Reducing Unnecessary Overtime Expenses

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Company payroll overtime expenses are approaching \$1Million annually in a mature industry with flat demand growth and increasing competition. In an attempt to maintain a competitive cost structure, an effort to identify and understand key sources and drivers of overtime expenses was undertaken. This analysis identified the building maintenance department as a key source of overtime and also identified several potential drivers within this department. Recommended countermeasures included 1) development of policy guidelines defining the appropriate circumstances justifying overtime use, 2) establishment of recurrent operator training on complicated equipment to reduce avoidable maintenance demands and 3) development of standard work for maintenance technicians to eliminate waste in the work process. The team developed and implemented a streamlined process for planning workshops that reduced delays and rework; implemented visual controls used by the team to clearly identify, track and communicate upcoming tasks and client engagement, while assessing future work and identifying potential risks; and developed standard work instructions for workshops and engagement tasks to identify and share best practices. These improvements contributed to a potential savings in resource time of over \$80,000 over the course of the year, and provided opportunities for awareness and learning organization-wide for a team fairly new to lean thinking. In addition, 83% of the school districts that had below average student growth and attended our identified workshops during the 2011-2012 school year had achieved expected or above expected student growth by fall 2012.