Sun setting over King Library

August 2015

Reducing the Cost of General Liability Coverage

This Lean inspired “just do it” was developed as a result of an observation by a project manager and the consulting design team working on the construction of Beachwood, Hillcrest and Stonebridge Halls on the Western campus. The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) general liability requirements for a design build project had been based on the cost of the project. However, this coverage was out of proportion with industry standards and would have resulted in the design firm having to buy additional insurance at the highest rate for the Western Residence Halls project and pass the added cost on to the project and Miami University. It was also identified that the contractor was redundantly carrying the required amount of liability insurance and passing these costs onto the University.

The project leadership team quickly recognized the problem and the cost savings that would result from reducing the coverage to something comparable to the industry standard. A team comprised of General Counsel, Purchasing, Physical Facilities, and the Design Build entity was formed to review the general conditions and modify the specific requirements for the Western Residence Halls. The results of this afforded the University more appropriate liability protection while saving $425,000 in additional costs.

This change was then applied to the Anderson and McFarland Hall renovation projects as well as the East Quad and North Quad renovation projects which resulted in an additional $1,275,000 in savings, bringing the total savings to $1,700,000.

Subsequently, and after collaboration and input across the state, the OFCC revised its practices allowing all state universities to recognize this savings on all projects.

While “just do it” ideas are often smaller, quick fixes, in this example the idea is saving our future students millions of dollars.

MUPD Lost and Found

An MUPD Lean team, led by Marjorie Foust with team members John McCandless, Lori Minges, Stephen VanWinkle, Andy Rosenberger, Melissa Kennel and Brian Hyllengren, recently completed a project to improve the lost and found system at the University. The team began by researching other universities’ lost and found systems, ultimately deciding on a low tech approach, an internally shared google doc that tracks both the lost and found items and requests for missing items. The team also developed a tagging system that is saving 32.5 officer hours per year that enabled other staff members to release lost items.

Through a thorough evaluation of the current state, the team also determined that many individuals did not know who to contact for lost items. To improve these communications, clear directions and hot links were added to MUPD’s website. All found property is now in the Records and Information Office where lost property and reports of lost property are handled and released once a connection is made. This has resulted in 94% less feet of motion, 93% productivity improvement, and a cost avoidance of $6,762. 

One additional benefit of this project is that officers can spend more time patrolling our community and less time on these administrative activities. We sometimes forget that when we improve even the most mundane task, we free up time to devote to our most important responsibilities.

Certification News

The fall 2015 Lean Leader Certification cohort began their Lean journey with a kick-off meeting on August 27th. Welcome to Mary Barrera (HDRBS), Brandon Burke (PFD), Cheryl Chafin (Political Science), Vincent Cirrito (PFD), Paul DiBenedetto (PFD), Karen Fares (HR), Brian Grubb (Conservatory-Hamilton), Molly Heidemann (Global Initiatives), Kristin Meyer (ESRM), Pat McNab (VOALC), Justin Montavon (PFD), Vickie Rude (Accounting), Anne Schaurer (OARS), Julie Schlichter (PFD), Jeff Shaver (HR), Tracy Troxel (Accounting), Jason Underwood (PFD), Jessica Williamson (Global Initiatives), Jennifer Wood (HDRBS), and Eric Yung (HDRBS).