The Tri Delt Sundial and MacCracken Hall

June 2014

HDRBS Lean Story

Housing, Dining, Recreation, and Business Services (HDRBS) began their Lean journey in 2008 by creating a cost reduction initiative using the acronym L.E.A.N. which stood for Leveraging Efficiencies and Aligning Needs. This two year effort produced cost savings for the department and also generated new revenue streams. By 2010, the need to achieve new efficiencies, continue to stream-line our services, and grow revenues would require a more structured program utilizing service industry standards. Research revealed the use of Lean technologies in companies such as Toyota and Xerox had achieved continuous improvement in quality and efficiency. While these Lean techniques had been in practice for many years in these types of organizations, they had only recently begun to appear in higher education and other service industries.

HDRBS worked with the Miami University Corporate & Community Institute to research and source a professional Lean Service consultant to work with the department in its ongoing Lean initiatives. We were fortunate to connect with Al Ryan who began to work with the HDRBS senior staff regarding the application of Lean. Al conducted the first two day orientation sessions in the fall of 2010 with follow-up workshops throughout the year. The department developed a process for the use of the Lean tools and techniques to achieve several goals: reduce total costs, identify new revenue opportunities, maintain quality, define demand for services, reduce supply lead time, extend demand lead time, and eliminate waste. A structure was built which consisted of a departmental Lean leader, a senior-level steering team, and process improvement teams. Standardized analysis tools were also used to evaluate numerous opportunities for improvement and the department was able to implement many successful tactics that led to the accomplishment of the Lean goals. Since 2010, the Lean initiative has spread beyond HDRBS to a University-wide strategy. It is now the way many parts of the University does business and works on continual improvement. HDRBS served as a catalyst for the launch of this important initiative at the University. HDRBS has also achieved some amazing financial results since its Lean work began. Examples of HDRBS Lean success have come in many forms from reducing energy costs at the Marcum Hotel and Conference Center to fresh herb production to improve the customer experience and lower cost for the dining department. Since Lean’s inception in 2010, HDRBS has begun a total of 98 projects of which 69 are complete, 22 are active, and 7 have been identified as upcoming projects. As a result of these projects, a total of $6,353,256 in cost avoidance, cost reduction, and revenue generating projects has been achieved. 

What’s more, the key sustainable component within the Lean strategy is the education of the management team and front line staff. All HDRBS staff members are expected to complete a two day introductory course on the fundamentals of Lean. Similarly, Miami partnered with the University of Dayton to offer a vibrant Lean leader program in which select employees have completed a two year mixed classroom and project experience to have a well- rounded Lean education. HDRBS currently has 15 employees in the certification program while 8 have completed the program and have been promoted to certified Senior Lean Leaders. As this program continues to flourish, Miami will be more prepared to sustain its mission to have a distinguished student experience. Our thanks goes out to everyone within HDRBS that has been a part of the Lean initiative for helping pave the way for Miami’s Lean program.

Lean Certification Update

In FY 2014, the following have achieved Miami Lean Leader Certification: Jim Baker, Emily Berry, Jon Brubacher, Melanie Brunner, Becky Dysart, Paula Green, Rosanne Gulley, Doug Hammerle, Amanda Long, George MacDonald, Linda Manley, Dana Miller, Lori Minges, Sarah Persinger, Jeff Pidcock, Chris Pirigyi, John Seibert, Kate Stoss, Greg Vaughn, Anne Wheeler and Jeff Wyatt. As part of the Miami certification process, program attendees must present a significant completed lean project in which they served as a leader to a review board. The following completed this requirement on May 6, 2014: Jim Baker, Jon Brubacher, Pete Ferris, Cindy Green, Paula Green, Rosanne Gulley, Doug Hammerle, Brian Henebry, Dana Miller, John Seibert and Jeff Wyatt. Congratulations to all!