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Featured Projects

Planning and Natural Resources – “Just In Case”
Planning and Natural Resources - "Just In Case"
  Planning and Natural Resources has numerous projects that require oversight by three separate oversight boards/commissions. Despite electronic information being available and published on the Department’s website, there was overproduction and excess processing of staff paper reports. Between 5 and 15 hard copies were being reproduced several times a week, “just in case” a member [...] ...
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KCERA – Member Seminar Estimates
KCERA - Member Seminar Estimates
  KCERA produces retirement benefit estimates for members at its semi-annual retirement planning seminars. To accomplish this, KCERA staff spend in excess of 40 hours a week researching, auditing and generating estimates for over 120 attendees, taking time away from mission-critical functions. KCERA developed a self-empowering process for members to generate their own estimates at [...] ...
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Child Support Services – Schedule Template
Child Support Services - Schedule Template
  The Kern County Department of Child Support Services plays a critical role in the positive outcomes of Kern County children. Research has shown that when parents can rely on monthly child support payments, those positive outcomes increase. Establishing and enforcing orders for child and medical support and collecting payments help provide food, shelter, clothing, [...] ...
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Fleet Management – General Services
Fleet Management - General Services
Kern County General Services and Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) launched a public-private partnership project that will save Kern County taxpayers several million dollars over the next 5 years and beyond. Staff from General Services evaluated the process for managing their fleet of vehicles that included all steps from initial purchase to maintenance and [...] ...
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Featured Projects


Kern County General Services and Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) launched a public-private partnership project that will save Kern County taxpayers several million dollars over the next 5 years and beyond. Staff from General Services evaluated the process for managing their fleet of vehicles that included all steps from initial purchase to maintenance and replacement. They realized there had to be a better solution. The solution turned out to be a public-private partnership with Enterprise Fleet Management that was awarded through a competitive RFP process. This program will shift responsibility to Enterprise for the lease and maintenance of leased County vehicles. This pilot partnership will start off covering 111 vehicles between BHRS and General Services and initially replace 94 vehicles that are 10 years of age or older. Since these vehicles represent less than 15% of our entire fleet, we are excited about the scalability of this project to cover Kern County’s entire fleet in future years. We look forward to replicating this improvement Countywide after analyzing the initial results and building a path toward covering our entire fleet. This would equate to covering nearly 700 additional vehicles. At an average savings of $3,000 per vehicle, the potential savings is an additional $2.1 million annually.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
The partnership with Enterprise allows Kern County to realize several benefits: update its aged fleet in a strategic manner, receive optimal replacement intervals and maximize resale value, save administrative costs by transferring licensing/registration responsibility to Enterprise, allow for continued coverage for major maintenance with local dealerships and, most importantly, save an average of $375,000 per year during the life of the 5-year Agreement.

RESULTS
Initial cost savings amount to $375,000 annually.


The Purchasing Division of Kern County General Services manages 265 Price Agreements. Carol Cox, Purchasing Manager for the County, defined the workload requirements for negotiating and executing agreements. Through her process analysis, it was determined that shorter agreement terms require staff to complete the competitive bidding process more often. Taking it a step further, offering extensions and longer agreements could be a vital negotiating tool to receive discounted prices. By offering vendors the security of a longer agreement, vendors might be willing to reduce their prices. Carol’s hypothesis came to fruition. Not only was the burdensome task of managing the competitive bidding process reduced, but vendors welcomed the opportunity to reduce their price in exchange for extensions and longer agreements. The process is now customary when communicating to vendors about our intent to extend in exchange for cost reductions.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
The process improvement of reducing costs associated with competitively bid Price Agreement provides real savings to the taxpayer. It also delivers a shared benefit by County staff and vendors, many of which are local businesses.

RESULTS
Direct savings from August 2017 to February 2018: $2,107,613


The Treasurer-Tax Collector identified incorrect property tax payments and check processing times for its first Lean Six Sigma project. Often, the department receives incorrect payments and duplicate payments from taxpayers, which increases staff time to research, process, and either send checks back, refund payments, or ask for additional funds which all include manual processes. The team is addressing this problem by redesigning the current tax bill to make it easier for taxpayers to understand what amount is owed and when and by highlighting the online payment service. The team is also conducting outreach and education and meeting with different stakeholders involved in the process. For check processing, the department has changed how it interfaces with the bank's lock box processing center to increase its utilization and automate its incorrect payment, or rejected payment processing methodology.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
By improving these processes, taxpayers will have an easier time understanding how much they owe in property taxes, when it is due and will increase payment processing efficiency. The process improvement will also decrease costs associated with staff time devoted to this issue.

RESULTS
Cost savings amounted to $124,481, which was mostly due to processing items.

Improved Cardboard Recycling

Improved Cardboard Recycling

The handling of cardboard at County facilities and the transportation of cardboard to recycling facilities has been an inefficient and expensive process. Poor labor handling techniques caused cardboard loads to be contaminated and rejected. Because they were loaded by hand, loads had low density, which was of less value to the recycler. Since loads were hauled to the recycler using county equipment, it required County personnel and equipment to be dedicated to the process. The use of balers will improve the cardboard recycling process. While balers will still be loaded by hand, their output will be a more dense bale which decreases the amount of loads needed to transport the cardboard to the recycler. This also allows the County to receive a premium price per bale. Lastly, the recycler will be transporting the baled cardboard, which reduces the use of County equipment and personnel, and lessens the transportation risk of County equipment on the highway.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
This improvement is important because it improves overall safety by using less labor at the facility, mitigates on-the-road risk by reducing County staff transporting equipment and cardboard, provides direct savings in staffing costs, operations and maintenance, and an increase in revenue.

RESULTS
Contaminated loads have been eliminated. There is also an increased revenue due to premium pricing for bales exceeding 1000 lbs. This project is immediately scalable to larger County landfills, and the estimated savings per year amount to $191,500 in operations and maintenance.

Faster. Better. Stronger.

Kern County is committed to GREAT GOVERNANCE through PERSISTENT PROCESS IMPROVEMENT that enables our employees and leaders to enhance the quality of life for residents, to foster a culture of innovation, and to make Kern County a model of excellence in managing our business and people.

Leadership

200 County Leaders were trained in the Introduction and Leadership principles of Lean Six Sigma. These two-day workshops emphasized how front-line employees should be given ownership over solutions that improve services to residents while making government less costly.

Staff

An additional 308 employees have been trained in Introductory Lean Six Sigma tools and methods to facilitate "quick-win" projects that can be done individually or in small teams in less than a month.

Goals

Our deployment goal for the remainder of 2018 includes a total of 1,000 employees trained in Introductory Lean Six Sigma in order to facilitate "quick-wins."

Green Belts

Beginning April of 2018, 10 County employees will launch their Green Belt training to facilitate larger, more complex projects. These 10 projects will be presented to the Board of Supervisors at a meeting in December of 2018.

Opportunities

Introductory Workshop and additional Green Belt/Black Belt training will occur continuously and indefinitely, redefining the culture of Kern County Government in order to drive positive change and great results.