By: Samantha M. Timko, Strategic Initiatives Administrator and Nafia Khan, Senior Management Fellow
The City of Fort Lauderdale’s City Manager’s Office Division of Structural Innovation, created in the fall of 2011, advances strategy management, performance excellence, and process improvement for the City of Fort Lauderdale. Efforts to lead continuous improvement are aimed at improving performance and significantly reducing the time and costs associated with everyday business processes. Through a formal Process Improvement Program, Structural Innovation collaborates with department staff to determine performance deficits that are prioritized for focused process improvements and addressed through Lean Six Sigma approaches, benchmarking, and best practice research.
To establish process improvement capacity within departments, Structural Innovation coordinates efforts to train City staff in Lean and Six Sigma principles with 76 Six Sigma Yellow Belts and 20 Lean Six Sigma Green Belts trained in FY 2014, and more scheduled for FY 2015. With this established capacity, staff has begun to implement process improvement efforts and realize savings. One such effort, led by Paula Romo, Senior Performance Analyst for the City Manager’s Office Division of Structural Innovation, and lead for the City’s Process Improvement Program, has been provided as a success story.
The project scope included the electrical-electronic inventory at the City’s Peele-Dixie Water Treatment Plant. The goal of the project was to ensure there was an adequate inventory for plant operations based on the operational master plan capacity. The project also examined purchases made over the past year in an effort to reduce excess or obsolete parts and manage adequate inventory levels. The successful study identified a projected savings of $52,133.
Tamira Coffman, Assistant Public Works Director for Utilities, commented that a lot of beneficial information was uncovered as a result of this project, “it identified the need for a Computer Maintenance Management System with an Inventory Tracking mechanism that is tied to the City’s financial system and can improve the efficiency and reliability of treatment plant operations. It will also help identify critical parts that need to be on-hand for continued plant operations, especially for emergency situations.”
Miguel Arroyo, Water and Wastewater Treatment Manager, says implementing the recommendations from the results will help staff standardize the methods and techniques used to assess plant needs, “It will streamline the ordering process and improve the inventory levels to ensure the plant is operational and providing a vital service. A structured system will also minimize costs so we may appropriately allocate funds where they are needed most.”
The team plans to pilot this inventory management system and ultimately expand it to the other water plants. Special thanks to the Utilities Inventory Team Tamira Coffman, Miguel Arroyo, Pat Long, Reina Gonzalez, Cesar Alza, Donald Hering, and Nikki Weston for their hard work and dedication on this initiative. It was a great team effort that embodies the spirit of working together to build community.