Home / Services / Traditional Management Study
Traditional management reviews typically address a broad range of issues – organizational structure, operational efficiency and effectiveness, and staffing

Berkshire Advisors has extensive experience conducting traditional management reviews of individual local government departments or of entire local government operations.

Entire Local Government

Petersburg, Virginia

The goal of the effectiveness and efficiency review of selected departments (city attorney, city assessor, city manager, clerk of council, finance, fire, human resources, library, museums and visitor centers, office on youth, parks and recreation, planning, police, public works, and social services) of the Petersburg city government was to work with city managers and leaders to establish a management vision (consistent with the vision principles that had been established by the city council) that provides an overarching framework to guide the way the city does business. Specific study objectives included distinguishing core and/or required services from discretionary services; determining the level at which core and/or required services should be provided; understanding the fundamental relationship between resource expenditures and investments and performance (e.g., service levels); ensuring services are provided as cost-effectively as possible; developing systematic and consistent approaches to making resource allocation decisions that reflect community priorities and the availability of financial resources; and establishing systems that support integrated financial and management decision-making and support management accountability.

Wilson County, North Carolina

Berkshire Advisors’ consultants conducted a comprehensive management and staffing study of the Wilson County, North Carolina, government, with a particular focus on the larger departments and on those experiencing performance problems. The consultants interviewed a cross-section of managers and employees and analyzed organizational, operational, policy, and financial documents. In the health department, better scheduling at some clinics would reduce "downtime." Modifications in staffing and organization of some other health department units were also suggested. The consultants found that some functions of the depart¬ment of social services were structured in a way that inconvenienced clients. They suggested a staffing increase and a new client scheduling system in the crisis intake unit. Public assistance services, which were fragmented among several units, should be restructured for greater efficiency and responsiveness to clients. For the sheriff's department, the consultants recommended that the civil and patrol divisions be partially integrated to increase response time, that investigations by detectives be limited to cases that have leads, and that better use be made of the misdemeanor citation program to limit the number of misdemeanants who are jailed.

High Point, North Carolina

Berkshire Advisors consultants performed a comprehensive study of High Point’s municipal government. The study included the police, fire, public works, parks and recreation, water and sewer, and electric departments. Police department recommendations included a plan to redeploy patrol officers in order to substantially decrease response times to incidents without an increase of required resources and to more closely track case workload to increase the investigative unit’s productivity. Public works recommendations focused on changing refuse collection, street maintenance, and recycling practices.

Marblehead, Massachusetts

Berkshire Advisors consultants conducted a comprehensive assessment of the government of Marblehead, Massachusetts. The consultants found shortcomings in organizational structure, including proliferation of departments, lack of coordination among them, and the absence of certain functions. The consultants proposed a new organizational structure in which town operations would be handled by an executive secretary. They also recommended consolidating several departments and adoption of a number of initiatives to improve town management.

In the fire and police departments, the recommendations included consolidating dispatch and transferring responsibility for emergency medical services from police to fire. For the police department, which needed more aggressive management, the consultants suggested better communication of goals as a means to reduce response time and increase the clearance rate. The consultants suggested modifying the firefighters' workweek and adopting a policy to ensure provision for absences. Recommendations were made for several other departments, including recreation and parks, engineering, health, highways, and harbormaster. Implementing the changes would result in annual savings of about $2.5 million.

Stratford, Connecticut

Berkshire Advisors consultants conducted a management study of the town government because it found itself in a precarious financial condition, with no general fund balance and a downgraded bond rating. The consulting team reviewed the government overall as well as a number of individual departments: police, fire, public works, schools, the library, emergency medical services, and health and recreation.

In their study of the police department, the consultants found that the quality of service was high, but that there were opportunities to make further improvements in organizational structure, in the relationship with the union, in patrol and investigative operations, and in support staffing. They recommended modifications in structure that would reduce the number of supervisory staff and consolidate duplicate functions. In patrol, recommendations were made for better workload management, better deployment, and adoption of a take-home car plan. In investigations, recommendations were made to make more effective use of detectives’ time by involving patrol officers in investigations. An increase in the number of civilian support personnel was also proposed.

The public works department was found in general to be well managed, but more adequate investment was needed in maintaining town buildings, roads, and vehicles. The consultants also proposed modifying the system of sewer service fees. Other recommendations were made in the area of staffing: a better match of skills to work performed, reduction of the number of supervisory positions, and more efficient use of seasonal workers. A recommendation was also made for automating refuse pickup and for upgrading technology.

Rockingham County, North Carolina

Berkshire Advisors’ consultants conducted a study of management and staffing in all departments, with particular emphasis on the major departments. For the department of social services, the consultants recommended that program offerings be reorganized to streamline delivery, that branch office services be limited, that a new central department facility be acquired, and that certain staffing changes be made in specific areas. For the sheriff's department, the consultants recommended that detectives focus more efficiently on activities likely to lead to case clearance, and that changes be made in deployment and scheduling. In the department's patrol division, the consultants proposed changes in deployment to better handle the paperwork volume.

Recommendations made in the other departments (tax, finance, health, mental health, data processing, agricultural extension, planning and inspections, and buildings and grounds maintenance) were largely in the areas of staffing, automation, billing procedures and policies, and planning and work scheduling.

Culver City, California

Berkshire Advisors performed a management review of all Culver City departments including police, fire, public works, parks and recreation, finance, treasury, transportation, fleet maintenance, building maintenance, and personnel. Numerous opportunities to improve operations and reduce costs were identified. For the most part, the recommendations focused on steps the city should take to streamline organizational structure, modify work processes, improve scheduling practices, ensure work is done by staff with appropriate skills, make more effective use of technology, and adjust the size of work crews.