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How Cabarrus County's Modernized Lobby Improved ... Everything [Updated with Panel Q&A]

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Find out how Cabarrus County modernized its lobby and processes, saving caseworkers 1-2 hours per day to process applications faster - including 10 bonus slides that spell out the nitty gritty details about how Cabarrus County made the project and its resulting success happen.

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How Cabarrus County's Modernized Lobby Improved ... Everything [Updated with Panel Q&A]

  1. 1. teamnorthwoods.comRevolutionizing the Delivery of Human Services® How Cabarrus County’s Modernized Lobby Improved… Everything
  2. 2. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.2 Presenters Greg Tipping Chief Services Officer & Vice President of State Operations Diane Gridley Economic Services Program Administrator Tamela Crockett Income Maintenance Supervisor Natalia Young Lobby Supervisor
  3. 3. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.3 5 Key Areas Health Check Improving Client Services Improving Worker Morale Improving Communication Improving Visibility into Operations
  4. 4. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.4 "I think this new system has really allowed us to improve the customer flow, the lobby flow. People are getting immediately served and immediately queued instead of sitting down waiting and getting impatient. I think we've gone from a really outdated system to where we need to be and it's been phenomenal.” - Ben Rose Director of Human Services
  5. 5. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.5 What is a Health Check? Northwoods evaluates how well software and business processes are working to meet business needs.
  6. 6. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.6 Health Check Key Findings/Challenges Regression Inefficient Processes Communication Issues Poor Customer Service ?
  7. 7. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.7 Recommendations Upgrade Compass Appointments to mitigate regression Modernize business processes by eliminating manual processes Improve communication with a cross- functional change Improve customer service with redesigned lobby and greeter to check-in clients
  8. 8. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.8 Improving Client Service To improve customer service, Cabarrus County DHS redesigned the confusing and inefficient lobby flow to decrease wait times and reduce client frustration.
  9. 9. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.9 Improving Client Service Before Take a Ticket Window Express Center
  10. 10. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.10 Improving Client Service After Caseworker: Apply for services Window: Recertifications, basic information changes Express Center: Scan & drop off documents, pick up mail
  11. 11. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.11 After: Ease Client Frustration
  12. 12. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.12 After: Ease Client Frustration Caseworkers not spending appointment time diffusing frustration
  13. 13. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.13 After: Ease Client Frustration Caseworkers not spending appointment time diffusing frustration Caseworkers saving 10-20 minutes per client
  14. 14. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.14 Greeter Benefits “Someone this morning said ‘I’m so glad to see somebody instead of a machine, to see a person.’ People like to see a smiling face when they walk in.” Vessie Tenorio Income Maintenance Caseworker I
  15. 15. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.15 Improving Worker Morale Another goal for Cabarrus County DHS was to reduce stress and improve morale for caseworkers.
  16. 16. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.16 Why Were Workers Stressed? 1. Manual processes didn’t ensure cases were distributed evenly – weren’t using Compass Appointments round robin 2. Caseworkers took the brunt of clients’ frustrations
  17. 17. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.17 Assigning one clerical worker to manually distribute clients to caseworkers introduced several issues: No Tracking Risk of Human Error Stress of Managing Frustrated Clients Limited Client Information Lost Productivity!
  18. 18. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.18 To boost worker morale and help caseworkers process applications more efficiently, Cabarrus County DHS took two critical steps: 1. Upgrade Compass Appointments to take advantage of automated features 2. Revamp business processes so the right workers are working on the right tasks
  19. 19. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.19 Benefits: Automated Distribution
  20. 20. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.20 Benefits: Automated Distribution Reporting
  21. 21. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.21 Benefits: Automated Distribution Reporting Improved Productivity
  22. 22. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.22 Benefits: Automated Distribution Reporting Improved Productivity Understand Client Needs
  23. 23. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.23 Benefits: Automated Distribution Reporting Improved Productivity Understand Client Needs Less Client Frustration
  24. 24. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.24 Improving Communication Cabarrus County also worked to resolve communication issues that hampered efficiency.
  25. 25. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.25 Communication Challenges Inconsistent Processes Poor Communication Methods Technology Mismatched to Business Needs
  26. 26. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.26 Improving Communication Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  27. 27. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.27 Improving Communication Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Improved Communication Methods
  28. 28. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.28 Improving Communication Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Business Analyst Improved Communication Methods
  29. 29. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.29 Improving Visibility into Operations Cabarrus County didn’t have visibility into its operations in the lobby or throughout the agency because of all the manual processes.
  30. 30. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.30 Lack of Visibility Challenges Not Understanding Clients Needs?
  31. 31. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.31 Lack of Visibility Challenges Not Understanding Clients Needs Can’t Adjust in Real Time ?
  32. 32. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.32 Lack of Visibility Challenges Not Understanding Clients Needs Can’t Adjust in Real Time Lack Data to Justify Resources ?
  33. 33. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.33 Visibility Improvements Understand Client’s Needs
  34. 34. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.34 Visibility Improvements Understand Client’s Needs Real Time Staffing Adjustments
  35. 35. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.35 Visibility Improvements Understand Client’s Needs Real Time Staffing Adjustments Reliable Data to Justify Resources
  36. 36. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.36 Project Outcomes • Reduced client and caseworker frustration • Improved lobby flow and reduced lobby wait time • Helped manage ACA, NC FAST • Sped up timely application processing • Provided leadership visibility into operations • Saved caseworkers 1-2 hours per day • Repurposed 1 FTE, saving 40 hours per week
  37. 37. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.37 Learn more Download the case study or watch the video series at teamnorthwoods.com
  38. 38. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.38 Questions? Greg Tipping Chief Services Officer & Vice President of State Operations Diane Gridley Economic Services Program Administrator Tamela Crockett Income Maintenance Supervisor Natalia Young Lobby Supervisor Email: info@teamnorthwoods.com Website: teamnorthwoods.com
  39. 39. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.39 Panel Q&A - Greeter 1. Is there only one Greeter, or multiple? – Only one greeter is needed to meet the demand. Several staff are trained 2. How do you staff the greeter? Is it a clerk position of volunteer? Are your greeters trained/certified caseworkers or can you use staff trained specifically for greeter tasks? – We staff the position with a FTE Income Maintenance Caseworker I. Greeters are certified caseworkers trained in basic eligibility policy for SNAP and Medicaid. Caseworker Is are cross trained to work at the front desk, call center and greeter.
  40. 40. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.40 Panel Q&A - Greeter 3. What are the 3 questions asked to determine which window they are routed to? – The questions are based on the client's need for an eligibility program. For example, if a client indicates she wants to apply for SNAP, we ask the following: • Do you reside in Cabarrus County? • Have you previously applied for SNAP? • When did you last receive SNAP benefits? – This helps us differentiate an application or a potential SNAP transfer in or a possible reopen, late recertification. 4. Is your greeter more of a triage station that redirects customers or do they have the ability to answer questions and take actions? – The greeter is more of a triage station that redirects clients.
  41. 41. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.41 Panel Q&A - Greeter 5. If there is no number system, do the customers simply stand in a line to see the greeter? – Clients stand in a line to speak with the greeter. The line moves quickly which keeps the line manageable for one greeter. 6. How does the greeter get the clients to the worker? How is the worker identified? Is this a round robin process? – The worker is identified through a notification in Compass® Appointments from Northwoods. The round robin process is used for walk-in clients. The system automatically selects the next available caseworker based on availability. 7. Does the greeter record any information or just send them to the designated area? – The greeter can record notes on why the client is visiting the agency that the caseworker can view prior to meeting with the client.
  42. 42. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.42 Panel Q&A - Greeter 8. Is the greeter bilingual? Are signs in multiple languages in the lobby? – Yes, the greeter is bilingual and all signage is in multiple languages. 9. What kind of technology was the greeter using? It looked like a tablet, a wireless receipt printer, and a paper log? Are they using Compass Appointments on this tablet? If so, what module? – The greeter uses a Windows tablet that runs a web-based version of the Compass Appointments software. The greeter also has a Bluetooth printer to print recipients. 10. How much time does the greeter spend with each customer before referring them to the caseworker? – Less than a minute.
  43. 43. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.43 Panel Q&A - Lobby 1. How do clients identify themselves on the wait board? – When a client checks in, the greeter puts the client into a pre-determined queue based on the reason for their visit. The queues feed the lobby monitors where the client can see the order to be seen. 2. How many windows do they have? – There are 4 windows that can be staffed with the appropriate Caseworker 1s depending on the current makeup of the clients in the lobby. 3. At the window, is the customer is served real-time for redeterminations and case changes? – Caseworker 1s are making basic changes and conducting SNAP interviews at the window & assuring the client has all the necessary documentation. Reports are available to determine the average time for the various queue types. 4. Does the round robin include the seeing of lobby customers? – Yes, round robin is how walk-in clients are assigned to a caseworker when necessary.
  44. 44. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.44 Panel Q&A - Software 1. What system was used to capture the client wait time when they entered the lobby? – Compass® Appointments from Northwoods captures wait time because the client's check-in time and the time when the worker starts the appointment are tracked. 2. How does the round robin work if one caseworker takes longer than another to finish a case? – A caseworker shows as unavailable until the queue is ended. We set a time and average time for each program for applications and case management walk-ins. The round robin will skip this caseworker if he or she is still working on a case. Once the queue has ended, the skipped caseworker will become available and is listed at the top of the round robin.
  45. 45. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.45 Panel Q&A - ROI 1. How much more is productivity increased by? – We reallocated the FTE previously handling the manual process to processing mail. CWIs previously doing the mail are able to assist with more eligibility related duties. CWIIs have increased productivity with improved processes for routing clients, identifying clients with late recertifications and applications to ensure interviews are conducted and verifications are gathered. 2. What was the waiting time prior to the lobby improvements? What is the wait time now? – We do not have data for prior to implementation. The wait time from the queue to being seen at the window is 3.6 minutes. 3. Has this approach helped increase same day application processing? – Yes. 4. Have you noticed any changes in RMS after your business processes were re-done? And/or are you able to use Compass Appointments to QA your RMS responses? – Cabarrus is not using it for this. It could be used that way.
  46. 46. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.46 Panel Q&A - Software 3. Is this system set up at your main lobby? – Yes, Compass Appointments from Northwoods is used in the main lobby to track client traffic, and behind the scenes with caseworkers and supervisors to manage appointments throughout the agency. 4. Do you have barcodes on your forms? – Yes, Compass® Forms from Northwoods uses barcodes to quickly identify key information from forms. When the form is returned the bar code fills in information about customer, case, and document type.
  47. 47. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.47 Panel Q&A - Implementation 1. How long did it take to implement the new process in the lobby? From analysis to implementation? – The implementation took about six months, which included the reconfiguration of Compass Appointments. 2. What was the biggest challenge with making these changes? – There was an internal delay to receive the equipment, which caused a delay in implementation. The gap between user training and going live created some user issues that probably would have been avoided with an on-time implementation. 3. How did you gain input from customers to determine how the re-design would meet their expectations? – Northwoods gathered input from frontline caseworkers about the client experience.
  48. 48. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.48 Panel Q&A - Implementation 4. Why did the county need Northwoods to provide help on improving the lobby flow? What was it that the county wasn't able to do without help from Northwoods? – Northwoods has a team, called the Complex Solutions Group, that has previous experience and expertise in understanding human services processes. The Northwoods team was able to observe processes from an outside perspective to identify opportunities for improvement.
  49. 49. teamnorthwoods.comCopyright © 2016 Northwoods Consulting Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.49 Panel Q&A – Cabarrus County DHS General 1. What is the number of staff at Cabarrus County DSS? – 344 2. How many Income Maintenance staff do you have? – 135 3. What services do you provide besides SNAP? – Cabarrus County DHS provides multiple Income Maintenance services including SNAP, Medicaid, Day Care, and energy assistance; in addition to child support and protective services. 4. What is the average caseload per worker? – Varies from program to program - an average of 450 to 500. Caseworkers are responsible for applications, recertifications and case maintenance.

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