Park & Rec. Part 2 of 3

West Palm Beach Parks and Recreation Outsourcing and Efficiency Analysis conducted by Management Properties
From: Management Properties
To: Dorritt Miller

Ms. Dorritt Miller Deputy City Administrator City of West Palm Beach
401 Clematis Street West Palm Beach, FL 33402
Dear Ms. Miller:

Management Partners is pleased to provide this report summarizing the results of our analysis of the Department of Parks and Recreation. We examined the department’s structure, service delivery, staffing, and operations to identify opportunities to enhance efficiency and effectiveness through outsourcing and process improvement opportunities. We have determined that outsourcing is a viable option for some functions, but the department accomplishes other functions so efficiently that outsourcing is likely to increase costs. Some recommendations may require additional investment to yield the anticipated service improvements. However, those investments will support the City’s ongoing efforts to provide excellent service while maintaining a sustainable financial position. We appreciated the opportunity to work with you on this important project and look forward to assisting you with the implementation.
Gerald E. Newfarmer
President and CEO

Department of Parks and Recreation.
The Department of Parks and Recreation consists of three divisions: Recreation, Parks and Grounds Maintenance, and Community Events.
There is some evidence that the Parks and Grounds Maintenance Division within the Department of Parks and Recreation does not have sufficient resources to adequately complete all of its maintenance responsibilities.
This is due to a significant increase in workload and a decrease in staff over the past several years.

FY 2009-10, the department absorbed the Public Works Grounds Maintenance Division. As a result, the City eliminated 25.5 vacant positions and saved $1.5 million, according to the City’s budget document. Since that time however, the Parks and Grounds Maintenance Division has lost additional positions, but has had an increase in workload

2009-10 parks and grounds maintenance FTEs have decreased by 11%. Over the same time period, average workload has increased by 24%.

Originating Work Orders:
1- Maintenance chiefs receive work orders from at least 11 different people in various City divisions and via four different methods, including by phone, verbal requests, email, and through MainTrac. When receiving requests outside of MainTrac, staff does not enter many of the maintenance requests into the system.
RESULT: Loss of valuable information about workload, cost, and time to complete the work. In addition, there have been issues about service requests for events. For example, for one special event, maintenance staff did not supply the event workers with electrical cords due to a communication error. In another example, an error in scheduling for hanging banners caused the use of overtime. The department can avoid miscommunication by requiring the use of MainTrac to initiate work order requests. This will increase efficiency, reduce costs, and reduce incidents of rework.
Recommendation: Require staff to initiate work order requests through MainTrac to improve the work order process.

2- Assigning Work Orders and Their Priority: Currently, staff members initiating work orders in MainTrac are able to choose the work unit and priority of work orders. However, these staff members often assign work orders to the wrong division or incorrectly classify the priority. The maintenance chiefs then reroute the work to the correct unit and reclassify the priority.
RESULT: This causes unnecessary delays in completing work order requests due to administrative rework on the part of the maintenance chiefs.
Recommendation: Route all maintenance requests through the Parks and Grounds Maintenance Division secretary who will request priority assignment from maintenance chiefs.

3- Recording the Close-Out of Work Orders: Maintenance staff currently use a paper form to provide information about closed work orders. Staff delivers these forms to the maintenance chiefs who then enter the information into MainTrac.
RESULT:This practice can create rework and increases the likelihood of data entry errors. In addition, maintenance chiefs do not have the time to enter all written worksheets into MainTrac, resulting in a loss of data.
Recommendation: Require maintenance crews to enter completed work order information directly into MainTrac. This will reduce possible transcription errors and free up valuable time for the maintenance chiefs.

4- Training Staff to Become More Effective Users of MainTrac: Some Parks and Recreation staff who use the MainTrac system are not aware of its full capabilities, which inhibits the most effective use of the system. If the City invested in additional training, it would ensure staff learns how to properly use the MainTrac system and more fully exploits its functionality. Training will provide the proper support for staff to adopt, customize and use the system.
Recommendation: Invest in additional training for staff including maintenance chiefs, secretaries, and crew leaders to support the use of MainTrac and reduce manual work tracking.

Collecting Sufficient Data: Staff indicated that the maintenance work order worksheets (from which such as the full cost of staff enters data into MainTrac) do not capture important information, completed work and time spent on work orders.
RESULT: Without this information, management cannot determine the total cost for work orders, projects, and the amount of time to perform work. The lack of data negatively affects the City’s ability to charge accurate fees. For example, the City charges fees for event permits. However, the Department is unable to capture the true cost of an event due to the incomplete work order data collected.
Recommendation: Incorporate full cost and time data for work orders into MainTrac.

5- Underutilizing MainTrac System Components: The Department of Parks and Recreation owns the Inspection and Results Module of MainTrac, but does not use it. The Inspection and Results Module enables the user to automate inspection work and has mobile capability. According to Vermont Systems, this module enables the user to: • Process inspections in real-time, • Customize inspection forms, • Trigger work orders for failed inspection items, • Schedule inspections, and • Track and store inspection data, including notes and photographs. Currently, Parks staff complete inspections of parks facilities on a scheduled basis and after visitors complain about a park or facility..
Recommendation: Use the Inspection and Results Module and the Job and Task Maintenance Scheduling Module from MainTrac.

6- The department also owns the Job and Task Maintenance Scheduling Module from MainTrac, but does not currently use it. This module enables the user to schedule and plan work duties and assignments. According to Vermont Systems, the module provides the following capabilities: • Schedule employee work duties, • Schedule routine jobs/work duties, • Distribute work orders, • Estimate job/task completion times, • Create individual and crew schedules, • Produce schedule log sheets, • View current schedule calendars, • Schedule jobs at any time, and • Schedule equipment and materials.
Currently, the department does all work scheduling and tracking manually. By using the Job and Task Maintenance Scheduling Module management could schedule crews and equipment more effectively. The system could also produce reports that show work calendars and job tasks.
Recommendation: Use the Inspection and Results Module and the Job and Task Maintenance Scheduling Module from MainTrac.

7- The report above consists of 89 pages including graphs. The City has ordered and paid for a computer program named “MainTrac” which I am told was expensive, but worth the money.

CONCLUSION It appears most of the program is not used. Why?
ANSWER: No one knows how.
Parks & Rec. is overseen by Dorritt Miller, one more department with multiple problems which has continued for years.