Students walking to class

April 2014

IT Services Leans Help Request Processing

There are many ways that faculty, staff and students contact IT Services for help with technology problems, but not all of these interactions result in measurable, repeatable or predictable outcomes. IT Services’ first Lean team, led by Pete Ferris with team members David Beitz, John Moore, Terrence Ruff, Ricki Davidge and Dana Miller, accepted the challenge to improve the service request process. Following its evaluation of the current state, the team evaluated several software applications that would better assess requests

for help resulting in a more successful service experience for their clients. The team selected a free iOS application to help create the new future state. This new tool better enables Classroom Services and Field Services to record, track and manage requests while the staff are deployed around campus. In addition to adding the new software application, the incident management and service fulfillment processes and tools used by IT Services were updated, and three common, repeatable service requests were converted to self-service web forms and published in the IT Help Knowledge Base. Going forward, clients will be able to report problems using these forms and not have to call in the problem.

As a result of these changes, the median time to resolution for help requests dropped from 12.5 days to 5 hours, and the cost per incident was reduced from $222 to $112. Reductions in rework are also expected with the improved productivity to be used on value-added activities that should enhance the classroom experience for our faculty and students. IT Services looks forward to working on more Lean projects with partner departments in the future. 

Middletown Johnston Hall Boiler Replacement Project

The Physical Facilities Department for the last few years has been implementing energy reduction measures on the Oxford and Hamilton Campuses that are intended to meet the State of Ohio’s H.B. 251 energy reduction goal of 20%. Since the energy reduction target applies to all of Miami’s campuses, an energy sub-committee, consisting of Cody Powell, Yvette Kline, Doug Hammerle, Scott Rein, Jeff Wyatt, Tony Ferraro and Mark Lawrence, recently shifted its focus to the Middletown Campus and recommended a Lean project to develop a process improvement plan for replacing a non-condensing boiler with a more efficient design.

The Middletown campus has a central hot water heating plant that operates year round. This project’s objective was to replace the 45 year old Cleaver Brooks boiler in Johnston Hall and to create a hybrid plant of three high-efficiency condensing boilers and one non-condensing boiler. This approach was expected to reduce the energy consumed while also addressing deferred maintenance issues with the older boiler. Altogether, the campus boilers use approximately 17,000 MCF of natural gas at a total cost of $120,000 per year. At a 12.5% savings, including improved efficiency in the distribution system, a $15,000 reduction in energy spending was anticipated through this change.

Kami Archibald took the lead for the project and assembled a Lean team consisting of Doug Hammerle, Chuck Mack, Jeff Wyatt, Fosdick and Hilmer, Progressive Plumbing, Siemens and Lochinvar to implement the work. The project was fully functional in May of 2013 and gas usage records indicate from June 2013 through March 2014 the campus had an energy reduction of 30% compared to same period the year before or approximately a 4,000 MCF reduction. It should be noted that this reduction would have been greater if the past winter had been as mild as the previous winter. For the 10 months that this project has been implemented, the natural gas savings have totaled $28,000. The Middletown campus has also, in conjunction with this project, completed other energy conservation measures that have contributed to the overall decline in natural gas usage, but this project accounted for almost half of the total projected savings. Through the excellent work of this Lean team, this project is on target to meet or exceed its original goal and the campus energy reduction plan is well on its way to meeting the State of Ohio energy reduction goal.

Lean Project Status Update

As of March 31, 2014, Lean project teams across the University have completed more than 250 projects. These projects have avoided $10.9 million in costs, reduced $4.9 million from the budget and increased revenue by $2.8 million. Over 80% of these projects show productivity improvement and 50% have a “green” or sustainability aspect to them. In addition to the 253 closed projects, another 112 are in process and 66 are slated to begin as soon as resources permit. We now have Lean projects in Finance and Business Services, Information Technology, University Advancement, Intercollegiate Athletics, Enrollment Management and the Provost Office.