Carrollton (Then and Now)
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Durham and photographer Emma Elaine Dobbs have produced a fascinating study of vintage and modern images that reveals a small-town past preserved in a modern, developing city. Customer Reviews Average Review. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist.
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USD Buy Online, Pick up in Store is currently unavailable, but this item may be available for in-store purchase. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview Carrollton, in the rolling farmland of northwest Georgia, is a city with strong agricultural traditions and a streetscape surprisingly unchanged from the early 20th century. Product Details About the Author. About the Author Using the collection of longtime insurance agent and photograph hobbyist Benjamin M. Average Review.
Write a Review. Related Searches. So we communicated that. Tom created a four or five step process that we would use, and we would flex the process depending on the business unit that bid it, because some were unique. And I think it was our parks maintenance operation, where the head of parks-rather than resist it, he saw this as an opportunity and communicated that to his employees. And they won their competition fair and square. When a potato chip company makes a bag of potato chips, the pricing of that bag is not just based on the potatoes, the oil you fry them in, and the cost of the cook.
In government, if we were going to price our potato chips, we would typically price out the costs of the potatoes, the oil we fry them in, the cook, and maybe the kettle we fry it in. And some governments go way out and add in some of the electricity it takes to run the fryer. Well, we went in and set up a cost allocation system so that all of our services and business units are fully burdened in their costs. So if you look and try to compare the costs of us providing, say, police services, it looks like we might be wasteful and spend more.
There are a lot of cities that do this kind of stuff, but they just use this to beat up and scare their employees, with no intention of doing it. I remember when human resources HR figured out that when they lost solid waste, they lost a part of their customer base, and therefore I needed fewer people in HR.
When vehicle maintenance lost some trucks, we needed fewer mechanics. The overhead in the organization figured out real quick that they had to make sure to keep their costs down so that the people they serve-their customers in the organization-could be competitive, or else they both go out the door.
But by recognizing all of these overhead costs from the central units, they became part of the process too. This kind of process can work in any organization. Number two is that there are private sector competitors out there, so there are alternatives to providing the service. Third is a concern whether elected officials will support whatever they recommend. But the question was how to select a candidate to go through managed competition. We were in a hurry. Managed competition was a strategy for how we were going to balance our budget.
So we went after the big, low-hanging fruit first i.
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After selecting a candidate, our second step is that we do an in-depth operational and competitive assessment. What that includes, for a given operation, is defining their services and functions, and we group services together into lines of business just like any kind of business would. The next step is to identify the fully allocated costs i. Once we understand that, we are ready to go out and benchmark against other providers. We look at the private sector, we look at other cities, and other operations in our own city. We look at their staffing models, we look at their operating costs, overhead, equipment utilization, we look at their prices, etc.
By that point we usually can see some differences between our operation and others. That gives us some clues as to where we want to investigate further. The next step is to identify industry best practices and trends. That was one of the hardest things I think for the city government people to embrace. You can learn a tremendous amount by studying your competitors, because most of the industries we operate in are mature.
There have developed best practices and trends you can look at, and there are ways of doing things and improving over the years and being successful. That gives you an opportunity to compare your organization and the way you do things with the industry standards. After that, I usually write up these operational and competitive assessments and identify where the opportunities are for us to provide services cheaper, better, faster and friendlier, and I take it to Leonard for a review.
We can give the unit time to reengineer, restructure and get competitive.
We can compete them, developing an RFP and letting them bid against their private sector counterpart. Or we can outsource it or partner with someone else to provide services. The next step is that once he decides, whatever option he picks, we go down the path of either developing the RFP or giving them time to reengineer and get competitive. And at this point, I usually change hats.
That in a nutshell, is our process. Gilroy: What sorts of benefits have you seen from managed competition over the last ten years?
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For example, in our parks maintenance operation, they had a tremendous amount of equipment needed every year-weedeaters, mowers and that sort of thing. And they stopped buying a lot of equipment. How do you capture that, when they stop doing something? But we can give examples of units that had significant savings.
Martin : The other measure we now track is salaries.
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Government, by its very nature, is a people business. And the city population in was probably somewhere around 70, You find so much overstaffing in government because government rewards failure. We do it without realizing it. The example I use is, crime goes up, and what do we do? Well, then we need more police officers. Well, we need to pay teachers more and have more teachers to solve the problem. Well, hire another pothole patching crew.
What we should be focusing on are the true causes, and maybe part of the problem is that we are trying to solve old problems with old methods. And if we have crime going up, maybe we need to restructure how we offer police services. If potholes are out of control, how are we building our streets and are we patching the same potholes over and over? Maybe I need to change my method of repairing things. So this culture change is getting people out of that mindset.
Anyone can do more with more. It takes a leader and manager to do more with less. Guilfoy : Let me use a football analogy. I want to win, I want our units to win, and I care about the people that work here. And sometimes that means giving employees some support and encouragement.
Leonard has given me some additional responsibilities over the years. I cover organizational development, trying to help the organization learn new skill sets and new attitudes and ways of doing things. Every business I worked for in my career had a long-range plan. When I got here the only long-range plan we really had was a capital improvement plan. By asking them to do that, it forces managers to look out into the future and anticipate the kind of operating environment they are going to be faced with in three or four years, and how do they get ready for that.