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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

9. Quality: Business Results, Benchmarking and ROI

Business results are measures of the product and operational performance of a business. Results demonstrate the quality and value of products and services that lead to customer satisfaction and customer engagement.

Bill Harreld:
They are the outcomes for which you're in business. Why you even exist. That's what we talk about when we get to business results. And the primary measurement, people that measure those, are the leadership, they set the goals and then measure to "Are we achieving the goals?"

Maybe the most important of all is the customer. Because we're in business, everyone's in business, for a customer. And so the customer's the one who gives us the best feedback on "Are we making the results that they're expecting?"

They're important for process improvement, but they're very, very important for making your plans and improving where you're going to go with the business. Improving your profitability. One of the examples when look at technology. I just heard one on UPS today, where they changed processes where they're looking at things by the minute and... the drivers... went from 89 deliveries a day to 120 by simple little process steps in what they do including how they back up a truck and so forth.

Benchmarking is comparing your processes and results to competitors, most typically. Benchmarking's important to improve customer satisfaction, increase business results, to assure that you're making the improvements that you need to make to an organization to be the best of the best. A critical element is, in benchmarking you want to be able to compare to your competitors and to other providers to assure that you're the best of the best.

If you need a comparison group or comparison testing, how do you do it? You engage in [an] industry comparison exercise or a one-on-one activity with an organization. It can be done by acquiring industry information or engaging directly with industry groups.

Straightforward, we look at what their process is and what their results are, and we look at what ours are and we just compare – apples to apples, and oranges to oranges. Sometimes it's difficult in the kind of industry that we're in to get an exact compare. And so we have to compare portions of what we provide with portions of what someone else provides. Very few industries have an exact 100% compare.

ROI is an acronym for return on investment, and it merely says that if you're going to do something, [if] you're going to invest some time and effort, then you should be doing that to get some value out of doing it.

So that's very, very critical to keep track of how you're spending your resources in an organization, whether they be human resources or other kinds of resources. [If you] make that investment, you want to get the best return. As a performance measure, it's used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment to... evaluate the effectiveness of an investment. Typically, one searches for the highest return on investment with respect to the customer results and the customer or workforce satisfaction.

The Council uses it to determine, for example, whether we're going to put an app out there for... the customers and self-advocates to use. Is it doing any value, providing value to them? And we have found, for example, that we've put things on the website that were of very much value.

Others are more valuable than the others. One is more valuable than another. And so that gives an indication of how much we've invested in that particular item.

And it can be utilized as an editorial to customers of why it is important that you give us feedback. Because we want to know what we are doing that's right for you. And what we are doing that is no value to you. In fact some of our surveys tell that, people say "well that's not important to me, but here's what is important to me."

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The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.