UI wins top efficiency awards from Lean Consortium

UI wins top efficiency awards from Lean Consortium

The Iowa Lean Consortium’s (ILC) two annual awards for 2017 both went to the University of Iowa in recognition of numerous campus efficiency efforts, which saved money and staff time and greatly reduced error rates.

ILC named the UI’s Transparent Inclusive Efficiency Review (TIER) Implementation Team as winner of the Iowa Partners in Efficiency Award, and named Richard See, a former manager with UI Business Process Improvement who retired in August, as recipient of the annual Iowa Lean Champion Award.

The Iowa Partners in Efficiency award recognizes teams that significantly and measurably increase productivity, promote innovation, improve delivery of public services, and save funds.

From February 2015 to December 2016, the UI’s TIER team worked with numerous campus units to discover and implement efficiencies that allow the university to reinvest existing resources in its core mission.

  • UI Human Resources adjusted the search process for professional and scientific staff, saving 92,832 employee hours that redirected $2,901,000 in staff effort.
  • University Shared Services centralized financial processing, reducing transaction processing time by 38 percent, reducing error rates by 98 percent, and saving $407,452 annually.
  • Information Technology Services consolidated campus servers and website hosting to save more than $1.1 million for that year and $644,570 annually since.

The Iowa Lean Champion Award honors leaders who significantly contribute to, promote, and lead Lean practices. Lean is a method of analyzing work processes to maximize value and minimize waste.

For 11 years, See was responsible for promoting, organizing, and facilitating Lean activities and other organizational development efforts at the UI. See has trained staff at various administrative levels in Lean practices at numerous Lean events, helped create the new See It Solve It Awards, and helped create a new Lean certificate program that will launch in spring 2018. In 2009, See helped form the ILC and was an active board member until his retirement.

The ILC is a non-profit group dedicated to advancing Lean in all sectors of Iowa’s economy. The consortium provides networking and instructional events as well as philosophy, tools, and techniques to its more than 100 members. ILC membership includes manufacturing, transaction, business, education, health care, and government organizations mostly stationed in Iowa and neighboring states.


Cristóbal McKinney, Office of Strategic Communication, 319-384-0044

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