Anoka County

Video:  http://vimeo.com/46823265 

  1. Surplus Equipment: Scope – The process begins when a piece of equipment is determined to be surplus. It ends when the equipment is transferred, sold, or scrapped.
  2. Employee Benefits Process:  Scope – The benefits process begins when an employee initiates a request for a benefit at the initial hire, during a life change, or during an open enrollment period. It ends when the benefit is processed and the appropriate withholdings are in place or the benefit is paid.
  3. Good Cause Claim Process: Scope – The process begins when a client applying for Public Assistance is given information on the Good Cause exemption. The end of the process is when the client is given the final notice and either agrees to cooperate or is placed into sanction

Several other 5S and focused events outlined below.

Kaizen Topic: Surplus Equipment Purchasing/FM&C/End users (March 2013)

Issues/Factors/Implications: The process to have equipment removed is cumbersome and has caused work around techniques or hoarding (out of sight/out of mind) responses. The loss of storage space has magnified this issue.  Equipment of value will need to be assessed and a decision made on an as needed basis.

Scope: The process begins when a piece of equipment is determined to be surplus. It ends when the equipment is transferred, sold, or scrapped.

Goals:

1. Streamline the request process and make it end user friendly

2. Eliminate unnecessary hand‐offs and wait times

3. Coordinate pick‐up and delivery scheduling

Improvements:

  • Handoffs:          41% eliminated
  • Task Time:         19% reduced
  • Tasks:                  42% eliminated
  • Waits:                  27% reduced
  • Storage/File:    50% reduced

Kaizen Topic: Employee Benefits Process (August 2012)

Issues, Factors and Implications: The employee benefits process is complex. There are multiple benefits, each with unique challenges. The mandatory wait time, along with the process that involves numerous staff and multiple work units, causes delays and bottlenecks. Current technology challenges the system, at times, but may offer solutions in the future.

Scope:  The benefits process begins when an employee initiates a request for a benefit at the initial hire, during a life change, or during an open enrollment period. It ends when the benefit is processed and the appropriate withholdings are in place or the benefit is paid.

Goals:

1. Streamline the employee benefits process

2. Reduce the number of handoffs during the process

3. Reduce the liability associated with mistakes

Results: (Medical Termination)

Process                               Current State   Future State     Improvement

Handoffs                            24                           17                           29.2%

Task time (hours)          9.33                       8.50                       8.9%

Tasks                                    43                           32                           25.6%

Waits                                    21                           15                            28.6%

(Medical New Hire)

Handoffs                            27                           24                           11.1%

Task Time (hours)         9.57                       8.68                      9.3%

Tasks                                    43                           37                           14.0%

Wait Time (hours)         10                           8.12                       18.8%

Kaizen Topic: Good Cause Claim Process (July 2012)

Issues/Factors and Implications: The process of reviewing and making a decision on a Good Cause claim is cumbersome and inconsistent. The visibility of the process is hidden and decisions are neglected or postponed beyond a reasonable amount of time.

Scope: The process begins when a client applying for Public Assistance is given information on the Good Cause exemption. The end of the process is when the client is given the final notice and either agrees to cooperate or is placed into sanction.

Goals:

  • Establish a process that grants or denies a Good Cause exemption within 45 days from the date of the Good Clause claim.
  • Establish a Good Clause Committee process that is visible and measurable to ensure the meeting of established timelines.
  • Ensure that the correct action is established for each Good Clause claim

Results:

Process                                     Current State                   Future State                     Improvement

Handoffs                                            33                                           18                                           45%

Task Time (minutes)                    249                                        84                                          67%

Tasks                                                    68                                           52                                           24%

Depts. Filing                                    3                                              1                                              66%

Staff Time/Client (hours)          9                                             6                                             33%

More LEAN 2012 Success Stories

Lean 5S Equipment Surplus Project

In September, 2012, County Staff, in partnership with Workhouse inmate work crews, picked up, sorted, and re-distributed, recycled, sold or disposed of over 4000 square feet of surplus equipment.

A planning task force recruited department liaisons throughout the county to help coordinate the removal of excess equipment as part of the County’s Lean initiative.

Over a seven day period the County staff used two rental moving vans to pick up equipment throughout the County, from as far as Ham Lake and Columbia Heights and brought the items to the Rum River Campus.

Once the items were unloaded, evaluated and inventoried, they were made available for re-use within the County. Around 350 items were redistributed.

Items were then made available for public auction. The equipment from this activity was coordinated for pick up at the Rum River site.   Equipment was then made available to local non-profit agencies for their use.  Remaining equipment was then sold as recycle or disposed of as waste.

Statistics:

  • Equipment filled a 4000 sq. ft. area
  • 10 pallets of electronic equipment
  • 5-30 yard dumpsters of salvage
  • 4-30 yard dumpsters of trash
  • Total expense/revenue of project- around $800 in the black

Child Support/Paternity Case Process

Economic Assistance and the County Attorney’s Office used a five-day Kaizen event to meet federal mandates for processing child support/paternity cases.

Results:

Process       Current State                   Future State                     Improvement

Wait Time (days)                            170.5                                     63                                           63%

Processing (hours)                       12                                           10.4                                       13%

Steps                                                    94                                          70                                           25%

Handoffs   14                                           8                                             42%

Community Health’s Home and Community Health Care

Used a modified Kaizen approach to refine the referral process for Personal Care Attendants. The State is changing their process with MN Choices which will result in an average of 100 additional referrals per month. The number of staff in this unit had recently been reduced due to the VSP program. With more work on the horizon and limited resources, a Lean solution was needed. With some hard work and insight, and using the LEAN Kaizen and swim lane mapping tool, a standard work process for referrals was developed. Results:

Process                             Current State                   Future State                     Improvement

Handoffs                            15                                            7                                             53%

Tasks                                    105                                         68                                           35%

Waits/Delays                    9                                             3                                              67%

Storage/File                      11                                            5                                              55%

Public Health and Environmental Services

Conducted a 5S Sort and Shine in April 2012 and were able to free up an amazing amount of space and share inventory, thereby reducing cost.

Library

The Library has used a variety of approaches to become Lean. As the Library continues to evolve from how it is used, what it offers to its customers and the use of technology, they are using Lean to make continual improvement a part of their culture.

  • An outside consultant reconfigured their processing space and approach. A time study and the evolution of using carts instead of shelves showed a 60% improvement in task time.
  • A new website and the technology help remove bottlenecks by granting certain editing rights to the appropriate staff.
  • By using a contracted vendor, automated catalogue records have reduced staff time and effort.
  • Using the Kaizen model, the Library has developed a model to examine a number of processes to gather statistics. A few include gate count, MELSA survey stats , and outreach (books by mail).
  • The entire Library staff was trained with a Lean overview presentation to help stimulate the culture of continuous improvement.

Economic Assistance completed a structured/facilitated event in May to standardize their work with the automated fax/imaging process to establish a best practice model.

Results included:

  • Standardizing the OSA tool bar in Onbase,
  • Developing written procedures with training for the OSA and FAS staff, and
  • Ordering essential equipment.
  • In addition, IT will create a SMRT document scan queue to use automation to replace redundant manual work.

Highway Department Relocation to New Building

The Highway Department used a 5S approach to be as efficient as possible in the move to their new building. Staff sorted materials prior to the move, which reduced the amount of packing and unpacking and the need for storage space in the new facility.