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Motor Vehicle Modernization: On the Road to Improved Performance

To improve security and efficiency, state DMVs often must embark on large-scale transformation

Motor Vehicle Modernization

Customer service expectations and program policy are challenging the people, business processes and technology infrastructure that, in many state motor vehicle agencies, have been in place for many years. The rapid pace of change in recent years has been consistently layered on top of existing capabilities stretching many Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) to the limit of their resources.

With ever changing program requirements, continual improvement is a constant in a DMV organization. This constant change eventually leads to a transformational point where a major modernization of business process and technology is necessary.

As today’s motor vehicle administrators seek to meet the strategic business objectives of a 21 st Century organization and engage business partners more closely, many are at this transformational point. As a result, these agencies often must embark on a large-scale modernization of processes, technology and people.

Customer service has been the traditional benchmark by which state motor vehicle agencies are measured, and everyone can relate to the frustration of waiting in line. Today’s service challenges are compounded by more stringent identity verification requirements that add process steps and time to the customer experience.

A key imperative in the focus for several years has been to reduce the frequency a person needs to actually appear at a DMV facility. This is accomplished by providing alternative service channels to submit the data and fees that are required. A person renewing their registration on the DMV Web site experiences zero time in a line. Similarly a dealer that electronically submits transaction data and issues plates at the time of sale does not have to wait for paper forms and data entry, saving the DMV time required to service the title and register the vehicle. The insurance company that can electronically verify liability coverage may avoid a second trip to the office for a customer that forgot their required proof.

To some, a DMV can appear to some as just a transaction processing entity when, in fact, it has significant regulatory and revenue program responsibilities. We understand the critical nature of the tactical operation while, at the same time, we realize that the DMV business requires that a strong, strategic direction that is focused on program goals underpins the organization. This is taking shape in many DMVs as strategy, trend analysis and data-driven decisions are shaped into strategic business plans.  Deloitte Consulting LLP (Deloitte Consulting) has found that more and more DMV Administrators and their leadership teams are setting clear goals for the organization, developing clear measures to monitor goal progress and achievement and are aligning their organization with sister agencies and parent entities. These goals are important imperatives in any technology decision and in the business processes that determine the technology decisions. Deloitte Consulting has experience in working with DMV leadership teams in setting clear strategic goals and in developing measures to determine progress to goal achievement.

How to Drive More Value Through Improved DMV Services
While embarking on a large-scale transformation may seem daunting, the benefits far outweigh the effort. Deloitte Consulting has helped many of the nation’s transportation organizations transform their processes, systems and people. Here are some of the key lessons we’ve learned along the way.

Start with the customer, not the technology. It’s a common response to turn to technology to solve all problems. But even the newest systems can’t fix broken processes that don’t reflect the agency’s customer needs. Instead, start by looking at all of the ways a customer must interact with the agency, and create a strategy that responds to those needs.

Eliminate redundancy. State motor vehicle agencies often have three, four or more legacy systems, each filled with redundant and/or inconsistent data. Integrating these legacy systems into a single cohesive system enables the agency to have access to accurate data, virtually to the second, to make key decisions and efficiently serve customers.

Focus on managing the information, not the paper. Upgraded, integrated computer systems that allow customers, business partners and agency employees to use computer systems and self-service channels, rather than paper, to manage their transactions can reduce effort and cost for the agency and improve the experience for the customer.

Create effective partnerships. Business partners can help the agency with standard transactions such as the sale of a car. For example, instead of sending paperwork to the DMV to process the sale, the dealership can process the transaction itself and issue automotive license plates for the customer. In this instance, the dealer has become a partner to the DMV.

Prepare people for change. Transforming the way business is done can be anxiety-provoking. Prepare a change management plan that addresses employees’ fears, communicates clearly the intentions of the transformation and provides training and knowledge transfer for those who need it.

Deliver change in phases. Too much at one time increases risk and often negatively impacts customers and staff alike. A phased implementation stimulates the project when early benefits are realized. Enabling parallel operations during the transition to a new system is complex but far easier to deal with than a widespread service interruption.

Keep tabs on your progress. Support a strong strategy by defining objectives and metrics to gauge success. Agencies can then justify their budgets and ensure money is well spent on transformation activities.

Bottom Line Benefits

  • Improve customer experience by defining a business strategy that closely aligns to customer needs
  • Improve security and data accuracy by eliminating legacy systems and redundant data
  • Reduce time, effort and cost by relying on modern business processes and computer systems, rather than paper, to manage transactions and by choosing business partners that can facilitate transactions on the agency’s behalf.
  • Ensure a smooth transition to the new business model by preparing employees for change and training them on how to use new systems and follow new processes
  • Justify the agency’s budget and demonstrate return on investment for the transformation project by establishing objectives and metrics to gauge achievement

Getting It Done
Tackling the demands of motor vehicle services and systems requires a deep understanding of the business imperatives states face. It also requires broad capabilities that will facilitate change across the entire agency. Our professionals have a long history of working with transportation clients in a variety of disciplines, including strategic planning, organizational change management, business process transformation, systems integration and technology infrastructure design. Our collaborative approach leads to solutions that truly work – today and in the future.

Related Content:
Resources:  Serving the Public Sector - Transportation
Overview:  U.S. State Government 

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