Easterseals Northern CaliforniaImproving Business Operations ProcessesLocation: Walnut Creek, CATake ActionOverviewIn the process of addressing operational issues, ECG enabled Easterseals Northern California (ESNorCal), then known as Easterseals Bay Area, to transform its process improvement methodology, helping solve its immediate problems and setting it up for future success. ESNorCal is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Northern California that has served children with developmental disabilities for over 90 years. ESNorCal is at the forefront of autism care and contracts with Kaiser Permanente to provide applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. the challengeTo address the growing demand for ABA therapy resulting from insurance coverage expansion, ESNorCal established a network of therapy providers. However, even with the additional providers, ESNorCal struggled to offer therapy schedules that met its clients’ needs and its service level agreements with Kaiser. Staff were frustrated by the manual data entry required to document care, communication barriers, unclear roles and responsibilities, and complaints from clients, Kaiser, and network providers. the processESNorCal asked ECG to evaluate and improve its provider capacity management, client placement, and customer service. Using Lean Six Sigma principles, ECG’s performance optimization team quickly established and led two concurrent process improvement work streams. Additionally, ECG introduced a standard methodology and toolkit for project management. the outcomeAs a result of ECG’s efforts, ESNorCal understood the state of the client placement process and was able to implement tactics to enhance controls and assign ownership of the process, increase the accuracy and usefulness of provider capacity information, and, ultimately, improve client placement capabilities. The new standard operating procedures enabled ESNorCal to identify, escalate, and address customer issues more consistently and efficiently. ECG’s accelerated process improvement approach empowered ESNorCal staff to transform how the organization serves its clients.