce and ArcGIS Online while adding data to basemaps.