A Services Inventory – with associated service level standards – documents the City’s key services and associated service levels currently in place across the organization.
To improve customer service at the City and ensure we’re spending tax dollars in the right areas, I believe it’s important that we have service standards and track how we’re doing against the standard. If we’re not meeting the standard, it’s an opportunity to stop and problem solve: What are the current barriers in achieving the standard, and what can we do to remove them?
In developing this inventory and standards, we will:
- Prioritize services: Evaluate the importance of individual programs and services.
- Do the important things well: Identify the services that are most important to residents and look for efficiencies in the lower value service areas.
- Know the true cost of doing business: To determine the service level standard, we’ll also need to determine the cost of delivering the service at various levels. For example, in the 2019 budget, there’s a request for a full-time climbing wall attendant and a few part-time positions so we can provide the service seven days a week from 9 am to 9 pm. In looking at the cost to have this service standard, it wouldn’t be revenue neutral (so it would require tax dollars plus the revenue generated through admission); but if we set the standard as weekdays from 5 pm to 9 pm and weekends 9 am to 9 pm, it’ll be cost neutral (the revenue generated from admission will equal the expense of the part-time employees). Council would then have to weigh through community priorities and budget considerations to determine the service level standards.
Once complete, the Services and Service Levels Inventory should be reviewed and updated as necessary to ensure that it continues to meet the community’s priorities.
What does it look like in practice? Here’s the City of St-Albert’s: https://stalbert.ca/uploads/PDF-infosheets/Services-and-Service-Levels-Inventory-2016.pdf