Integrating Services for Customers

 

Horizon Centre is a unique consulting firm that is dedicated to improving development and building processing systems in order to integrate services to meet customer needs.  Horizon Centre has created and perfected a one of a kind project-oriented system model that centers on fulfilling customer expectations and strives to make governments more seamless.  The model ensures that client's needs are addressed in four fundamental areas, including:

 

Customer Expectations & Partnership Culture

Meeting customer expectations in the development and building processing system is crucial.  Understanding what those expectations are and how they relate to the system performance is the challenge.  Horizon Centre's proven customer involvement process addresses and alleviates those challenges.  Harnessing customer feedback, building a partnership for changing the process, and turning opposition into political support is the primary goal.

 

What do customers view as criteria or expectations for a successful system? Do customers feel there is a partnership culture where they work can with staff in a collaborative way to solve problems? Horizon Centre facilitates customer feedback to arrive at a clear set of success factors for clients to use as a measuring stick of customer satisfaction.

 

Product-Based Services

Development services customers often face multiple and fragmented local government departments when attempting to get comprehensive information, process a project they have in mind, or file a complaint.  Horizon Centre has a unique product-based operational design that defines processing system service delivery from the customer's perspective.  This model embraces a "customer sits in one chair" cultural philosophy to stop customer runaround and strives to make the process more seamless.       

 

"Project" Versus "Permit"

Our unique project-oriented system template illustrates how a client can easily and quickly redefine their processes to understand the customer's immediate objective for development, then in turn identify all the required project approvals/permits and the associated processing steps to achieve the most efficient overall approval timeline.  The approach adds a critical overlay of project management to ensure customer needs are met and missteps and frustrations are minimized.  "Time is money", so achieving timeliness and predictability are the key objectives for successful service delivery.

       

Cultural Change Management

Making changes happen in local government can be challenging due to entrenched institutional thinking, lack of buy-in and management support for new ideas, and resistance due to organizational "turfs".  Horizon Centre's change facilitation process establishes a framework for sponsorship, "out of box" creative system designing, and customer involvement to assist in ensuring success.  The framework centers on creating team structures for discussion, agreement, buy-in, and communication of planned improvements.       


Comprehensive Systems Approach

 

Understanding that the development and building process is a "system", will  yield opportunities for efficiencies.  The system is more than just procedures.  It includes many other system parts, such as the people side of project management, the regulatory framework, information technology, physical space, and performance measurement.  Horizon Centre's unique approach examines opportunities to create a comprehensive performance improvement program that includes all aspects of the system.


Improving the development and building process, requires close examination of all components that influence the “system” as a whole.  Actions to improve regulatory functions are difficult to achieve unless the overall philosophy is embedded in systems thinking.  Systems thinking commands that it is the “infrastructure that drives behavior” of staff, customers, and the public.  To have an effective and efficient process, underlying infrastructures must be evaluated and improved, where required.  Horizon Centre's propriety system "building block" model organizes key system components and ensures that all aspects affecting development processing efficiency and predictability are considered.   These system infrastructure "building blocks©" include:


Core Business Processes
: Are the steps in the development processing system process integrated and efficient and reflect a serviced-based culture?

  • People Interactions: Are communication mechanisms for staff, customers, and citizens structured to share information freely, manage projects effectively, and resolve issues or conflicts as they occur?

  • Regulations and Support Documents: Are the policies, codes, and support documents that drive the review process understandable, objective, and reasonable?

  • Technology:  Do the tools available to people provide for accurate and real-time information, tracking of customer projects, and assist in informed decision-making?

  • Physical Space:  Does the physical environment reflect a user-friendly, service-oriented approach for customers and citizens that interact with the process?

  • Organizational Structure:  Is the organization structured to be cost effective, provide appropriate resources to staff, and support a project management approach with accountability for performance?

Services Offered

Development Processing System Assessments

Management Audits

Customer Surveys & Focus Groups

Benchmarking and Best Practice Studies

Process Re-engineering

Development Processing System Improvement Programs

Performance Measurement Programs

Cultural Change Facilitation & Management

Organizational Restructuring and Staffing

Transition and Implementation Planning

Cost-of-Service Studies and Revenue Enhancement

Technology Assessments and Information Integration

Current or Recent Clients

City of Palo Alto, California

Lake County, Illinois

City of Corpus Christi, Texas

City of Alameda, California

Prince William County, Virginia

Yakima County, Washington

El Paso County, Colorado

City of Medford, Oregon

Salt Lake City, Utah

Ogden City, Utah

City of Portland, Oregon

US DOT, Office of Airline Information

City of San Diego, California

Lee County, Florida

Atlantic City, NJ Airport Authority

City of Vancouver, British Columbia

City of Denver, Colorado

City of Honolulu, Hawaii

City of Milpitas, California

©2011 Horizon Centre, Inc. All rights reserved