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 'Stockless Custodial Supply Chain' Plan Wins SRU Honors 

 

SPOTLIGHT

10/8/2003

Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail: karl.schwab@sru.edu

SRU IMPLEMENTS ‘STOCKLESS CUSTODIAL SUPPLY CHAIN’ PLAN

THAT SAVES LABOR, TIME AND MONEY – AND WINS NATIONAL AWARD

           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Thinking outside the box to save money and labor has earned Slippery Rock University’s facilities and planning operation an “Effective and Innovative Practices Award” from the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers and coverage in the organization’s September/October “Facilities Manager” magazine.

    The award includes a $4,000 prize presented by the APPA at its Leadership Awards Program in Nashville over the summer.

          The “Facilities Manager” article, written by Michael Kukawa, SRU’s director of campus services, outlines the university’s recently implemented “Stockless Custodial Supply Chain” plan.

          “This is an outstanding award for an outstanding project,” says Dr. Charles Curry, vice president of finance and administrative affairs, who oversees the facilities and planning operation. He adds, “Our staff devised the plan, looked at all of the criteria necessary to make it work and reviewed the potential cost savings in both time and labor before approving its final implementation. This is a system that is working and deserves the accolades it has received.”

          Kukawa explains the new system relies on a single custodial supply vendor to provide all required supplies for the entire campus. Under the program, the university standardized the products necessary for maintaining university buildings and reduced annual expenditures by more than $13,000 in the process. The process also reduced paperwork and processing from 43 steps to a simple seven, involving only one university department.

          “As an added benefit, we were able to free 1,500 square feet of warehouse space previously used to stock our custodial supplies,” Kukawa explains. The new process eliminates the need to keep a high inventory, thus making good on the “stockless” portion of the plan. He credits his staff, including Lisa Shea, Barb Bovard, Linda Barnes and Gene Newburn with helping quickly implement the new system.

          The new system places responsibility for keeping adequate supplies on hand on the vendor which provides campus delivery on a bi-weekly basis. The university had previously relied on 10 separate vendors for custodial supplies, and required university workers to pick items from inventory, then deliver them to appropriate buildings.

          The plan covers everything from mops, brooms and buckets, to cleaners, paper towels, gloves, soap and trash can liners.

          Kukawa explains that the system is quite workable, but as with any new process requires time and commitment to putting it into practice. He says similar systems can be applied at other universities or businesses with multiple buildings or facilities.

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