BS in Industrial Technology
Cal Poly is in process of executing a strategic plan with the vision of becoming the “Premier Comprehensive Polytechnic University”. Working to optimize University Advancement Services’ (UA) donation processing and gift acceptance is critical for future success of the campaign. In order to accomplish UA’s vision, Industrial Technology professor Eric Olsen applied a lean process tool known as Kaizen to promote continuous improvement. The Kaizen event was focused on reducing delays in the cash-gift processing and ensuring donations are properly allocated while donors recognized in a timely manner.
The Kaizen event engaged key players from all levels of the process. In three sessions, participants learned Lean processing concepts, problem solving techniques, and teamwork exercises. Additionally, participants mapped out the process, discussed obstacles and delays, and proposed potential solutions. Some of the delays and problems identified were the following:
• Delays on moves: checks have to move between inboxes, buildings, safe vaults, etc. • Lack of Control: Checks are lost in translation before they even reach Advancement. • Redundancy and Assurance: Steps that do not add value for customer; log-in steps, sorting, etc.
The team came up with a series of potential solutions that were divided in three categories: Fixing the Front End, Just do it, and Project/Paperless Solutions. • Fix the front end: Educating faculty members, post correct form samples online, and more. • Just do it: Simple and immediate changes like removing redundant log-in process, print and fold receipts in one location only, provide chart of active allocations and others. • Paperless: Acquire check scanners for instant deposits. Use copy of check for documentation.
Another part of this project is improving the Kaizen event to increase success of future sessions. Some suggestions were made based on observations, interviews and participant feedback.