- September 1, 2016
- Posted by: Cheryl Rybka
- Category: Delivery
The City of El Paso is compromised to deliver outstanding services to support a high quality of life for residents, businesses and visitors. One of their strategic goals is to enhance and sustain infrastructure network along with promote excellence in land use and the visual image of El Paso.
Inconsistent production from asphalt repair crews.
The way the process for asphalt repairs was being performed was inconsistent, affecting costs and public service.
The top problems identified were:
- Excessive daily travel times picking up material and traveling to work sites consuming too much of the work day, driving fuel costs and wearing down equipment.
- Excessive internal data processing requirements; spent too much time accumulating and verifying data that had no value.
- Underutilizing employees; travel and data management burdens took away their opportunity to repair more potholes.
- Inconsistency and lack of standardization.
The expectation was to improve the service, reduce the pothole repair time, and to save money, an estimation of $560,000 annually.
By applying the Lean Six Sigma methodology, the goals were not only achieved but exceeded!
A team of nine individuals was strategically selected to work on solving this problem. And by following the Lean Six Sigma process, it was possible to find a better way to do the asphalt repairs.
Four major opportunities were identified as the most important:
1.) Mobilization – a) Identify multiple pick up sites and multiple raw material suppliers to limit travel distance; b) Redraw the city zones to reduce travel time rather than fix potholes by when the work order was entered. This would cause the crews to spend less time driving and more time fixing potholes.
2.) Data Management – Stop burdening crews with tracking unimportant data and focus on most relevant data with a standardized measuring method and the use of portable tables. This would reduce work hours on asphalt repair work orders.
3) Task Process – Standardize work among all crew to fix potholes by creating operating procedures and providing proper training.
4) Employee Feedback – Address program concerns identified by the work crews. The team generated additional improvement ideas that included: equipment, materials, people, training, quality and the communication system.
After piloting and fully implementing the proposed solutions, the results were remarkable. The total saving cost was estimated to be $560,000 USD per year, the weekly pothole repairs increased by 40% (from 200 per week to 280 per week), the production rate increased by 24%, and the reduction of employee data management in work hours was of 50%.
By applying Lean Six Sigma methodology they were able to lower the cost associated with the pothole repairs, increase the volume of asphalt repairs, and save time and effort on data management. These results impacted directly the public and also employee satisfaction and morale.