Doing better with less people

Oosterhout Municipality wanted to improve its services and modernize its business processes, and at the same time save on personnel.

Strategic challenge

Oosterhout Municipality wanted to improve its services and modernize its business processes, and at the same time save on personnel.

Government funding was cut again by a quarter and the crisis increased with the demand for payments. To make ends meet, it was obvious that savings had to be made. But how? This was left to the municipality. The aim was to modernize business processes and provide citizens with a better service, despite the cuts.

“We wanted to do better with less people”, summarizes Mariska Asmus, director of resources and services.

Approach

The lean world

The whole process was based on the Lean expertise of Möbius: take stock of the processes and make them leaner and smarter. It sounds simple, but it involves a lot of work: work load measurement, drawing up rosters, analyzing tasks, etc. It has given Oosterhout Municipality as an organisation more insight into what it does and how it does it.

Wise to move with the times

It was clear right from the very start that the number of FTEs would have to be reduced. But forced redundancies were not necessary. Some employees found the idea of broadening their work very attractive, others were not interested in change and preferred to stay where they are. It was explained to these employees that the work is changing. Sometimes positions have to be lost and it is wise to move with the times and be flexible.

The correct focus

By focusing the service on the correct elements, efficiency and effectiveness were increased tremendously. For example, you deploy a lot of capacity in an area where citizens have the feeling that they are really being helped and this also seems to work a lot better.

Result

  • We saw the first returns immediately in the first year and the investment will be completely paid back after 4 years.
  • After these 4 years this operation will result in an annual saving of 900,000 €.
  • The department Work & Income reduced the inflow to payments by 34% and the outflow to regular work improved by 11%. Work processes were also reduced from 33 to 3.
  • Thanks to the subproject First line 6 products are now already being dealt with at the counter. The supporting processes such as a roster based on work load and visitor flows, performance management, satisfaction measurement, etc. are now also being looked at.
  • The incoming post is completely digitized (with the exception of advertising and magazines) and 85% of the outgoing post is digitized.

By focussing the service on the correct elements you can increase efficiency and effectiveness tremendously.

Mariska Asmus, Director Resources and Services
Oosterhout Municipality

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