Armidale Dumaresq Council increases productivity

A massive $2.1 million in productivity improvements in Armidale Dumaresq Council's (ADC) operations has been identified and $1.4 million has been implemented and is operational.

In the 2009-10 financial year, General Manager Shane Burns began a productivity improvement program in Council. This program sets annual targets for identifying and implementing improvements in the way Council undertakes its business.

In identifying and implementing these improvements, they had to be measurable. It was determined that the improvements could be a combination of dollars saved or staff time saved.

The aim of the program was to improve the way ADC operates in providing services to customers.

ADC's Business Systems Analyst Ambrose Hallman described how the savings were found from suggestions made by the staff in a process called 'end user engagement'.

"Suggestions from staff were mapped end to end, analysed and improvements identified, which included removing duplicated and redundant steps in the process and enhancing the configuration of Council software to produce efficiencies," he said.

"In the first year, a 5 per cent in productivity improvements was identified, worth $1,864,278."

During the second year, the focus moved to implementing many of these identified improvements including:

  • energy savings
  • training of utilities and transport staff on wet days
  • recording meeting minutes live
  • record management
  • an improved works instruction system for work crews
  • improved functionality of the names and addresses register
  • update of cadastre data from Lands Titles
  • lighting controllers at Rologas fields
  • improvements to food shop inspections
  • a new mower
  • stage one of the automation of 149 Certificates
  • a new graffiti removal process.

Armidale Dumaresq Civic and Recreation Services manager Phil Brown explains about the graffiti management plan.

"Although our assets are in pretty good condition, graffiti removal savings help to maintain their condition, not to mention the amenity of the city," he said.

In terms of energy savings, Carol Davies, Sustainability Advantage Project Coordinator explained more about why ADC won an award recently for outstanding environmental achievements of businesses in Northern Inland NSW.

"Armidale Dumaresq Council is showing real leadership in signing up to the NSW Government's Sustainability Advantage Program in which it is committing to undertake significant sustainability actions over an 18 month period." she said.