Making state government in Ohio simpler, faster, better, and less costly. .
Customers will get quicker service and answers to their questions 

City of Akron, Utilities Business Office

Project: Akron Utilities Business Office Lean Initiative

• Project was funded by an LGEP grant and resulted from LeanOhio Boot Camp

• Start date: April 1, 2015

• Contact: André Blaylock · · 330-375-2134

The single largest challenge facing the City of Akron is its financial condition. There is an increased focus on controlling costs, especially in divisions funded by water and sewer revenue because water revenue has been declining and all revenue from sewer rate increases is earmarked for long term control plan projects.

Reduce the number of steps required to complete at least three processes in the Utilities Business Office.

Push vs pull, voice of the customer, standardization, value-added vs. non-value-added activities


• Eliminate the requirement for a customer to contact the Utilities Business Office to activate and inactivate manifolded sprinkler accounts (implemented)

• Eliminate checking of work orders completed by the Domestic Meter Shop as part of preparing accounts for billing (implemented)

• Create scripts and checklists for frequently asked questions and scenarios

Key Metrics:

Steps - Baseline: 20
Steps - Actual: 2

Handoffs - Baseline: 3
Handoffs - Actual: 0

Loopbacks - Baseline: 2
Loopbacks - Actual: 0

Decision Points - Baseline: 10
Decision Points - Actual: 1

Delays - Baseline: 5
Delays - Actual: 0

Lead Time - Baseline: 30-60 days
Lead Time - Actual: 2 days

Redirected Work Hours - Actual: 1,000

Additional Information:
The script and checklist initiative will ensure that customers receive the same response when they call with a question or issue -- increasing agent confidence and productivity.


Want to add your process improvement success story?

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We will add it to this showcase of results from grant-funded projects as well as projects that got started at LeanOhio Boot Camp training.

Racquel Graham – LeanOhio 
Results home
Efficient data entry and reporting allows more time to serve families (Akron)

Customers will get quicker service and answers to their questions (Akron)

In the news: Butler County improves timeliness of issuing food stamps

Transformed mail and paper correspondence process has 86% fewer steps (Coshocton County JFS)

The City of Gahanna is bringing process improvement to local government

Lean Gahanna Program Status Report

Big clean-up ends the clutter and boosts productivity (Gahanna)

Reorganization of work environment increases efficiency (Gahanna)

Better management of IT surplus reducing waste (Gahanna)

Streamlined payables process speeds up payments and saves money (Gahanna)

Faster permits for commercial alterations lessens impact on revenue (Gahanna)

Improvements to electronic case files give added flexibility (Gahanna)

End of manual approach for fuel management cuts time by 94% (Gahanna)

Improved communication with IT customers minimizes service disruptions (Gahanna)

Improved application strengthens review process for planning and development (Gahanna)

Time saved with smarter approach for PO and invoice processing (Gahanna)

Automated registration moves 4 months faster for parents and staff (Greene County)

Claim submissions sailing through in 3 days -- compared to 60 days before (Licking County)

Operating room staff and patients benefiting from improvements to surgical case carts (MetroHealth System)

Vacant lots throughout Springfield maintained more quickly and cost-effectively (Springfield)  Daily Daily News

SARTA improves specialized transportation services that link citizens with needed services (Stark County)

In the news: Ohio nonprofits reap benefits of Six Sigma training
Results home