Back in 2015, Coffs Harbour City Council was declared ‘fit for the future’ by the NSW Government after an assessment of our strength as an organisation and our effectiveness in delivering local services.
We were judged to be well on track towards being a financially stable council, noting the improvement strategies that we had put in place, and one that will remain so in the future. A key component of that assessment was our commitment to continually review the way we do things and to find better, and more cost-effective, ways of doing them.
We are also very well aware that the expectations of our community are increasing and changing at a rapid rate, so we are always faced with the challenge of delivering more with less.
Our view is that the more we can improve how we do it, the better the overall service we offer the community. Within Council, we refer to this as continuous improvement.
I’ve referred to continuous improvement a lot in the media, but I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain how we do it in a little more detail.
Essentially, we encourage all staff to take a critical look at how we’re delivering our services, as the people in the heart of the process are best-placed to work out how to do it better.
We also have a small Business Improvement Team that has been, and will continue, to review all our work processes and work with staff to make these processes more efficient and customer-friendly.
We all know that paper is a productivity-killer so, where possible, Council is trying to move online.
A good example is the water meter exchange programme. Our water team is now using electronic tablets out in the field to improve the water meter exchange process. This makes for a faster and more accurate billing process for water customers.
But whether the change is major or minor, together they add up to significant improvements over time and mean that, as an organisation, we will be better tomorrow than we are today.