Henry Ford brought efficiency to the forefront of American business with his assembly line, which introduced automobiles to the masses. “The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed,” he once said. This same mentality has allowed this fall’s Models of Efficiency honorees to improve services provided by their departments, all without spending a fortune—and often while saving a bundle.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as going paperless. Take, for example, the institution that was able to save $25,000 a year by eliminating paper, folders, printer toners, labels, and ink from its admissions process. Another institution was able to keep the whole campus a little bit cleaner by installing hand dryers—and removing paper towels—from its bathrooms. This simple change is saving the school a whopping $40,000 annually in paper towel purchase and disposal costs as well as cleaning staff time. And while the Models of Efficiency program doesn’t specifically honor energy efficiency, these and other departmental efficiency stories have the added benefit of a green element.
Is Your Department an Efficiency Winner?
The Models of Efficiency program was launched in 2010 to recognize campus administrative departments that have found ways to provide better service through streamlined business operations. We aim to share efficiency success stories that will inspire other institutions to implement similar efforts. For more details on the program, to read the stories of past honorees, and to enter for 2012—with January 18 being the first round submission deadline—click here to apply.
Other times, efficiency can be achieved by taking advantage of collaboration. One example is the two universities in Kentucky that joined forces to implement mutual disaster recovery solutions. Leaders at another institution, when faced with the need to improve customer service, researched what other institutions with the same problems were doing to develop their own process. The resulting customer solutions center helped this Colorado community college reach an 85 percent student satisfaction rate.
Better service to internal and external constituents is the name of the game. That’s what one registrar’s office was able to provide once its team streamlined the use of technology by automating the AP credit process. By taking advantage of a College Board offering that helped automatically populate the school’s student information system, this department, like other Models of Efficiency honorees before it, was able to free up time for interacting with students and their families.
Read on for the full stories of departments at six higher ed institutions being honored this fall by the University Business editorial team as Models of Efficiency.