University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio (UTHSCSA) leadership engaged Mindstream to assess its facilities management department. UTHSCSA requested we identify cost savings they could quickly implement without disrupting service.
After an initial review of the department’s organization and services, we focused on how the department processed service requests for renovations and maintenance. Renovation and maintenance service requests were departmentally funded – and a major expense for UTHSCSA’s Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Biomedical Sciences.
In the five years of data Mindstream studied, UTHSCSA Facilities Management processed approximately 3,000 service requests annually, ranging from $500 to $1 million. Our in-depth analysis found that the majority of these requests were processed outside time and/or budget constraints, causing delays, cost overruns, and intense customer dissatisfaction.
Our assessment showed that:
• Service requests varied considerably in scope, making processing cumbersome
• These variations led to significant differences in how the department processed requests – despite workflow software that should have standardized processing
• The amount of process variation caused a high process error rate
• The high error rate caused a high rework rate, further clogging and slowing the process
• Slow, uneven communication caused even more rework
We recommended UTHSCSA:
• Outsource certain types of service requests, rather than completing them in-house
• Reorganize the department
• Re-engineer the service request process
As a result of our work, the department now processes service requests within target timeframes (96% on time) and with considerably fewer errors. In addition, customer satisfaction has soared and cost overruns plummeted.
The department achieved $1.4 million in first-year cost savings, which came chiefly from
• Drastically simplifying the request process
• Substantially decreasing rework needed to fix process errors
• Completely eliminating paper forms and paper document file copies
• Reducing the number of administrative staff needed to process requests, and redeploying facilities workers to more productive work
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