CFPUA releases efficiency and competitiveness study results

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Submitted: Wed, 08/10/2011 - 6:16pm
Updated: Thu, 08/11/2011 - 12:03am

WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — In March of this year, CFPUA hired a consulting firm to conduct an Efficiency and Competitiveness Study to “ensure that operations of the Authority were being conducted in an optimum manner and consistent with the best interests of the customers of CFPUA.”

The firm, Woolpert Organization and Asset Sustainability Implementation Services (OASIS), specializes in analyzing public sector organizations and has conducted about 80 studies over a period of more than fifteen years.

After an intensive interview and analysis process involving CFPUA management and staff, Woolpert determined that CFPUA:

· “Operates at a high level of performance with little opportunity for significant improvement”;

· “Utilizes its resources effectively”;

· “Has a strong commitment to performance measurement and management”;

· Is the “fifth most efficient organization of 80 agencies evaluated” by Woolpert;

· Has a calculated “performance gap of 4.8%,” which is one of the lowest gaps Woolpert has ever calculated, and “considerably lower than the 26% average gap calculated” for the other assessments conducted by Woolpert;

· Is close to operating at a “Best in Class” status;

· Provides a quality of service that “exceeds that of contractors”;

· Is a “partner with the community – looking out for its long-term interests.”

CFPUA leadership, management and staff are very proud of achieving these accomplishments in three short years as a consolidated organization.

In an effort towards continual improvement, Woolpert did identify some additional opportunities that if pursued could elevate CFPUA to the most efficient organization they have ever evaluated.

These additional opportunities focused in three areas: 1) Practice, 2) Technology, and 3) People. Specific opportunities identified include the need for succession planning, plant automation, and enhanced technology integration. Opportunities also include the dedication of resources and approximately 18 new positions to the Asset Management and CMMS program that will generate additional, long-term efficiencies.

With the necessary commitment and financial investment for projects and programs, reassignment, and more ef ficient work processes, a net efficiency of approximately 16 positions could be realized over a period of approximately 5 years.

The Board was presented the findings and recommendations of the study during their regularly scheduled Board meeting today, August 10. An action plan for implementation will be developed and will generally follow the timeframes detailed in the study, unless otherwise amended by the Board.

Woolpert’s findings illustrate the true successes of CFPUA as a young, consolidated organization. Recognition as a “high-performing” and “efficient” organization is testimony to the hard work, expertise, and dedication of all CFPUA employees.

The Efficiency and Competitiveness Study report and presentation are available on our website (

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9 Comments on "CFPUA releases efficiency and competitiveness study results"

2015 years 8 months ago

Nope, you’re right, economics wasn’t my strong point because when I was in school we didn’t even have economics….except home economics that taught you how to sew, cook, and kiss your husband’s *ss.

You might understand CFPUA’s study (you really sound like you’re one of them), but you didn’t read my post with any comprehension if you interpreted anywhere in it that I said “taxpayer”. I said “customer”….big difference. You said, “nobody except customers paid for the study”. That was exactly my point. I’m a customer and my money was spent on a worthless study based on facts and opinions provided by CFPUA management and staff. Why bother to have a “study” when the outcome has already been pre-determined? Just a waste of my nickel.

I’m sure a nickel doesn’t mean much to you, but it means a lot to a single mom with a child to support, or an elderly person living on just social security.

I may not have a fancy “economics” education, and I may not know much, but I know chicken s**t from chicken salad.

2015 years 8 months ago

Last time I checked…you are FORCED to pay for CFPUA services….I don’t have an option to go sink a well and put in a septic system to circumvent CFPUA’s services…so I am NOT a customer of CFPUA’s…

Innernet for Dummies
2015 years 8 months ago

Booshay and Lee — first off, I don’t believe you’ve read the study. If you have, I seriously doubt you understood it since it would require intellectual capacities beyond what appears in your posts, considering the inaccuracies.

Rate payers, not taxpayers. CFPUA is a utility…nobody except customers paid for the study. Cost of the study…a little less than a nickle for each customer (see, I divided the cost by the number of customers). In your mind, it should all be free, right? Nothing was broken, was it?

The rates would have increased even more to customers (taxpayers) under the old City and County construct…when taxpayers (whether customers or not) did help subsidize incompetency. This is information which is public record.

The study also goes on to say…if private contractors were to do the job, it would cost even more, and customers would receive a lower level and standard of service.

Economics was never a strong point was it?

2015 years 8 months ago

Cape Fear Public Utility Authority…like most ALL public utilities, is a monopoly simply because, for utilites (business model), it is the most efficient market model. You do have PRIVATE water utilities (Aqua America, Carolina Water, etc.), but you would inevitably pay more and get less. They are for profit. There are a lot fewer of them around…they charge more, and their customers typically get well water with a little chlorine thrown in. Most people on private water probably wish they had access to a public utility (ask Porters Neck residents what they preferred).

If public utilities were not run as monopolies, you would have 20 telephone poles running down both sides of the street, power lines running everywhere and over the tops of each other, and the same with underground water pipes, sewer lines.

With utilites, costs are high and typically fixed. A utility often can’t cut costs on the things they need to operate because, by law, they must provide their product. They truly are at the mercy of what they get charged…they can shop around, but they must have the items/equipment/chemicals it takes to meet demand.

They don’t have the competition, but are regulated…heavily, but the EPA, NCDENR, etc.

While it is recognized that monopolies are somewhat less efficient than other economic market models, for some sectors, there really isn’t a viable alternative.

McDonalds can raise the price of a cheeseburger, or make it smaller…or go out of business if they don’t make it all work to sustain a profit. A public utility doesn’t have that option. Prices go up, but they reflect a fixed cost.

You pay more, because City of Wilmington (largely) recognized this was a train wreck waiting to happen, so they threw the mail bag off the train…so they could focus on new bike paths, tennis courts, riverwalks, convention centers, and getting themselves re-elected.

Native Wilmingtonian
2015 years 8 months ago

With whom does does the CFPUA compete? I know that they had ads to advertise (your tax dollars at work)their services. Yuo advertise to compete with others who provide the same service. Now we taxpayers have paid for a “competativeness survey.?” Certainly must be a real tough look at facts. Right!

2015 years 8 months ago

Very seldom does anything strike me as being as hysterical as this. I fell out of my chair laughing. Why?

Because this study, done by Woolpert, was paid for by CFPUA (with customer funds YOU paid), “after an intensive interview and analysis process involving CFPUA management and staff”. So, this study was based only on the facts and opinions provided by CFPUA MANAGEMENT AND STAFF? What propaganda! If you ask any average Joe on the street, 9 out of 10 will tell you what a total failure CFPUA has been to its customers.

CFPUA could have saved their money and asked the Customer Service Reps who answer the phones how many complaints they receive every day. Boy, that would REALLY be an eye opener!

Bobby Booshay
2015 years 8 months ago

This is propaganda that we paid for and it says exactly what they wanted it to say. “Hey people. Shut up and leave us alone!”, that’s what the CFPUA is saying here. It is our worst nightmare. A government corporation with the unlimited ability to spend money and raise our taxes(bills) to pay for it. Some of the fastest rising water rates in the southeast. It is indeed taxation without representation.

2015 years 8 months ago

“With the necessary commitment and financial investment for projects and programs, reassignment, and more efficient work processes, a net efficiency of approximately 16 positions could be realized over a period of approximately 5 years.”

Translation: Watch out customers! We’ll be raising your rates again soon to pay for all this “improvement”.

2015 years 8 months ago

You must be related to Innernet. You sound like brothers.