October 15th, 2010 // 5:15 pm @ eileenwebb

Business Licensing was confusing and frustrating for new business owners with long delays to receive licenses and unexpected fees for inspections.  Business license employees wanted to provide good customer service but their procedures got in the way.


Coordination was difficult at best since the city Fire, Building, Zoning and Finance departments, as well as the Washoe County Health Department were involved in approving new license applications.  Environmental Control did not approve new businesses licenses and had to look up applications so they could conduct inspections.

The Solution:

Streamline Consulting facilitated a team of front line employees in a lean week project.  The team consisted of the City Business License Division, Fire Prevention, Environmental Control, and Building Division, and the Washoe County Health Department with  Zoning and Finance as subject matter experts and  with the Business Relations Manager as sponsor.  The team spent one week analyzing the current process, getting approvals for and implementing solutions and measuring the results.

Within one week we achieved $99,138/year in financial impact and 42% reduction in the time required to get a business license.

Major changes included:

  • Improved the business license guide and website information for customers
  • Business license staff conducts inspection triage using revised business review form
  • Revenue Officers conduct site visits on all new applications
  • Fire Prevention and Environment Control inspection fees now collected at time of application
  • Fire inspector names and phone numbers are provided to customers at time of application
  • Use New World database rather than a spreadsheet to communicate between departments
  • Include Environmental Control in the approval process
  • New World and Documentum systems access provided to Washoe County Health Department
  • Increase task frequency to prevent bubbles of work and reduce waiting times
  • Applications expire after 6 months with 30 day notice follow up letters
  • Eliminate layout sketches previously required for home based businesses

Category : The Success Stories

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