Sunrise at Pulley Tower

September 2016

Preferred Travel Provider

A cross-functional team led by Steve Cady was assembled to evaluate how to make travel planning and booking more convenient at the University. After evaluating multiple proposals, Miami University chose Options Travel to provide its travel management services.

The University spends more than $5 million annually for group and individual travel-related services including air, hotels and car rentals. By directing more resources to products and services that are professionally managed and consolidating travel through one source, the University has the opportunity, in partnership with Ohio’s other universities, to leverage its travel spend with airlines, car rental companies and hotels to negotiate lower costs

Making reservations with Options Travel is easy and convenient. A travel portal at can be accessed by the traveler or a designated travel coordinator or travel plans can be made via telephone or email. The benefits of using Options Travel are numerous: traveler data is stored simplifying future airline ticket and other travel purchases, travel arrangements are automatically populated to the traveler’s calendar, and the system stores unused/canceled airline tickets making them readily available for future travel.

Intercollegiate Athletics volunteered to participate in a pilot program utilizing Options Travel during the Lean project. Both Hockey and Synchronized Skating used Options Travel during this time and according to Steve Cady, Senior Associate Athletic Director, the relationship has been very favorable. Steve believes that one of the advantages in using Options Travel is the ability to access national contracts. For example, a hockey trip to New York resulted in significant hotel savings from one of these contracts. Steve also praised the flight protection service provided for teams traveling in Europe. Options Travel also monitors continental flights and takes steps to rebook cancellations sometimes even before the traveler is aware there is an issue.

For more information on Options Travel visit Buyway and chose Options Travel in the Preferred Suppliers section

Niihka Conversion to Google

With the adoption of Canvas as the University’s Learning Management System, the Lean Initiatives office needs to identify a new tool to store Lean project data currently housed on the Niihka site. Data and documents for hundreds of Lean projects are presently stored in Niihka. Although university courses completed the transition to Canvas in May, the Lean office has been assured that the Niihka project management system will remain available and be supported until its transition in completed.

In preparation for the loss of the Niihka site, the Niihka Conversion Lean team led by Linda Manley reviewed several options for data storage including Canvas, Team Dynamix and Google Drive. After an extensive evaluation, Linda and team members Lori Cramer, Brian Grubb, Kirk Hopkins, Dana Miller, Jim Oris, Jeff Pidcock, and Chris Pirigyi chose Google Drive. The team is finalizing the standard work for the conversion to Google Drive and will rely on the Senior Department Lean Leaders to train Lean teams across campus. If you have any questions about this transition, you should contact your Senior Department Lean Leader.

Welcome to the fall 2016 Lean Leader cohort

The Lean Leader Certification program welcomed 19 into the fall 2016 cohort in August: Tonya Barger (Gerontology), Andrew Bechtol (PFD), Benjamin Beitzel (HDRBS), Natasha Burgess (Accounting), Tricia Callahan (OARS), Matt Frericks (HDRBS), Kirk Hopkins (HDRBS), Rachel Kelly (Accounting), Kelton Kosik (EMSS), Kimberly Knox (MUPD), Theresa Lawson (PFD), Paul Noltemeyer (PFD), Theresa Murphy (HR), Kathy Parrett (PFD), Mandy Pettit (Accounting), Rachael Rude (HR), Hope Sweeney (OEEO), Kristin Taylor (HR), and Joy Usner (UA). The fall cohort began classes in September and will be working towards one of three Lean levels: Lean Partner, Lean Leader and Senior Lean Leader.

Certification News

Amy Shaiman from Human Resources is our newest Certified Lean Leader. Amy completed all requirements for the Lean Leader Certification Program. Congratulations Amy!