An Illinois city needed to reduce a projected budget gap of $5.5 million without significantly impacting core municipal service levels. In a phase one project, the city sought to assess service delivery alternatives ranging from service level approach changes to outsourced service options in eight functional areas including emergency medical services, community development block grant, parking system management, street sweeping, human services and the Head Start program, vehicle and fleet maintenance, 911 call taking and dispatch, and 311 non-emergency customer service. As a second phase the city also wanted to analyze cost effectiveness and efficiency in its human resources, legal, and financial functions.
Baker Tilly solution
Baker Tilly’s performed an operational review evaluating internal and external service delivery approach changes for key city-managed functional areas to reduce cost and level of effort. We compared current operational practices with best practices and staffing levels to internal and external benchmarks, and we assessed potential cost and resource effort drivers (e.g., age of fleet, street sweeping frequency). Baker Tilly specialists in municipal finance, technology, fleet and public works management, government resource administration, and public safety worked alongside city staff in developing options to reduce cost and effort while maintaining acceptable service levels. We also outlined key infrastructure components that would be required for outsourced service delivery, quantified savings estimates, and developed potential service delivery and staffing modifications to align with the city’s overall priorities and help meet its fiscal challenges.
From the first phase operational review, Baker Tilly pinpointed budget decision options, including outsourcing services, which would save the city $10.5 million annually. In the second phase, Baker Tilly identified more than $800,000 in potential savings that would result from internal service delivery and staffing approach changes as well as additional significant savings the city would yield through external service providers of debt collection, collective bargaining negotiations, and diversity procurement oversight.
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