Operational Excellence Updates

Operational Excellence is a University-wide program spearheaded by the Office of the Provost to create a high-functioning administrative operation that supports the University’s key mission of teaching, learning and research, and enables implementation of the University’s strategic framework.

Operational Excellence is a University-wide program spearheaded by the Office of the Provost to create a high-functioning administrative operation that supports the University’s key mission of teaching, learning and research, and enables implementation of the University’s strategic framework. 

Last fall the University began to identify ways to improve administrative functions. More than 400 employees from across the University attended 50 listening sessions with Operational Excellence leaders. Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bob Blouin also visited several schools in the spring to discuss this work. Based on the feedback from the listening tour, two Operational Excellence ‘Early Impact’ projects are underway across campus that will help transform Carolina’s administrative processes, with many more projects in development.

The UNC School of Medicine was part of the first cohort rollout of early impact initiatives. Since February, the Operational Excellence team, including HR and procurement staff from both the central offices and the campus units, have been working closely with employees in Finance and HR to train faculty and staff on the new hiring and procurement resources.

In human resources, the goal is to reduce the time it takes to hire an employee from a University-wide average of 110 days for EHRA Non-Faculty and 76 days for SHRA positions to 45 days for both. In finance, the goal is to have 95% of all small-dollar transactions completed using the preferred method, which will ensure that purchases are made in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. Both projects offer new solutions that will make it easier for internal constituents and end users to do their work. 

To be successful, Operational Excellence requires collaboration at all levels of the University. Implementation of these initiatives is mandatory and in certain circumstances may require changes to processes within departments. 

 The early impact work is already having a positive impact. For example, as of June 24th:

  • The University has hired 259 SHRA and EHRA-NF employees since the project started. The time to hire these employees has been reduced by nearly 50% from an average of 82 days to 42 days.
  • In procurement, over 80% of all small-dollar transactions across the university are now being completed using one of the preferred payment methods (e.g., P-Card, ePro), up from the baseline of 65%.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Harvey Lineberry, Patsy Oliver, or Jennifer Blair. You can also share feedback here. More information and weekly updates on the projects underway are available on the Operational Excellence website.

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