TAVARES — The Lake County Board of County Commissioners recognized its process improvement program, which is currently responsible for 71 improvements in County operations, during its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.
In November 2008, the County appointed 50 employees as “ambassadors of change,” who are charged with initiating process improvement in customer-service operations.
Lake County Government launched a countywide program titled FOCUS, which stands for “Fulfilling Our Customers Through Unbeatable Service.” The FOCUS program began with helping employees to understand their role in fulfilling the County's mission statement: "To Provide Excellence in Service." The required training courses for all County employees was organized by the Office of Employee Services & Quality Improvement and taught participants six core skills of customer service: Flexibility, Communication, Respect, Empathy, Expertise and Initiative.
The focus on process improvement program is an extension of the FOCUS program as ambassadors are tasked with process improvement in customer service. Using the a six-step approach, ambassadors are asked to identify problems in work processes, analyze the issue, find potential solutions, select the best possible solution, implement a solution and then analyze the change. Some of the adopted process-improvement changes include:
• Implemented a process in the Office of Procurement Services to automate bids for items under $25,000
• Information Outreach posted adoptable pets to Lake County Animal Services Division’s Web page
• The Department of Public Works developed a method for customers to call ahead to order a specific map to be printed
• The Department of Environmental Utilities created a program to recycle bicycles brought to the landfill
The objective for process improvement ambassadors is to continue providing Lake County citizens with the best customer service experience available as an additional 37 process improvement projects are underway.