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Update on staff suggestions, new improvements

This month’s update on the UCOP Efficiency Review lets Office of the President staff know how they can see what has happened to the hundreds of ideas that have been submitted thus far, reports on new projects being undertaken to improve ergonomic evaluations and procurement processes, and provides an update on how the revised travel and entertainment reimbursement process is working.

What happened to your suggestions?

The new Efficiency Review Work Group began 2015 by reviewing and identifying the status of the more than 800 suggestions received from staff last year. All ideas have been categorized by their disposition (completed, pending, etc.) and will soon be available for OP staff to review on the project website, as well as at OP Staff Assembly events such as the First Friday breakfasts and the February 27th Mardi Gras Mixer in Lobby 1.

Ergonomic Evaluation process improvements

Many staff submitted suggestions to improve the ergonomic evaluation and purchasing process. Employees and their workspaces were previously assessed by three manual systems involving several departments, which was clearly not efficient. New software captures employees’ ergonomic history with a self-evaluation, which can then quickly allow for a follow-up consultation. Additionally, the purchase and installation of needed equipment is being streamlined via a collaborative effort by the Business Resource Center and the Building and Administrative Services Center. The new system will not only save significant staff time and resources, but it will also allow UC to quickly document and respond to identified ergonomic needs, which improves the health of all employees. The improved system is being implemented by Steve Murray, Kristie Elton and Amal Smith.

Procurement Automation

Many staff also suggested automating certain procurement, purchase and payment processes in order to save staff time. These suggestions mirror the BRC’s own long-term assessment that such processes, which currently are very manual and labor-intensive, need improvement. OP staff do not have an easy way to view the status of their requests, creating more work for BRC staff who provide updates by phone or email.  In response, the BRC has been working with ITS to implement a systems-based solution that will automate and standardize processes, streamline workflow and improve the BRC customer experience. Stay tuned for updates as these changes are implemented over the next several months.

One-year review: Travel reimbursement improvements

A large number of staff submitted suggestions to improve the travel and entertainment reimbursement process, and the work group subsequently held several focus groups to identify solutions. One year later, the time required for getting reimbursements processed and paid has been shortened by several weeks, in large part due to a BRC-initiated training campaign targeted at departmental travelers, proxies and reviewers. The work group will continue to work on travel and expense related suggestions to implement additional improvements.

All OP staff are strongly encouraged to submit ideas about potential improvements to the way OP operates. To submit a suggestion, go to or send an email to For questions regarding the Efficiency Review project, staff may contact Shirley Bittlingmeier ( or Dan Scannell (

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